To borrow & re-purpose a phrase: "It takes an entire company to deliver an amazing customer experience."
For some years now, the narrative has been constant: The new barometer of business success is customer experience. The companies that prioritise their customer’s point of view and experience at every interaction have an advantage over their competitors. Taking a customer-centric approach to marketing, sales and customer service are better able to nurture customers and translate efforts into increased revenue and profit.
But it’s not as simple as telling your customer service teams to step up their game. An outstanding customer experience is the responsibility of the whole company, and each department contributes an integral piece to its success.
Here are the 5 key roles that drive excellent customer experience:
Great customer experience starts at the top. Management isn’t just responsible for making decisions at a high level: Those same managers need to "walk the talk." Customer centricity is fundamentally rooted in company culture, it can only succeed as a company-wide strategy if it has support and buy-in from the top-down. Management must also then provide the tools to enable personalised customer interactions and empower each team with strategic decision-making for growth.
While a finance department may not get direct face-time with customers, they do need to work closely all 'front office functions' to establish budgets and ensure strategies are working. It’s their job to evaluate money coming in and out of the business and focus funds on efforts that ensure sustained growth and profitability. Before your finance department agrees to allocate resources toward driving the customer experience forward, they’ll need to be able to see and analyse how these efforts impact the bottom line.
Most marketing teams bear some, if not all, responsibility for ensuring the brand and vision is represented in every campaign and point of contact. If your company’s goal is a superior customer experience, then marketing is integral to developing the strategies that have the highest potential for success — both for customer satisfaction and profitability. Effective marketing teams make full use of data gathered from every customer interaction and re-purpose it into personalised, trackable customer engagement — delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
Your sales team is often the first contact your customers have so it’s critical to get it right. All customer interactions generate a wealth of valuable data; sales teams who collect these insights and apply them can do better at monitoring sales performance and closing sales faster- for everyone's benefit.
5. Customer service
It’s a common misconception that customer experience begins with your customer service team. However, the customer service team must work alongside sales, marketing, finance and management teams. Your teams must listen to the voice of the customer and use what you hear to provide better customer service. Your team’s ability to effectively address issues and problem-solve is what happens when these key roles work together.
Bringing it All Together With CRM
A successful customer experience hinges on your team’s ability to collect the insights they need to drive the overall strategy. The best way to achieve this is plugging in a CRM solution to provide better insight into how the business is performing. For the finance department, this means having the visibility they need to drive profitability. For sales it means more effective management of the sales process, from initial lead through to close of sale.
Once each key role in the company commits to improving the customer experience, sharing insights empowers them to improve individual and group initiatives creating more productive and profitable customer interactions.
[based on an article by Matt Groom]