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Collaboration holds the key to Customer Experience Management success

Understanding how to positively harness the ‘customer experience’ is often cited as the ‘holy grail’ of B2B marketing. According to recent research from Avaya there is a strong correlation between Customer Experience Management (CEM) and increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy. What’s more, 8 in 10 companies with solid customer programmes reported that they had experienced significant profit increases.

Despite this, the study also revealed that 81% of organisations have seen their CEM initiatives fail over the past three years, incurring not just financial costs (as much as £750,000 per organisation) but costs to reputation and future business too.

The research points to a few reasons for these project failures.

Firstly, in our modern internet age, increasingly high customer expectations are creating a business environment where the majority of organisations are struggling to keep up. 70% of consumers reported that they are less tolerant of poor service than they were 12 months ago. Additionally, 69% now expect to be treated as 'unique' by organisations, where they are contacted in a way they want, and offered products and services tailored to their preferences and previous shopping habits.

Secondly, a lack of appropriate technology within the business is a problem cited by 31% of organisations without a customer management programme. However, marketers should bear in mind that simply buying technology will not ensure project success. The right software, with the right functionality needs to be supported by appropriate underlying objectives, strategy, processes and management. 

However, the main reason why CEM initiatives are failing is a lack of communication and co-operation between departments. Nearly two-fifths of organizations say the main barrier to CEM is that different departments own different parts of the customer experience and consequently there is no coherent, over-arching programme.

The impact of customer management projects is greatly improved when all the different parts of the business that are involved with customers, from marketing and sales to the contact centre and the finance department, work together seamlessly. Marketing professionals are extremely well-placed to take the lead in creating this organisation-wide strategy. By collaborating closely with colleagues to identify the ideal set of solutions, marketers can play a key role in creating a coherent omni-channel customer experience.

The Avaya research highlights a familiar problem of poor communication and collaboration within businesses. This time however, marketers have a real chance to address it through a comprehensive customer experience programme that delivers better customer relations and improved profits.