In the experience economy we live in today, customers have unprecedented access to your company. Their experience spans more people, processes and technologies than ever before. This has resulted in an explosion in the number of ways they interact with your business. The greatest impact from this explosion has been felt in three key areas: organizational structure, communication channels and partner ecosystem.
Organizational structure: There are more individuals and teams that have customer-facing communication ownership and responsibility within the enterprise than ever before. Think about all the customer-facing areas of your business and the interactions they have directly or indirectly (via technology) with your customers.
Communication channels: Never before has there been more channels through which companies communicate with customers and through which customers communicate with companies. From websites, to social channels, customer portals, online chat and email, the list goes on and on.
Partner ecosystem: Technology has had a dramatic impact on the number of sales and marketing partners companies must manage. A few years ago, a single advertising agency may have handled the majority of how, when and where the company story was told in the marketplace. Today, companies have dozens of partners developing and delivering messages at distinct points in the customer experience.
The changes become even more difficult to contend with when you add the barriers that have been constructed throughout your organization:
Distributed ownership: The number of individuals, teams, partners that are responsible for developing and / or delivering the corporate story throughout the customer experience has dramatically increased.
Functional silos: The independent functions / roles within departments, business units, divisions and partner ecosystem that communicate with customers have grown significantly.
Multichannel integration: The shear number of channels and communication vehicles used to communicate and interact with customers has exploded.
Take a moment to paint a customer-facing picture of your organizational structure, communication channels and partner ecosystem. Look at each of these through the lens of how your corporate story is developed and delivered throughout the customer experience. Which areas of the organization interact with the customer? How many communication channels are being utilized? Which partners are involved in specific aspects of the customer journey?
The picture gets very complex, very fragmented … very fast. To extract business value from all three phases of the customer experience (self-service, sales, post-purchase), CMOs need to address the messaging development and delivery problem that exists across the organization. They must apply the discipline, time and resources required to break down these barriers and put intentional processes in place that will ensure a consistent story is told throughout the customer experience.