Don’t let moments of friction derail your relationship with your customers

Karishma Borkakoty

February 1, 20247 min read

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In the ever-changing world of business, one constant persists: the need to connect with customers. This need drives both innovation and strategy, a point underscored by Joe Charnitski and Vincent Washington, the CXM leaders at Sprinklr, in their recent discussion at Socialverse.  

They emphasize that businesses should actively listen to their customers to enhance and personalize their experiences. Only then can they transform customers into staunch advocates. Vincent points out that even established brands can stumble. The solution lies in teams collaborating seamlessly and harnessing customer insights with intuition.  

The duo's exchanges shed light on the evolving landscape of CXM, emphasizing the power of teamwork and insightful data utilization. Their main tangible takeaway? By unifying teams and leveraging the right insights, companies can achieve unparalleled success.  

Let’s unpack more such actionable insights from their conversation to elevate your entire customer experience journey. 

Table of Contents

What modern customer customers want: Understanding the mindset of empowered customers 

The modern customer isn't just a passive observer or bystander. They're informed, vocal and can influence market dynamics with just one social media post. Their opinions shape brand reputations in real time.  

"Empowered customers don't care about a company's internal setup. They simply want their needs met promptly," Joe said. For Joe, understanding these customers goes beyond the usual feedback loop. "It's more than just getting feedback from customer surveys. It's about genuinely listening to them." This involves understanding their deeper needs and paying attention to the finer details in their feedback, capturing what they truly want. 

Vincent shares a similar view, highlighting that customers these days tend to share both positive and negative experiences online. "Brands must pay attention and enable their staff to respond effectively," he noted. "Often, poor experiences arise because employees are restricted by company policies or lack the necessary knowledge and tools. And with all the options out there, dissatisfied customers can easily switch brands."  

Therefore, equipping teams with the right tools and training is essential to address customer concerns effectively. 

The power of cross-functional collaboration 

Today's successful brands have one thing in common: their teams talk to each other. Joe and Vincent share some simple yet impactful insights into why cross-team collaboration matters. 

Vincent highlights that through collaboration, teams can avoid missed chances. "Marketers want to be better marketers. Service providers want to be better service providers. But there are moments when they have to come together, and, when they do, they should be ready to work in a seamless fashion,” he said.  

It's not just about working side by side, it's about truly connecting and sharing. When teams from different functions like marketing and engineering come together, they can spot challenges earlier and solve them faster by helping each other out and building on each other's ideas. 

Joe emphasized another significant advantage of collaboration: fresh ideas. When people from different backgrounds and skills brainstorm, they generate insights that a singular team might overlook. 

In short, collaborative teams are more robust, perceptive and better aligned with customer needs. 

Employee happiness and customer delight: Two sides of the same coin                              

Today's employees aren't just doing their jobs, they're the heart of a company. When they work well together, the whole company does better. 

Here’s how Vincent put it, "When our employees are happy, our customers are happy. Happier employees also stay with the organization longer." But it goes beyond just getting along and sticking longer. "It's about creating a synergy between teams, focusing on crucial metrics like agent or employee satisfaction and giving them the right tools and technology. We need to ensure everyone feels valued and knows they impact the customer experience (CX)," he added.  

Both Joe and Vincent believe caring for employees isn't about handing them a hefty paycheck at the start of every month. It's also about reassuring them about their value to the company's success.  

The shift from product-led to customer-led strategy 

Back in the day, companies made a product and then looked for people to buy it. The thinking was this: "Build the product first and customers will come flocking." Today, consumers look for bespoke experiences tailored to their unique needs, compelling businesses to rethink their traditional approaches. 

Vincent effectively conveys his understanding, drawing from his personal experiences. He once attended a fancy business workshop where they were trying to figure out what consumers really wanted. One of the leaders in the room said, "Instead of making something and then finding people to buy it, why not see what people want first?" Vincent believes this approach is like having a direct link to the customers’ mindset. 

No longer are products the starting point, customers are. This isn't merely about offering a product, it's about curating an experience. An experience built on a foundation of insights, feedback and a deep understanding of the customer's journey. The growing role of AI, acting as a catalyst, amplifies these consumer insights, ensuring businesses remain ahead of the curve. 

Building organizational efficiency for customers’ sake 

Vincent, reflecting on his own journey, puts forth a question: "How can brands be efficient if they don’t collaborate for their customers’ sake?" Building on that thought, he offers a solution, too. And it’s quite straightforward: Start small and take baby steps. Instead of changing everything at once, it's often smarter to test new strategies in stages. For example, experiment with how marketing and customer service teams work together on a campaign. These early projects can serve as innovation hubs, revealing fresh insights while remaining customer-centric. 

Success in these trials can create a ripple effect. Once a company sees the benefits of these small collaborations, it's natural that it’d want to want to bring more teams into the mix. After marketing and customer service teams, why not include the product team as well? This ensures the brand stays in tune with customer feedback at every stage of the buyer journey. 

Vincent also emphasizes that prioritizing is crucial. Handling all customer experience-related projects can be a handful, but when brands have a clear focus, things can get simpler. Therefore, every decision should orbit around the customer no matter what. Brands that align their actions with customer needs enjoy a stronghold in the market even during economic downturns. 

The unseen challenges even the best of the best face 

The idea that all top brands are perfect is a myth. Brands, no matter how big or popular can slip up.  
Even when a company understands customer experience (CX), acting on that understanding isn't always straightforward. Grasping the idea of CX is simple, but consistently doing it well is another story. 

Vincent recalls an incident with a world-renowned Atlanta-based brand. In Vincent’s words, they're “marketing Jedis," responsible for major global campaigns. Even they made a major blunder once. They had a chance to spotlight a secondary product — a product that made up 16% of their revenue: water. But due to internal delays and long discussions, they missed out. The response? A vague statement that seemed more like an afterthought. For the team, especially those in the water product division, it was a big, missed chance. 

This story teaches two things: 

  • Value of learning: A misstep can be a great lesson too. According to Peter Senge's concept of "learning organizations," companies that adopt continuous learning and adaptability are more resilient and better poised for long-term success. 

  • Staying proactive: The business environment today can be summed up by the acronym VUCA, which denotes its volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. In such a scenario, relying on real-time insights from tools like Sprinklr’s Unified- CXM platform is crucial. The significance of these insights becomes even more evident when we consider that organizations harnessing customer behavioral data surpass their competitors, boasting an 85% increase in sales growth and an enhancement of over 25% in gross margins.  

How to eliminate friction points with Sprinklr 

In the whirlwind world of customer experience management, we're constantly juggling between challenges and opportunities. Joe had a neat take on this: It's not just about constantly adapting to the newest tools. Rather, it's about unifying teams, ensuring marketing, advertising and service teams harmoniously collaborate and share customer insights.  

This is where Sprinklr Marketing comes into play, offering a comprehensive platform for all your marketing and advertising needs. It lets you plan, publish and monitor campaigns across numerous channels, all while integrating useful features like workflow automation and team collaboration. It's a hub for marketing teams and agencies to come together and create winning campaigns.  

However, technology alone isn’t the answer. Vincent and Joe stress the importance of clear and open communication. Tools like Sprinklr Marketing can help, but at the end of the day, it's about making sure everyone's moving in the same direction. That's how we set ourselves up for a brighter future in customer experience management. 

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