Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 | 5 min read
We’ve already talked about why customer experience management is the future of marketing, but marketing isn’t the only department that needs to develop an experience-centric strategy. In fact, customer experience management touches nearly every part of an organization, from sales to customer service, IT, and HR (these 43+ customer experience statistics back this up).
Think about it: is the customer experience limited only to what happens when the customer interacts with the marketing department? What about when the customer talks to a salesperson or calls a support number? And what about when they visit your website or interview for a job at your company?
Customer experience management is the domain of all customer-facing departments, which means that creating remarkable experiences for your customers needs to be a company-wide initiative. Here are three real-life examples of brands getting experience management right through areas that go beyond marketing.
While nearly every business is busy finding ways to reduce costs by cutting the amount of calls to their call centers (as well as their length), Zappos is proud to set records for the longest customer support calls ever. They boast 10-hour, 8-hour, and 6-hour calls during which reps chat with customers about everything from shoes to what it’s like to live in Las Vegas and favorite foods.
The online retailer wants their customers to know that they truly care and that they will spend however long is necessary to make them happy, and they demonstrate this by providing exceptional customer service, even though it’s expensive (customer service representatives cost about $7.50 per call compared to about 35 cents for an automated system).
When Mercedes Benz President and CEO Steve Cannon made customer experience the company’s number one priority several years ago, he knew that he wouldn’t get far without first fixing things close to home. Says Cannon: “You never get to a great customer experience unless you deal with your employees first.”
The CEO set out to improve corporate culture and make sure all employees, especially senior leadership, were aligned on the company’s customer experience initiative. He invited managers to help architect the customer experience strategy and influence company culture, invested $4 million in a program that allowed employees to try out the company’s products, and invited all 23,000 employees to attend an Immersion Session on how Mercedez Benz automobiles are built. Cannon says he’s noticed a big shift in employee engagement since these initiatives began.
So rather than simply tell marketing to draw up a CX strategy – or even build a new team to do it – Cannon chose to focus on leadership alignment and employee happiness across all departments in order to bring the company closer to its goal of providing remarkable experiences across the board.
Groupon set a new standard for smart product promotion through social when it posted an image of the Banana Bunker, a container that protects a single banana, to its Facebook page back in March.
Fans immediately jumped at the opportunity to make jokes about the product’s resemblance to a sex toy, and Groupon decided to go along with the jokes by posting playful, coy responses to as many comments as they could.
The post became its most popular Facebook content ever, with more than 12,000 comments, 21,000 likes, and 45,000 shares, and the product actually sold out before the Facebook post went viral. Given the boost in site traffic Groupon received from their creative community management, Groupon Head of Global Communications Bill Roberts laments not having had more Banana Bunkers available for sale.
While this clever post was the work of Groupon’s social media team, it’s an example of how customer experiences that begin with marketing can quickly spill over to touch other departments like IT (the post resulted in a huge boost of web traffic) and sales (the most might have contributed to the product selling out even before it went viral, and if there had been more product available Groupon would have likely experienced a big boost in sales once the post started to gain traction).
These are just three examples of how customer experience management touches customer-facing departments throughout an entire organization. In order to provide consistently remarkable experiences across all touchpoints, companies must design a CX strategy that disregards organizational silos and truly puts the customer front and center.
About the Author: Ekaterina Walter is the Global Evangelist at Sprinklr. She writes and speaks about leadership, business culture, and marketing innovation.