It takes a village to keep a customer happy. Positive customer experiences (CX) are now an important competitive differentiator for brands, and the slightest misstep can lead to negative feedback, damaged reputation and customer turnover.
For customers, consistency is an important factor in their experience. One study from PwC found that 65% of respondents would become long-term customers of a brand if they could provide positive experiences throughout the customer journey.
To provide cohesive experiences and care, you need a cohesive team. Achieving alignment between all teams involved with CX can help you build a culture that translates into business success.
Which Teams Matter?
There are a handful of teams that, when working together, can provide a better customer experience. Naturally, customer support teams should be the first point of contact for customers with questions or issues.
However, marketing can also use their data and analytics to understand customer preferences, expectations, and pain points, which can help support teams take a more personalized approach to customer care. Likewise, sales teams have a strong understanding of customer needs, and can ensure that customer care teams are knowledgeable about the product or service.
Meanwhile, product development teams can improve the products themselves by gathering customer feedback. Finally, operations ensure that all customer-related processes and procedures are efficient and effective.
Four Steps Toward Alignment
In order to start bringing these teams closer together and encouraging collaboration, companies can do the following:
- Create a customer-centric culture throughout all teams and departments by prioritizing your customers’ needs and preferences, and ensure that every decision and action taken is in harmony with providing value to your customers and with empathy at its foundation.
- Establish clear lines of communication among teams and departments to share customer feedback, insights, and best practices and technology, in order to streamline the entire customer journey.
- Invest in training and development programs across teams to equip employees with the skills and knowledge necessary to provide exceptional care and address customer needs effectively.
- Hold teams accountable for their performance in providing exceptional customer care by tracking resolution rates, response times, and customer satisfaction rates (CSAT), and use this data to identify areas for improvement and refinement of strategies.
Benefits and Potential Challenges
When forming cross-functional teams, it’s common to have members with diverse backgrounds, skills and experiences, which may lead to communication barriers and hinder the customer service process both internally and externally. It also might be difficult to assign clear ownership for specific tasks or issues when multiple teams are involved in the customer service process.
To prevent misunderstandings and delays, hold regular meetings for stakeholders to keep everyone informed about the latest updates and foster a sense of shared responsibility. This approach allows your staff to focus their efforts on providing excellent customer care, rather than dealing with internal issues.
A Deloitte study showed 83% of “digitally maturing” companies reported using cross-functional teams, compared to 71% of “developing” companies and 55% of companies that are “early stage” on the digital maturity spectrum. However, when done right, it’s clear that building aligned teams has benefits.
Some of these benefits include more clear and timely communication, the ability to complete tasks more quickly and accurately, a more cohesive experience for the customer, and better measurement of results.
While aligning teams on customer care can definitely help them deliver exceptional service, it also fosters a culture of excellence that promotes success and distinguishes companies in the marketplace.
In addition, by combining the strength of aligned teams and the right technology, you can help them gain an even better understanding of your customers and deliver tailored experiences across all touchpoints.
Learn how the Emplifi Service Cloud can help you better understand your customers across the digital journey and improve care experiences across different channels at emplifi.io.