Bridging the Customer Engagement Gap

September 09, 2016

Contributor: Christy Pettey

Improve customer experience by creating bridges between silos of engagement.

Despite an increasing focus on customer experience, many enterprises are still engaging with their customers via isolated and disconnected silos.

“Delivering customer engagement in silos can significantly damage the customer experience,” said Gene Phifer, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.  

Because the silos are disconnected, when a customer journey reaches a silo boundary, they are forced to change context, re-enter data, go back in the process, create a work-around, or completely start their journey all over again.

“ Bridging the silos of customer engagement leads to a seamless transition across channels and devices. ”

Some customers become frustrated and abandon their customer journey altogether, taking their business elsewhere. Others remain, but minimize their spending, and some resort to negative posts on social media, leading to long-term impacts on revenue and market share.

Many enterprises have multichannel customer engagement, but very few have orchestrated journeys across all their customer interaction channels to deliver a unified customer experience that allows customers to carry out journeys seamlessly across the enterprise.

The obvious answer is to break the silos down. However, the silos of customer engagement are so tall and rigid that they are almost impossible to knock down.

Silos must be bridged at three key points: user experience, process and data. The experience should flow seamlessly across channels, touchpoints and devices, and be designed across channels to meet or exceed customer expectations. Intersilo processes should flow without interruption and again be seamless to the customer. Data must be integrated so that a single, logical customer profile is available.

“Bridging the silos of customer engagement leads to a seamless transition across channels and devices,” said Mr. Phifer. “Moving from a disconnected, siloed customer experience to a truly unified customer experience is an important step in maintaining and improving the customer experience. This may be nothing new, but the difference now is that it is no longer a ‘nice to have’. It has become a necessity for survival.”

 

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