Bridging the Customer Engagement Gap

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. “We predict that through 2020, silos of customer engagement will be one of the top three leading causes of customer dissatisfaction for enterprises across all industry segments.”

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.

Although silos are a natural outcome of the way modern business is organized, the poor customer experience that they create can turn customers into ex-customers. 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.

Read the related article: Use Analytics to Uncover the Buyers’ Journey

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.

Instead, bridging the silos of customer engagement allows customers to seamlessly transition across them along their journeys, improving their experience and allowing for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

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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Client Research
Additional information is available to Gartner clients in the report “Bridge Silos of Customer Engagement, or Risk Killing Your Customer Experience.”

Customer experience trends will be further discussed at the Gartner Application Strategies & Solutions Summit 2016, December 6-8 in Las Vegas. Follow news and updates from this event on Twitter using #GartnerAPPS.

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