A recent article written by David Hillis for CMS Wire argues that “digital transformation and customer experience go hand in hand”. We agree with this point, and will explain why, but let’s not forget another central element of the equation – employee experience.
The Technologies at the Core of Customer Experience
The CMS Wire article rightly points out that “every organization uses a number of core technologies to support customers”. These technologies range from CRM systems to lead generation tools, from marketing automation to call center solutions. But surely, in order to support customers, these technologies must first support employees?
The problem, argues David Hillis, is that “many organizations maintain these applications in silos, sometimes in connections, but almost always with duplicate and divergent customer profiles and transaction data”. The challenge therefore lies in “connecting them to share information” in order to center digital transformation on the customer. After all, customers “want to move seamlessly from one part of the customer journey to the next. The lines between marketing, sales and service have blurred to the point that customers don’t care whose job it is – if they ever did – they just expect you to work with them across channels and touchpoints”.
Want a 360 Experience for Customers? Create One for Employees…
This is, therefore, a customer-oriented strategy; the ultimate aim being to streamline customer experience. But surely this begins by streamlining work processes at an internal level – so that marketers, sales teams and customer service teams can collaborate, and so that it’s as easy as possible for them to manage customers at different stages of the buying cycle. The design is “to support customers”, the technologies companies use are there to support employees; to streamline internal workflows so that what customers experience externally is seamless.
The CMS Wire article points out that “what you need is technology that connects all of your customer systems in order to show 360 views of your customers”. Yes – but before anything else, this 360 system needs to be implemented for and embraced by employees.
See also: The 4 Pillars of Social Business
Seamless customer experience is certainly an aim of digital transformation, but it isn’t the only one. Nor can it be achieved if seamless processes don’t exist internally. Successful digital transformation is often linked to the construction of a 360 customer experience (the CSM Wire article is just one example). But what’s essential to remember is that this experience can never truly exist without a streamlined employee experience; and this is a transformation in itself.