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Today’s consumers expect better customer service and more personalized experiences than ever before, but marketers have some way to go before perfecting such efforts. While many have pointed to technology and data integration problems as barriers, Q2 2014 research from CMO Council identified another issue: Alignment throughout the company.
When marketing executives in North America were asked to rank the most important attributes of customer centricity, having a senior management team committed to understanding the needs and behaviors of the customer market landed in the No. 1 spot. Functional alignment and support of a holistic customer experience strategy came next.
However, 35% of marketing execs called out a lack of alignment, saying that their heads of operations and line-of-business leaders as well as their finance, marketing, sales, point-of-sales and customer service teams were not focused around a customer experience strategy. Just 12% said their core teams were strongly aligned.
Just coming up with a strategy is something that companies must improve on. More than one-third of respondents said their organization didn’t have a formal customer experience management strategy. Somewhat promising is the fact that around the same percentage were making steps toward developing one, and one-quarter actually did have a strategy.
CMOs—one group usually expected to spearhead alignment—noted in June 2014 polling by Korn Ferry some of the challenges they were facing when trying to get everyone to work toward the same customer experience. Nearly 43% of US CMOs said aligning department strategies and priorities was the primary challenge of working across departments to develop a single customer experience. More than one-quarter said the same about integrating the customer experience across various sales channels.
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