The Importance of Integration in Customer Experience (CX)

Jan 18, 2022

Across the customer journey, companies can implement a lot of different tools to enable personalization, identification, data collection and audience building. The obstacle companies encounter is the implementation of these tools is usually siloed and owned by different divisions or business units within the organization on a tool-by-tool basis and not viewed through a customer experience (CX) lens. In addition, these tools are rarely integrated into the CX Stack™.

Enabling a 360-Degree View of The Customer Journey

Integrating your various tools across the CX Stack™ enables your company to gain a full 360-Degree view of your customer’s journeys from the awareness stage all the way through to loyalty and retention. Enabling this integration, however, is a lot more than just connecting APIs or importing and exporting data. There’s integration across teams and business units that needs to happen as well.

Typical organizations silo technologies into specific business practice teams or marketing channel focused teams. Social Media, Email, Paid Advertising, Public Relations, Branding, Analytics, UX Design, Products, Promotions, and so on, are typically their own teams and each team works in its own silo. Rarely do these individual teams work together, rarely is the data shared and they view the results within their own domain of responsibility.

During the pandemic, how offline integrated with online percolated to the top of the most important list that companies needed to focus on in order to build a full view of the customer’s journey as “Buy Online Pickup In Store” (BOPIS) became a new way to shop.

The importance of having a laser focus on providing the best customer experience (CX) started to rise before the pandemic caused total upheaval on how we do business, the pandemic sped that importance up exponentially. Not only did the online experience come into focus but how offline integrated with online percolated to the top of the most important list that companies needed to focus on in order to build a full view of the customer’s journey as “Buy Online Pickup In Store” (BOPIS) became a new way to shop.

Integrating the tools you have acquired across the CX Stack™ goes beyond flipping a switch or enabling accounts to communicate with one another. Data architecture needs to be engineered to account for the integrations. Key performance indicators (KPI) need to be aligned and audience creation should be adjusted for the integrations. This will enable teams to create, measure and account for engagement across the entire customer journey from start to finish.

Pivoting Quickly During the Customer Journey

When you integrate your tools across the different aspects of the customer journey, the ability to pivot quickly because your teams are enabled to understand what drove awareness, who the visitor is (or could be), what drove the acquisition and conversion and the likelihood the customer will be loyal or churn. Integrating each stage of the customer journey not just with tools but with CX Multi-Solutionists™ and CX Stewards™ is essential to the success of your CX strategy as well.

To pivot quickly requires your teams to be integrated, it requires them to see across the entire journey and understand how actions in one engagement touchpoint will affect the next leg of the journey. Without integrating tools and teams, pivoting quickly when trends or opportunities appear is a challenge. When the data, the tools and the teams are siloed, you don’t see beyond the silo and thus, the ability to act upon real time insights downstream is extremely difficult, as the downstream is with another team or another tool.

Capturing Actionable Insights Across the Customer Journey

Integration across the pillars of customer experience (CX) is extremely important not just from a tools and team perspective, but it’s vital from a data perspective. Without data integration across the customer journey, you cannot to capture actionable insights as a customer moves from one area of their journey to another. 

If you can capture referral data from the customer’s visit that can affect your data capture for identifying that visitor, as well as serving them up an personalize experience. If your data architecture doesn’t account for the different data elements that are available for capture across these three areas, your team won’t be enabled to deliver the best experience, nor even offer the best next actions to move them to the acquisition phase of customer experience (CX). Your team will also be in the dark about quickly identifying trends and opportunities to convert as your customer engages across your various touchpoints.

We’ve talked about the importance of Empathy in CX, Data Architecture in CX, but Integration in CX is what enables teams to share insights across siloed business units and tools. Incorporating the integration of tools, teams and processes is the keystone to bridging the pillars of customer experience (CX).

Liana "Li" Evans is the VP, Head of Learning and Delivery Enablement at CX Studios. She builds teams of CX Stewards™ and Multi-Solutionists through training and hiring, leads the development of training programs for CX Studios University, drives the partnership programs that focus on the 5 pillars of CX Success™ and develops the content & marketing that enables CX Studios to reach broad audiences.

Li is an industry expert with over 20 years’ experience in the digital marketing space, is a certified Subject Matter Expert for Adobe Analytics and Experience Platform (AEP). In addition, Li's a best-selling author, trainer, conference speaker and holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Enterprises from LSUS.

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