Customer Experience

Why Data Silos are the Enemy of Great CX and What to Do About It

367 software apps and systems. One for every day of the year! 

That’s the number of apps and systems the average large organization reported it uses to manage its workflows, according to the Crisis of a Fractured Organization survey.  Planview, a project management company, discovered that collaboration and communication silos suck up 7 hours a week in wasted time. And neither of these statistics even quantify how those inefficiencies and disconnected systems contribute to chaos and confusion in the customer’s journey with an organization - And the untold cost of possible customer attrition.

We recently ran an informal poll on LinkedIn and asked: In your own experience with a product or service, what has frustrated you the most when trying to get help or support?  

LinkedIn poll image about worst frustrations with CX

Of the four choices, the top answer across all participants, from CX professionals, bankers, fintechs and other enterprises, was getting the runaround, repeating the same information over and over to different people. Right behind it was slow or no responses to problems.

The comments were revealing too. One poll participant summarized the feedback of others pretty well… “Found this really hard; ended up having to grade my levels of absolute frustration.”

Why Is Delivering Great Customer Experience So Hard?

The immense amount of data generated is one big reason that customer experience has gotten harder to manage.  Of those 367 apps being used, many added most likely to expand functionality quickly in response to customer evolving expectations, how many are connected and sharing information back and forth? Very few. It seems like it should be just the opposite. 

Disparate information is getting holed up in different systems, and each team sees just a sliver of the information and the customer journey. But who is watching out for the customer from end to end?  

Our clients have heard from their customers that when they’ve talked to different teams about different products, it’s like they are working with totally separate organizations. Not a great experience for a customer, and an absolute red flag for an enterprise that is working hard to build a strong brand. 

Employee experience and satisfaction are impacted too. Nearly 8 of 10 workers reported that teams throughout their organizations are siloed, and 7 of 10 said lack of visibility into cross-functional projects had a negative effect on their work. In another survey by Planview, employees admitted spending 20+ hours each month trying to deal with collaboration obstacles. More than half said poor collaboration resulted in missed deadlines; 35% said it resulted in lacking quality and 26% claimed it's led to cost overruns.

This one-hand-behind-their-back approach to sharing customer information directly affects business outcomes and both customer and employee satisfaction. 

Complex Ecosystems Reinforce Existing Information Silos

What’s keeping enterprises from taking a sledgehammer to their data silos? It’s often called the Frankenstein effect.  As business lines seek to hit targets and add functionality, IT introduces new systems for them to plug into that deliver on set goals. This spaghetti of different systems is intertwined to some degree but not collaborative. 

Each system does what it’s designed to do well, but it doesn’t communicate well or share information with other systems. And yet, customers have to traverse these separate systems in their customer journey. It's so easy for valuable details about activity and communication with cross-organizational departments to get lost and remain hidden. With limited information, companies can’t hope to deliver seamless experiences that are table stakes in the mind of customers. They also can't form true insights about the health of their customer relationships to make effective business decisions.

Connect Platforms and People to Elevate CX in 2023

To level set, platforms have been trying for a long time to meet customer needs through digital transformation projects. So far, it's mainly been through repurposing and adding on to existing platforms to try to wring CX management out of them - but they were never built to do this. And the evidence hasn't shown they can effectively be used that way. CX issues remain and in some cases, are getting worse as organizational ecosystems and infrastructure get more complicated. 

Re-engineering existing platforms like CRMs and ticketing systems requires custom code, IT resources, long timelines and usually a lot of money - if it even works.  Even then, those use cases are hard coded and nearly obsolete from the day they go live, based on how fast customer expectations are changing. Writing new code adds a load of technical debt to existing systems that IT teams have to additionally maintain, further adding to IT expense and workload. If all of that was working, it might be one thing to debate this approach, but it hasn’t been. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customer satisfaction is at its lowest point in a decade. 

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, customer satisfaction is at its lowest point in a decade. 

Business line leaders need agility and insights that come from connecting the customer’s experience across the organization, departments and especially across partners and outside vendors. The urgency to gain a full view of customer interactions - wherever they happen, outside the organization or across departments - is vital to retaining customers, and that’s something that’s especially important in an economy facing headwinds. 

CXM Platforms Help Companies Optimize and Own their Journeys

CRMs became a must-have in the 2000s to collate information on prospects and customers in a sales journey, but CXM is a new technology, in response to the lack of visibility, communication and collaboration in customer journeys, exacerbated by more and more teams and providers getting involved in offerings.

CXM doesn’t replace existing platforms - it is an extender to those systems. It pulls out the valuable information within and unifies it so customer journeys can be managed from beginning to end without drop-offs between people and systems - in real time, before customers walk away in frustration. 

CXMs utilize information from these different platforms using powerful plug-ins or connectors that break down walls so information on journey progress, communication, obstacles and next steps can flow freely back and forth and be viewed by everyone.  

CXMEngine, our platform, bridges partner systems with all of your internal systems to share interaction information bi-directionally (partners value this visibility too!). Our Journeys module leverages this shared view to build drag-and-drop journeys with automated triggers that help guide customers through a buying, onboarding or servicing process. You can even make tweaks to your journeys on the fly as you analyze how they are working.

CXMEngine Gives Enterprises the Tools to Do More with Less

Previous customer experience platforms focused on capturing the voice of the customer. Today, even businesses expect consumer-like experiences, making post-interaction data often too little too late.  Our CXMEngine clients are seeing incredible business outcomes and same-year returns on their investment right now in the platform.

  • 10% revenue growth
  • 20% increase in product penetration
  • 60% increase in NPS scores
  • 25% decrease in operating expenses

Find out more about how to transform your CX, driving greater revenue and lower operating expenses with CXMEngine.