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PHOTO: Rod Long | unsplash

Consumer habits underwent a considerable change over the past 18 months, and that behavior continues to evolve as they now acclimate to a post-lockdown world.

Customer-centric enterprises, in their efforts to meet these evolving customer expectations, are looking for new ways to measure and improve customer experience. Many are turning to industry leaders such as Comcast and Citi, who use a journey-based approach to keep their entire organization focused on what matters most: their customers. Organizations that align around journeys are more effective at critical CX capabilities, such as integrating and analyzing cross-channel data, taking action based on data-driven insights and quantifying the impact of CX on business outcomes. But if marketing and CX teams are not in sync, all these efforts can be derailed.

A new survey by Pointillist found disconnects between marketing and CX teams are negatively impacting customer experience and business outcomes. Let's explore the reasons behind that disconnect and how you can leverage a journey-based approach to increase alignment, enhance collaboration and achieve your own business objectives.

Marketers Say They Are More Customer Focused Than Their CX Colleagues Believe

Marketing teams have a rosier assessment of their level of collaboration with customer experience teams than their colleagues in CX. More than 66% of marketers believe they are tightly aligned with CX on a customer-centric approach and goals, but only 44% of CX leaders agree.

While marketers say they prioritize CX initiatives and are tightly aligned with CX teams, their customer experience counterparts disagree. In fact, 55% of marketers say they’re very or extremely effective at taking action on customer insights and feedback data to make a business impact, while only 39% of their CX counterparts agree.

This disconnect has consequences. Despite claims of customer-centricity from top management, operating in silos leads to disjointed experiences that frustrate customers and negatively impact CX and business outcomes.

For example, if a customer is in the midst of a support journey and marketing sends out an upsell campaign, your customer will feel your organization does not understand their current goals and needs. Poor experiences like this accumulate and can lead to low customer feedback scores and ultimately, churn.

Unsurprisingly, top performing organizations report tighter alignment between CX and marketing than under-performers. Marketing and CX teams at high performing companies are 2.1 times more likely to be tightly aligned on a customer-centric approach and goals, and to regularly collaborate on CX initiatives. This level of collaboration leads to greater satisfaction with customer experience investments and outcomes.

Related Article: Where Does Customer Experience End and Digital Marketing Begin?

Leading Organizations Use Customer Journeys to Align CX and Marketing

While it’s crucial to align CX and marketing on internal goals and approaches, it’s even more important to ensure these teams are aligned with your customer. As your customers achieve their goals, your metrics and outcomes will improve.

According to former Aetna CMO David Edelman, "Customer-centric enterprises make it a priority to align the entire organization around their customers. Regardless of whether CX lives within marketing or is separate from it, the way a brand markets itself has to be consistent with what customers actually experience or those customers are never coming back."

Aligning on customer goals, as well as the journeys they take to achieve those goals, helps marketing and CX pros benchmark CX performance, prioritize opportunities for improvement and achieve desired outcomes.

By learning how to manage and measure customer journeys, rather than analyzing isolated interactions within a limited number of touchpoints, your entire organization can understand each customer’s unique context and determine how to best serve or engage them.

Related Article: What's Killing Your Customer Journey? Friction

Tightly Aligned, Top-Performing Teams Are More Satisfied With CX Outcomes

Using customer journeys to align CX and marketing, as well as digital, customer service and product teams, benefits both your customer and your business.

Together, they can ensure every interaction — whether a step along a journey to purchase a product, make a payment, change their service or fix an issue — will help each customer reach their goals efficiently, increasing satisfaction and minimizing effort.

The survey found that optimal alignment between CX and marketing results in higher satisfaction with critical CX capabilities. High performers are nearly 4 times more likely to be very or extremely satisfied with their ability to quickly generate customer insights and 3.5 times more likely to be very or extremely satisfied with their ability to take actions based on those insights than underperformers.

Most importantly, organizations that align their company around customer journeys also report higher satisfaction with the outcomes of their CX initiatives and investments.

Journeys Are Key to Customer Experience – and Business – Success

We can’t predict the future or how customers will respond to global influences or personal developments. But organizing your enterprise around customer journeys can be the difference between achieving desired objectives and failing to meet customer expectations.

Working together, CX and marketing can elevate customer-centricity above a buzzword, by adopting and championing a journey-based approach across the enterprise. Aligning your organization around your customer and their needs will enable you to measurably improve customer experiences. And this way, you’ll see the return reflected in the CX metrics and business outcomes your organization is measured by.