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Whose Job Is Customer Experience Optimization?

The question of who is responsible for creating an optimal customer experience is often raised among organizations we partner with. There is frequent debate over which teams should be involved in the growth towards being a fully integrated CXO organization.

The short answer is: It depends.

A better answer? It has to be a full, multi-team effort.

Each organization is structured differently, but in nearly every case there are multiple departments that have a stake in providing customers the best possible journey. The e-commerce team wants an increase in conversions. Marketing wants to increase email and account signups. Sales wants to increase lead generation. IT wants to keep the site running smoothly. And all of these teams want to see uplift in revenue and broader business success.

It can get messy!

So How Do We Improve?

The key is having a process in place for open, comprehensive communication between all interested parties. This is not a new idea, as CXO isn’t the only organizational goal or challenge that transcends team lines. Organizations that encourage transparency between teams function more efficiently. Transparency encourages accountability and facilitates progress.

What you need to do to thrive with CXO as an organization is gather team leads from marketing, sales, e-commerce, IT, etc., and take an honest look at your business. Have a conversation to determine which initiatives take priority, the scale of each initiative, and the resources that can be used to transform your site for the better. Determine which departments will be responsible for which phases, and set a timeline. One team's goals will often complement another team's goals, which means some initiatives can be run in parallel. In CXO harmony, if you will.

Once a roadmap has been set you may find it beneficial to schedule a recurring meeting at an interval of your choosing to revisit your roadmap, report on progress, and adjust your plan if necessary. Just remember that everyone should have a seat at the table.

Sharing Metrics for CXO Success

Transparency and open communication is critical throughout the process, whether you’re running a test, a personalization campaign, or another optimization initiative.

But what is arguably most important for CXO growth is the dissemination of metrics and analysis. Good or bad, everyone stands to gain from a window into what’s working and what isn’t for your site--and your customers. In fact, even in-store employees on a franchise level stand to gain from understanding what customers want online.

Most important for CXO growth is the dissemination of metrics and analysis. Good or bad, everyone benefits from knowing what works and what doesn't for your site.

For example, if customers are flocking to a particular promotion (in this case, one that can be used online or in-store) but not checking out online, it behooves the “in-person” retailer or other customer service representative to know about it. This way they can expect in-store use of a particular promotion and bolster it with traditional marketing metrics. You can even tell representatives on your team or another team at what rate users are navigating through the site and ended up on the “Store Finder” more often than a checkout completion page.

Do you see the ripple effect? If in-store sales are transcending online sales, higher-level stakeholders can prioritize budget and other resources where customers want them most, and where the business needs them most. On the other hand, if in-store is succeeding but online sales are a priority, online marketers can take a closer look at what the in-store experience is providing that the online one isn’t. Are there more promotions in store? Are shipping costs too high? Is the product being represented poorly by images and information on the Product Detail Page?

If in-store sales transcend online sales, higher-level stakeholders can prioritize budget and resources where customers want them most and where business needs it most.

Just to ask, analyze, and answer questions like these, you’re already looking at a multi-team effort. If the data that leads you to the aforementioned conclusions is disseminated properly, the priorities will all but define themselves and you won’t have any trouble getting buy-in when and where you need it.

We know communicating across teams can be tricky, but it will pay off. Set reasonable goals and define the level of involvement parties will have. Let each team make its case for which tests or personalization campaigns should take priority. Once your CXO program is underway, each new campaign will clarify what areas, pages, or efforts offer the greatest potential revenue uplift (if that happens to be your guiding metric; remember, it doesn’t have to be!).

For more on organization wide CXO development and success, check out or post Top 5 Tips for a Well-Oiled CXO Machine.

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