Every time you see significant dysfunction in the way a company or brand interacts with its customers, it is not the fault of one corporate function but two—both marketing and technology.
According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), this proliferation of service channels has created a great deal of sound and fury signifying nothing…but bad news, especially for consumer-facing industries turning to service automation or outsourcing to boost competitiveness. Customer satisfaction has stagnated (and in recent years, declined), while costs of service have risen. In a recent Forrester Research study of 176 North American corporations with revenues over $500 million, only 27 percent of the sample fulfilled 80 percent of the basic criteria for providing an integrated service or sales experience across multiple channels. Tellingly, 73 percent of executives at these firms answered that “getting alignment across internal organizations” was their greatest barrier.
It’s Not What You Sell, It’s How You Sell It
When corporations grow to mass market proportions, their scale alone creates complexity that requires one or more presentation layers. Indeed, without integrating a corporation’s touch points into an appropriately configured presentation layer, a company’s offerings (its brands, products and services) and its operations (its people, organization and processes) can behave in ways that make little sense to customers and present a corporate “face” that’s wildly inconsistent from one customer encounter to the next.