The battlefield to win your customers’ business is fraught with opposition that only seems to grow more powerful by the day. 

Customer experience leaders have been hard at work investing in beautiful UX, intuitive navigation, and winning strategies, but is that enough? Is there something that leaders are overlooking when it comes to creating a unique customer experience?

Customer experience is often and correctly thought of as “customer-facing” experiences. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind how important internal operations are to the success of these experiences.

No matter how nice your digital presence is or how well planned your strategies are, your customer experience will fall flat if the organisation’s internal operations are inefficient.

Getting battle ready by improving operational efficiency 
Think of your customer-facing tactics and touchpoints as your sword and internal operations as your armour. Clunky or weak armour will impact your effectiveness on the battlefield, no matter how sharp your weapon is.

In the same way, siloed or slow backend processes and technology will hinder your organisation’s ability to deliver excellent customer experiences, no matter how beautiful your external experiences are.

Here are three strategies you can use to establish a foundation of operational excellence:

1. Increase employee productivity
The first step to addressing operational inefficiencies is to enhance employee experiences. Companies that invest in seamless and efficient employee experiences have seen: 

1.5 x more engaged employees than companies with poor customer experience 
4 x more profitability 
147% more earnings per share 

Some tactics that can be used to improve the day-to-day of customer service and support reps are:

Automated low-value tasks with self-service to reduce redundant tasks for employees so they can handle more complex tasks and build relationships with clients
Integrated different self-service channels so employees can efficiently manage all systems (internal and external) through one channel
Access to training and resources in a single location so employees can easily find the information they need to do their jobs 

2. Integrate systems together for a unified stack 
Is your technological “armour” constructed to work cohesively? Or does it seem like a bunch of different metal components thrown together? Similarly, as businesses continue to add new CX systems, they tend to end up with a tech stack that is disjointed and unwieldy to manage. 

By bringing systems together and simplifying the tech stack, IT teams can manage all their systems, applications and technologies more easily to ensure consistent experiences. 

3. Leverage data for internal improvements and deeper personalisation 
Once all systems are connected and integrated, business can effectively leverage the data that was once siloed to make improvements for both internal processes and external experiences. 

It’s no secret that if customers don’t receive the tailored experiences that they’ve come to expect from businesses then they’re going to take their business elsewhere. Studies show that: 

74% of customers feel frustrated if there’s a lack of personalisation 
80% of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalised experiences
66% of consumers say encountering content that isn’t personalised would stop them from making a purchase

But personalisation needs to go deeper than just adding your customer’s name to the subject line of an email. Valuable personalisation must be based on a customer’s existing policies, assets, and current and even future life events. 

A good example is Amazon’s data-backed recommendation engine. Amazon uses the information gathered to create a personalised list of suggestions to encourage repeat purchases. 

Standing victorious on the CX battlefield 
The victors who rise above the rest on the battlefield are not only the businesses that understand the importance of customer experience, but are also the ones who have built a foundation of efficient operations by enhancing employee productivity, connecting their systems and applications together, and using data to make improvements. 

Indeed, in line with one of my favorite truisms which says, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks,” excellent customer experiences are the outflow of a healthy core.  

Only when the foundation is strong, can the organisation begin to deliver truly excellent customer experiences to their customers. 

By Ndagi Job Goshi, GM Liferay Africa