One CX strategy to rule them all

Published on the 29/05/2024 | Written by Heather Wright

One CX strategy to rule them all

How digital + CX + marketing can lead to big wins…

When Australian mental health support organisation Beyond Blue refocused its strategy to be tighter and more focused in its objectives, it took the step of aligning its digital, data and insights, marketing and customer experience teams under one boss – customer experience officer Susan Kelso.

Nine months down the track, Kelso says that ‘impact engine’ – sometimes dubbed growth engines in for profit organisations – has had impressive wins, including a 40+ percent increase in new audiences in core digital channels.

“That strong alignment is absolutely paying dividends.”

But it’s also seen a big uplift in technology projects which it had struggled to do for over two years – but achieved within six months thanks to the high connection and collaboration within the ‘CX’ portfolio.

“We have migrated to a new digital experience platform, we’ve implemented a new data analytics platform, we’ve transitioned apps, we’ve done a whole range of things in a very contracted period of time,” Kelso said during Forrester’s CX Apac 2024 conference in Sydney this week.

“That high collaboration, that strong alignment is absolutely paying dividends.”

Riccardo Pasto, Forrester principal analyst, says 58 percent of companies which align their digital, CX and marketing teams report revenue growth ahead of their peers. Seventy-five percent agree they see better engagement rates with customers when the three areas are aligned.

He likens it to Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mount Everest. He didn’t do it on his own. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was there as well, and they were supported by a huge expedition team of around 300 porters and 20 sherpas.

“To deliver connected customer experience you have to align digital, marketing and CX teams – to assemble your expedition team. Your peers in marketing, digital and CX must work together.”

But Pasto acknowledged that reaching that summit is still extremely difficult.

A Forrester survey of Australian digital experience professionals found a range of people, process, technology and data challenges were holding them back.

Among those was a lack of back-end automation needed to act on consumer responses (34 percent), and lack of integration to existing solutions (30 percent) or abilities to deploy AI directly into the digital experience (29 percent) on the tech front.

On the digital front there was a struggle to use existing data due to poor data governance practices (40 percent), along with low quality customer data and an inability to process customer data fast enough to deliver proactive experience (both 38 percent).

Data issues also topped the people and process challenges, with 34 percent reporting that too few customers were giving permission to collect data.

For Beyond Blue and Kelso, the project started with the new strategy which had created four main community goals – improving understanding, supporting and connecting people and leading in the mental health sector.

Getting alignment required board buy-in, something Kelso admits hasn’t always been easy to achieve.

In a somewhat ironic approach, given the project was digital, Beyond Blue created physical spaces – referred to now as ‘the walls’ – which would immerse board members in the customer experience so they could see how cluttered the sector had become and the pain points people trying to engage with Beyond Blue experienced, along with what the investment could do to improve the lives of people seeking help.

“Trying something different can get cut through and alignment in ways you didn’t expect,” Kelso says.

It was the alignment of the teams though, that brought big benefits ultimately.

“In essence we kind of tipped the organisation on its side.

“We work very horizontally across the organisation now instead of vertical silos and having all our goals interconnected from this strategy on through has really helped that alignment and break down organisational barriers and silos.”

It wasn’t without issues though. She admits some people didn’t like the changes and wanted to work ‘more traditionally and be in control exactly of their silo’.

“Some people opted out as a result,” she says.

Pasto served up five key collaboration tips to break down silos and advance CX transformation:

Build an insight engine working with data and marketing teams to paint a picture of how deeper customer understanding can be used to cater to customers in a rapidly changing world. Identify moments of truth that affect customer loyalty and seek out changing patterns in customer behaviour.

Translate the vision for great CX into daily behaviours. Connect the CX vision to everyday work on the frontline and in the back office

Break down silos in customer journeys through working with cross functional peers, stakeholders across the organisation. Articulate how designing experiences with a customer lens will lead to improved adoption and accuracy from the customer side. Consider which journeys have the highest potential to reduce churn or increase revenue per customer.

Improve processes. Tap operational expertise to improve process efficiency and customer outcomes.

Boost new sustainable customer growth by by improving prospect-to-purchase and enrichment journeys

“Connected experiences, don’t happen in vacuum,” Pasto says.

“It takes shared strategies, shared metrics, integrated ops, sometime you have to deal with unhappy people because of change in work nature.”

But the results, both he and Kelso agree, can be worth it.

Post a comment or question...

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Follow iStart to keep up to date with the latest news and views...