Bridging the gap between product and customer experience
Designing and delivering end-to-end services or products to establish a great customer experience is the main objective of every organization. To accomplish this, the entire organization must work together, hand in hand, to achieve the common goal. However, there are still many gaps between the organization’s departments, especially the product and CX departments. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of bridging this gap between product and CX and the necessary steps organizations must take.
Relationship between product and customer experience (CX)
For a long time, product and CX departments have been working in silos. The silo mentality has existed in the corporate world for ages resisting various departments from coming together and working towards common goals. This creates a massive gap in the organization, eventually leading to poor customer experience. Until now, many organizations cannot grasp this gap’s severity.
It’s glaringly apparent that many companies prefer a product-centric culture over a customer-centric culture. This is the main reason why there is a silo in the organizations.
Let me ask a question: – “For whom are you designing the product?”
A genuine answer would be “for customers.” A product must be designed while keeping the customer’s needs, pain points, and preferences in mind. Then why not work along with the CX team? How do we shift this thinking and break these silos altogether? Unfortunately, it’s a systematic issue. The organizational culture and silos mentality is the root cause.
How to bridge the gap between product and customer experience (CX)
Problem: Due to organizational silos, there is no consistency or uniformity. It leads to reduced efficiency, wastage of resources, less productivity, and reduced morale. Moreover, it proves to be detrimental to your ability to create a customer-centric culture. This culture has made departments use their tools and processes to perform their services instead of working efficiently and consistently with the rest of the departments to become more cohesive.
Solution: Every department within the organization must work together to achieve a common goal.
1. Shift to the customer-centric mentality
Silo is all about mentality. It’s in your culture and leadership. There are no barriers between you and your colleagues from the other department restricting you from sharing information, thoughts and working together. It all comes from the business unit heads. They choose not to share any information or to collaborate. It’s a cultural and leadership issue.
Shifting from a product-centric vision to a customer-centric vision can only happen when the CEO allows it to be. A customer-centric vision means that important discussions and decisions are not taken without bringing the customer’s voice into it. Hence, the product designs must not be made without asking the following questions:
- How will this product impact the customer?
- What value will it give to the customer?
- How will this product help the customer?
2. Sharing customer data in real-time
The departments often work in a vacuum when the organization has a silo culture. In other words, the CX team focuses on the overall customer experience, and the product team focuses on the product and user experience. Neither team is willing to share any information or thoughts with the other. The CEO and team leaders must come forward to shift to a customer-centric mentality, where all teams, especially product and CX, must work together, sharing all the relevant information in real-time and designing a great end-to-end customer experience.
3. Establish governance committees
Governance committees are cross-functional. It means they work toward ensuring that the action plans are well-executed and outcomes are measured cohesively across the organization. The governance committee ensures that all the organization members work together toward a common goal. One of these committees, the executive committee, plays a crucial role in ensuring that the CX and product teams work together. The governance committee is responsible for:
- Improving communications and interactions within the organizations.
- Sharing cross-functional collaboration stories and acknowledging the successes and lessons learned.
- Encourage people to work together and discuss how it impacts the end result.
- Speak the same CX language across the company.
Breaking down the silos comes from the top. The leaders need to understand the importance of working together and how it can impact the overall customer experience. Establishing a collaborative fashion within the organization, especially with the product and CX team, will take some effort. Ultimately, it’s going to benefit the teams and the customers.