As I’ve been doing more episodes of my customer experience podcast, I’m increasingly hearing more stories about omni-channel collaboration and experiences. I love that. Silos need to align for the customer to have the best experience possible, and when the customer has that best experience possible, that’s really the place where revenue and growth reside. There can’t be a “digital team” vs. a “brick and mortar team.” Those teams can exist, but they need to collaborate almost hourly for anything to work.
There is a large topic that I feel we don’t address enough in CX circles, though, and I wanted to dedicate a quick blog to it.
What’s the topic?
That would be back-end logistics of your website or e-commerce platform. At Shop.Org, which just concluded in Los Angeles, this was a huge topic. (It’s a trade show organized by the National Retail Federation.)
Much attention is paid in CX to “front-end operations,” such as marketing and merchandising and communicating with the customer. That’s obviously critically important. But back-end operations — orders, payments, fraud prevention, fulfillment, etc. — are also crucial.
“That all is very important,” retail consultant Brian Beck recently said of automating and optimizing e-commerce’s back-end operations. “It’s tied to the same kind of trends that you see in e-commerce front-end marketing. And it has a lot to do with Amazon again setting the bar for everyone. I think as you look at customer expectations, they continue to go up. Everyone expects an Amazon or better experience. And one of their competitive advantages is operational efficiency and distribution. It’s all about the customer for them and meeting that expectation. Operations is a huge part of that.”
What do we do now?
At Shop.Org, they had a a Technology Lab consisting of companies that are working on every aspect of the customer experience. The conference also teamed with Fast Company and its journalists to conduct on-stage interviews about the importance of tech integration.
My two cents: obviously you need to align silos. You also can’t believe your perch is more relevant than IT, even if you generate more revenue. More and more customers are doing everything on mobile/digital these days, so you need to collaborate with your IT partners even if it feels weird or you never really have. Brick and mortar might drive 70% of your revenue, but I would guarantee you that number is slipping year-to-year. Seamless, end-to-end, omni-channel experiences are what customers crave now. (And yes, that bar was set by Amazon.) That means you can’t ignore your website. You can’t ignore those back-end operations. Everything matters to developing loyal, life-long customers.
Your thoughts on back-end logistics digitally and whether CX is focused enough there?