This article was originally published in MarTech Advisor.

The lean methodology is a system developed by software teams. In basic terms, teams use a build-measure-learn feedback loop to make incremental changes to a product on an ongoing basis. The result is a product that keeps getting better.

Today, it is not only software developers who use the lean approach. Marketers are using the approach to launch and then optimize landing pages and ads, mobile product managers are using data to improve app engagement incrementally while support teams update the customer support journey to maximize customer satisfaction.

A likely scenario is that each business unit will set quarterly objectives and then keep improving as a unit in order to reach those objectives. It’s a technique that works well to meet those targets. However, as each team gets better at working in their particular silo, they often miss the mark on overall company objectives.

Here’s how you can get your organization aligned so that your customer remains the focal point across the organization:

Define and Map

It is important that you do not rely on marketing alone for customer engagement. To deepen the customer experience, you’ll want to align functions across marketing, customer service, product and the other areas that you think are relevant. To achieve this, set up a customer engagement program that will include stakeholders who influence different stages of the customer experience. Then, define success for your organization and map out specific goals across the entire customer experience. You’ll also want to get buy-in from your executive team.

Plan to Fail

Planning a customer support journey is a helpful way to get visibility into your customer support pipeline. It allows you to build efficiencies, to overcome road blocks and then get a handle on your workflows – all preparing you to scale.

A few areas to consider when building a customer journey:

Build a List of Assumptions. By being aligned across your organization, you’ll want to discuss different scenarios that may be a little uncomfortable for your customers. Plan on being available at those moments. Then, test and learn based on the assumptions. Possible assumptions may be:

  • The difficulty of searching for a particular product and model on a retail mobile app.
  • Starting a process on one device, then moving to another seamlessly.
  • Placing an item in a cart, then abandoning a transaction for fear of buyer’s remorse.

Be Proactive. Things go wrong. If something suddenly goes wrong with a product, consider informing the affected group about it with an in-app or push notification. The benefits are twofold. One, by getting ahead of a situation, you won’t leave any nasty surprises for you customers, so they will not need to reach out to support. Secondly, it’ll take the pressure off your contact center, so your agents are able to focus on only your most valuable customers and the most complex problems.

Be Available at Critical Moments. Allow your customers the ability to reach out to you at the moment they need you. Make your help section easy to find. Certain digital support solutions allow you to have cached FAQs on the user’s device. This provides a way for you to support users even when they are offline.

Integration Throughout Your Platforms

By integrating your software channels to a single hub, you are able to get transparency across customer touch points. By integrating a digital support platform with CRMs such as Salesforce, businesses are allowed a single point at which they can both execute on support queries and get visibility into the success metrics that matter the most.

Integrate Customer Service

Keeping your customer service team in the loop is essential to the product sprint cycle. If a new feature is about to be deployed, make sure your customer service team is kept in the know. This can be achieved by not only updating your customer support knowledge base, but also by training and incorporating customer support managers before a product update is released.

We know that customer expectations have evolved, and it is daunting to think about how to keep aligned with their expectations and the myriad of choices. That’s why being proactive and communicating cross functionally becomes paramount to building a customer engagement strategy that impacts your company’s bigger objectives.

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