Why build an internal Customer Experience Centre of Excellence?

Why build an internal Customer Experience Centre of Excellence?
May 27, 2016 Will Scully-Power

Why build an internal Customer Experience Centre of Excellence (CoE) to support digital transformation across Marketing, Sales & Service?

To all of my prospects, clients & industry colleagues,

I am continually asked by our Datarati customers the following question…

Q. How do you keep internal momentum post implementation of Marketing Automation and CRM technologies?

A. Build an internal centre of excellence (CoE) to support digital transformation across your Marketing, Sales & Service departments.

Sounds simple. Right? What is a centre of excellence? Who should be in it? Who should own it? Marketing, Sales, Service, IT? Should there be a different strategy, technology stack, resources and campaigns across different business units or have one across the entire organisation?

Firstly, what is a centre of excellence?

A centre of excellence (CoE) is a team, a shared facility or an entity that provides leadership, best practices, research, support and/or training for a focus area. The focus area might be a technology (e.g. Marketing Automation or CRM), a business concept (e.g. Campaign Execution), a skill (e.g. consulting) or a broad area of study (e.g. digital transformation).

Within an organisation, a customer exeperience centre of excellence (CoE) may refer to a group of people, a department or a shared facility that provides customer experience strategy and support as a shared paid service. This shared service is also referred to as (Marketing as a Service) or (Managed Marketing Services), designed to provide campaign strategy and execution support for all members of the shared services group.

The centre of excellence concept is often associated when new software tools, technologies or associated business concepts are being implemented within an organisation such as Marketing Automation or CRM.

So what do you need to build one?

To build an effective centre of excellence (CoE) you need 4 things:

1.) Strategy – you need to define your customer experience vision which spans across Marketing, Sales & Service. Then you need to align your corporate objectives with your marketing objectives and ensure that those objectives if achieved will deliver on your customer experience vision. Finally, you need to ask yourself ‘Why Now’? What if we don’t invest in a centre of excellence (CoE) to ensure we deliver a seamless customer experience across Marketing, Sales & Service? What impact will this have on our company?

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu, 500 BC.

2.) Technology – you need to select a technology stack which incorporates all customer touch points including; email, mobile, social, web, apps, paid search, paid display, sales teams (direct & channel) and call centre teams.

“As a company, you need to get to the future first, ahead of your customers and be ready to greet them when they arrive.” – Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce.com

3.) Resources – you need to invest internally and externally at a factor of 3:1 (For every $1.00 you spend on technology, you need to spend $3.00 on services & enablement.

When embarking on digital transformation change you need to firstly invest in an external services partner who can support you with best practice customer experience strategy e.g. (defining a vision and aligning objectives), marketing automation technology implementation and CRM integration e.g. (Salesforce Marketing Cloud with Salesforce Sales & Service Clouds) and campaign execution support e.g. (campaign design, campaign building, campaign testing, campaign execution and campaign reporting). Should members of your internal marketing, sales and services team leave your company, having the external partner retained on an ongoing basis also becomes a way to de-risk the intellectual property that has been built around the database set-up and configuration, data segmentation models, subscription management process as well as the campaign execution process.

You then need to invest significantly internally in acquiring new talent as well as up-skilling and re-training existing staff and providing them with training to develop the right skills which will enable them as an internal services partner.

Best practice Marketing Automation & CRM Training from Data Scouts (official digital transformation course of the Association of Data-Driven Marketing (ADMA): http://www.datascouts.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Data-Scouts-One-Page-Information.pdf

Your centre of excellence (CoE) should consist of both external resources with internal resources. Why? External resources from your partner can provide objective best practices and knowledge from across a range of verticals. Internal resources can provide industry domain knowledge and be empowered to serve the customer and deliver a positive experience regardless of their business unit or KPI. So what type of resources do you need?

At Data Scouts (www.datascouts.com.au) , we recommend you look for the following resources to join your internal services partner team.

Strategy – Digital Transformation Manager, Lifecycle Campaign Manager, CRM Manager, Marketing Automation Manager

Technology – Multi-Cloud Technical Architect, Multi-Cloud Solution Architect, Multi-Cloud User Experience Architect, Data Analyst

Resources – Program Manager, Project Manager, Change Manager, Culture Manager, Account Director, Account Manager, Account Executive

Campaigns – Creative Design Manager, Web Designer, Web Developer, Quality Assurance Architect, Campaign Analyst.

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins, Good to Great

4.) Campaigns – you need to map out the current state of the campaigns you are running across the acquisition, on-boarding, engagement, retention and re-engagement stages of the customer lifecycle. Once you have mapped out the current state, you then need to map out future state campaigns using your new technology stack which will allow you to achieve your customer experience vision.

Once these campaigns have been identified for each lifecycle stage (acquisition, on-boarding, engagement, retention and re-engagement), you need to prioritise these campaigns to ensure you are focusing on customer first initiatives instead of company first initiatives.

“People don’t buy products or services, they buy experiences which are delivered by your products and services” – Seth Godin, Best Selling Author

So who should own the centre of excellence, who should pay for it?

The centre of excellence (CoE) should be set up as a shared services group within your organisation. Each division (Marketing, Sales, Service, IT) should all  be required to co-invest and have co-ownership of the group. Remember the customer doesn’t care who pays for it and who owns it… the customer just wants to ensure they have a frictionless customer experience across all touch points and divisions.

Should there be a different strategy, technology stack, resources and campaigns across different business units or have one across the entire organisation?

Every organisation should have 1 customer experience strategy and vision across Marketing, Sales & Service. This customer experience strategy and vision should be supported by IT as part of the shared services group within the centre of excellence (CoE).

There should be 1 technology stack. These days all the leading vendors have very similar Marketing Automation and CRM capabilities.

There should be 1 group of shared services resources which support multiple business units and divisions.

There should be 1 over arching enterprise wide campaign strategy e.g. number of contacts per month, subscription management etc. However, the tactical execution (content, channel) etc will differ across business units and divisions.

88% of companies are going through digital transformation, only 25% know why. – Brian Solus – Principal Analyst , Altimeter Group

Do you know WHY and more importantly, WHAT your strategy should be to build an internal Customer Experience Centre of Excellence (CoE) to support digital transformation across Marketing, Sales & Service?

Please get in touch, we can help.