In this week’s book review, we look at Alex Allwood’s second pillar of Customer Experience (CX), Organisational Alignment.


In this chapter, Allwood presents the well founded argument that unless staff are focused on the customer, there’s little chance the organisation will achieve its CX goals. She points out:

“Some of the greatest customer experience gains can come from within the organisation by having an outside-in, customer-first approach, where the customers’ needs are consciously at the centre of every brand/customer interaction.”

Allwood cites an article from McKinsey & Co. which drives home the point that consistency is the key.

“It’s well understood that companies must continually work to provide customers with superior service, with each area of the business having clear policies, rules, and supporting mechanisms to ensure consistency during each interaction. However, few companies can deliver consistently across customer journeys, even in meeting basic needs.”

SOURCE: The three Cs of customer satisfaction: Consistency, consistency, consistency.
McKinsey & Co. March 2014

The CMO looks to be at the centre of the CX drive

Allwood makes the comment:

“Increasingly, organisation are looking to CMO’s to step into the role of custodian of the customer relationship, dismantling internal silos to own the conversation pathway across marketing , sales and service to create consistent customer experiences that today’s customer expects.”

It’s certainly my experience as I meet with CMO’s and leaders of Marketing, that their role is certainly becoming one that is more focused on driving the organisations CX agenda or strategy. In some cases, we’ve seen the addition of a Chief Customer Officer or “CCO”. In a recent blog post (see below), I talked more about this emerging role of the CCO and how they and the CMO need to work closely to realise the organisations CX goals.

Click through on the post above to read my latest post on LinkedIn

The challenge of alignment

In my world of Marketing Automation and my previous role of CRM implementation, I’m keenly aware of the need to break down silos between teams. These silos can be as much about people, attitude and values as they can be about hardware and software.

Allwood points out…

“As organisations realise the power of creating great customer experiences, silos will be dismantled and CMO’s will increasingly own the total customer experience from brand awareness to customer service.”

In the context of Marketing Automation and specifically my experience with Oracle Marketing Cloud Eloqua, I find the implementation process of Eloqua helps align teams very quickly. Unlike a CRM implementation that can 6-12 months to implement, an Eloqua implementation can be wrapped up in a month. Nothing helps to uncover the gaps in data quality and the varying sources of data i.e. silos of data, faster than an implementation of Eloqua.

Marketing has lofty goals to personalise communications based on CRM data which in turn comes from the ERP which in turn is entered by the Finance team. But, somehow between those teams and various systems, the data is either missing, incorrect or so outdated it’s useless to Marketing.

It’s through the implementation that the beginning stages of alignment can take place. One department now understands the impact of poor quality data in their system has an impact on the ability to provide the best possible CX by another department.

Next Post: Pillar 3 – Customer Journey

Our next post will explore Allwood’s third pillar of Customer Experience, Customer Journey. Allwood’s book will be available in stores and online in August.

DISCLAIMER: Marketing Cube is in no way financially involved in the publication of Allwood’s book, we simply believe the points raised are valid and we’re delighted to have been given an advance copy to share some key points with our blog readers.