This is the second part in our series on why experimentation programs fail. The first part was about the lack of an overarching business goal. In this part we’ll discuss the next experimentation fail: silos.
Silos within organisations come in many shapes and sizes. Common examples are online shop versus physical stores, Separate teams for acquisition, conversion, retention and service. This might make perfect sense from an organisational point of view but for customers / users / patreons it is confusing. They expect to deal with a single company but in day to day situations they feel like there is a dozen of them.
Customers are not recognised in different touch points which leads to waste in resources and frustrated users. For example you search online for a pair of sneakers of your favourite brand, you check local availability and decide to buy them at the nearest store. On the way back home you check your social media just to find out that the online team is retargeting you to convince to buy the same shoes online.
There are many examples like this where users are confronted with siloed organisations. For the CXO team this is a challenge as well. Many CXO teams poor their love and affection in just one silo: the website. Although this might seem a logical choice, fact is that other touchpoints are ignored. Other touchpoints that might be more important to customers or have a higher impact on overall business goals.
An example of another touchpoint that can have a huge impact is the search engine. Both SEO and SEA can be great drivers of high quality traffic. For SEO ranking in the top 3 is the holy grail. Now imagine you have a great SEO team that manages to get your site on the first position for the most important keyword of your business. This is great, but have you ever tested different titles and meta descriptions? The typical CTR of the number 1 position is around 30%, now imagine you could increase this by 10% to a CTR of 33% just by testing different titles and meta descriptions. (Hint SEA would be great for that). The impact on overall results is enormous without having to run a complex experiment. Just a simple test in SEA for a few hundred Euros can make a big difference, a much bigger difference (probably) than an A/B test on your website.
What is a visit to the CXO guru might be something different for a user. Walking in to a store, calling the customer contact center, using the app. All of these actions can be considered as visits which goes beyond the typical interpretation by the CXO expert of a website visit. Especially to the customer it is the same: he contacts the company and expects a consistent experience regardless of the channel. The customer journey can have multiple touch points across different channels. So here is an opportunity for CXO: don’t stare at website visits but consider all touch points as optimization opportunities.
An example to start with is to analyse how conversion on the website relates to opening hours of the customer contact center. Maybe it is better for sales and retention to extend the opening hours of the contact center than to implement a complex change on the website.
Stop ignoring your customers
Why experimentations programs fail is basically the same question as why organisations fail. The main reason is that organisations lose their customers / users / patreons out of sight because their internal organisation is mainly structured around self interested business goals managed by teams working in silos. In other words there is a gap between what customers expect in terms of products and service and what the company offers. Sooner or later this misalignment will lead to lost in trust and customers will take their money somewhere else.
So Always start with the customer. Discover what their customer journeys really are. Map all the different touch points and consider all touch points as opportunities for experimentation.