Craig, an executive at ACME Enterprises gets a call from Fred, his top sales guy. Fraed says, “I lost a big deal, because of our Google Reviews.” Ouch, Craig is not happy. He runs down the hall and quickly sticks his head into the office of Stephanie, the head of marketing. “Steph, what’s up with all these Google reviews? We just missed out on a massive deal that we couldn’t afford to lose. Fix it!”
And there it is, a box to check.
The biggest mistake that companies make is solving problems one at a time, literally checking one box after the other This is how reputation management world has evolved. Companies work on one problem at a time, one box to check and then on to the next. But checking a box is not the same thing as finding a solution. In this example, Craig wants to “fix” the company’s Google reviews. He has no visibility past the problem in front of him. He wants happy customers writing Google reviews. We’ve been tracking over 400 companies and nearly 30 percent can check that box. Well, kind of.
“Fix it!” That’s usually how it starts. That’s also the reason many marketers choose solutions that limit their outcomes. Stephanie needs to fix the company’s Google reviews, so she hires Podium to manage interactions. Podium focuses on Google and is funded by Google Ventures. They seem like a good solution to check this box.
Six months later, ACME opens up its fifteenth retail storefront. Stephanie notices that the listings for all of the locations have inaccurate or inconsistent data. For example, her Danville, CA location shows 723 Becker Street on Yelp. That’s an old address. Bing and Yahoo have the correct address information, but they both have an old 1-800 number. In fact, there are over 100 listings online for the Danville location and none of them perfectly match the ACME website. Stephanie has another box to check. This time, she goes with Yext. They seem to have the best listings management solution.
A few months later, Craig is in a board meeting and the board wants deeper insights from the customer base. Brian, the chair of the board, has a lot of experience with NPS reports and wants to see how ACME stacks up against the competition. This time they choose Qualtrics because of its great business intelligence reporting. Brian has worked with them in the past, so it was an easy choice. ACME is now sending the Podium survey to all closed transactions and using the Qualtrics survey for all support and call center team interactions. Another box checked.
After a few months with Qualtrics insights, Craig, Brian and the board realize they have an employee engagement problem. This time they need an employee survey to collect employee sentiment and will likely need an employee engagement partner. Good news, Qualtrics has an employee survey. It’s an additional fee, but they won’t need another vendor to check that box. For employee engagement, Success Factors must be the right partner since they were purchased by SAP. Their “Total Workforce” product seems like the right solution. And yet another box checked.
I could go on and on about all the boxes that get checked one by one. We haven’t discussed employee scorecards, or company mentions online monitoring, or social monitoring, or third-party reviews sites beyond Google, or omnichannel data AI. Check, check, check, check and Functions that should work together become siloed. They hire people, select software, spend money, react to the problem of the day and check box after box, one at a time.
IT’S ALL WRONG!
ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE THE SAME PROBLEM.
They are a part of a single puzzle. Piece it together and you will discover a beautiful picture of your company—happy employees and happy customers partnering as advocates and fanatics of your brand. It is a picture of consistent data for all locations and lots of happy customer reviews everywhere. Each of the individual providers are checking a box. Put them together and you have an Experience strategy. Evolving your ideas and seeing it as a single problem will create better outcomes than any of the box checking solutions could individually.
Experience Management is not a list of individual problems and solutions. It a single puzzle. When it is put together properly, each piece works far more efficiently than it possible could as an individual solution.
Craig wanted to fix his Google reviews so he could stop losing business. What he didn’t know was that he should be focused on putting together a complete, interconnected strategy. Instead, the ACME Enterprises team took two years and spent millions of dollars checking boxes, only to build siloed technologies and teams.
Which pieces of the puzzle are you addressing with siloed technologies? Which are a part of integrated systems? If you are just beginning to build a strategy, then you are in luck. Building a strategy from scratch can be far easier than trying to offboard technology and start over. Software companies know that even mediocre technology can be sticky, especially for bigger companies. That is why many software companies focus on building scale over improving product. Siloed technologies are often managed by different stakeholders within the organization. The head of HR may start kicking and screaming if you try to remove software they have been using for years. Department heads and their teams often protect their domains and stay with bad tech because of a relationship with the vendor, familiarity with the product, or any number of other reasons. You may find yourself building a highly integrated strategy and only deploying a few pieces of the puzzle at a time. Winning over time may not be perfect, but it is still winning.
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