NFL and ecommerce

I consider myself to be the least sporty person on the planet, but, I must admit the NFL games held in London every year always pique my interest.

The sheer number of people involved in the game itself amazes me.

There’s a 53-man roster with 45 ‘active’ players per team ranging in size, speed and roles…

Another 20/30 people on the sidelines; coaches, medics, physios, assistants, runners…

From the guy filling-up the water bottles to the Linebackers about to square down the opposition – each has the same focus:

They are all working together.

They are all working from the same information.

They are there to win.

I reckon that the world of eCommerce would benefit from taking a leaf out the NFL’s book and apply it to their approach to Online Customer Experience, and here’s why.

Avoid a Customer Experience ‘Fumble’

Every business is working to be successful.

In eCommerce, success is about increasing online revenue by delivering an online experience that ensures your website visitors return again and again. It’s fair to say that most people within an online business understand that doing this will get them ‘the win’ but opinions on how they get to this point will vary.

Lack of clarity on how to deliver an excellent Online Experience is a ‘fumble’ you can easily avoid.

Here are some things to consider when putting together your Online Customer Experience game-plan.

There are no silos on the football field…

…but there probably are in your online business. They are common place, unfortunately.

In football, it’s a team effort and each role is critical to the delivery of success. Whether you’re a Fullback, Wide Receiver, Cornerback or Punter (thank you google!) – You come together with your team mates to get the job done and it’s on everyone to give it their all.

Similarly, in eCommerce, there is a growing understanding that delivering an excellent Online Customer Experience (CX) isn’t just the job of the marketing/eCommerce team. Instead, it’s now viewed as a vital task for the whole online business. However, it’s hard to achieve great CX when each of the teams within your business are disparate from each other and operate with different priorities.

Traditionally, DevOps and Marketing departments perhaps haven’t always been the best team mates, but, when online eCommerce businesses bring different departments together and channel their insights accordingly, this can create a game-changing CX performance.

So how do we bring the teams together and obliterate the organisational silos that stand between you and a CX touchdown?

It’s all about the view

How can 45 NFL players with completely different skill-sets and roles come together so effectively and achieve a ‘win’ when we find it so hard in eCommerce to do just that?

Perhaps it’s down to the view of the ‘game’ we have.

Every person involved with the NFL is watching the same game, therefore, their opinions and views are based on the same data/information. Each player has a specific task to undertake, for example, the Cornerback is all about covering the ‘Receiver’ positions and to make tackles. The Fullback’s primary role is a ball carrier and acts as a lead blocker. Despite their individual focus, to be truly successful, each has to appreciate and anticipate the actions and roles of other positions on their team. Just think about the impact this approach could have if applied to CX!

Personally, I think this is a key stumbling block in eCommerce where, very often, each team is tuning into different metrics to form their opinions and drive their department forwards.

Technical teams are relying heavily on their APM solutions like New Relic. Customer Services teams are focused on their call center software such as live chat, ticket systems or CRM solutions. Marketing teams are looking at GA and heat-maps while Fraud prevention teams are using an entirely different suite of tools.

Each department has a very different view of business and this can cause significant internal conflict and have a big impact on the level of Online Customer Experience the business delivers.

Great CX relies on collaboration across the whole business and it is possible to achieve this by investing in the right Customer Experience Analytics solution.

 

There is no ‘i’ in team but there is a capital ‘C’ and ‘X’

The sheer volume of tools used by eCommerce businesses is staggering and there is a culture of using what’s trendy at a particular moment in time. It is easy to drown in data and the value of that data is heavily diluted if it can’t be dissected and interpreted by other parts of the business. Analysing different data-sets relies on having the time and the resources to effectively make sense of it – often this is impossible for lean operating ecommerce businesses.
There is nothing more cumbersome and challenging than buying a tool and then shoehorning every part of the business into using it…it’s quite an unrealistic aim. You can, however, invest in CX technology that will compliment and integrate with the key solutions that other parts of the business rely upon fitting neatly into the whole ecosystem.

For example, ensuring your Digital Customer Experience Analytics solution has an integration with your company’s key APM tool will help enable you to see the impact of issues and events all the way through to the customers live on the website.

Aside from seamless integrations, Digital Customer Experience Management solutions themselves can offer a huge amount to different departments that perhaps haven’t even been considered.

Ask your internal teams these questions: Ask your internal teams these questions:

  • Did Customer Services know that Digital Customer Experience analytics could enable them to watch a user’s session in real-time and improve time to resolution and C-SAT scores?
  • Did sales know it could help them to reach out ‘now’ alerting and help them grow their revenue number?
  • Did IT know that Digital Customer Experience analytics could help them identify and resolve platform related issues?

 

By having that cross-departmental conversation huge value can be added to the business. Ultimately, breaking down the invisible boundaries within your eCommerce business and having one ‘view of the game’ is how you can take your eCommerce delivery from college league football to the Customer Experience super-bowl.

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Elaine Winchester

Elaine Winchester