Skip to main content
Aric Zion

How can organizational structure impact CX success?

March 25, 2024
Reading time: 
5 mins
Katie Kelly
Katie Kelly
Katie Kelly, B2B marketing & PR consultant. CRO industry commentator.

This interview is part of Kameleoon's Expert FAQs series, where we interview leaders in data-driven CX optimization and experimentation. Aric Zion is considered a global leader in customer experience innovation. Zion & Zion, the agency Aric co-founded, has been widely acknowledged for its work in ecommerce, digital strategy, and customer data platforms throughout the industry, and by leading academics in both the US and Europe. 

Why is organizational structure important for Customer Experience (CX), and how does it impact business goals?

Most strategic business objectives are impacted in some way by the level of satisfaction customers feel when making their journey through your experience. That’s what makes Customer Experience (CX) so critical for achieving most strategic business goals. And, in order to deliver the best CX, an organization needs to be structured in a way that allows all teams to harness both the skills of its personnel and the capabilities of its technology.  

Without a coherent and collaborative structure, talent and tools remain isolated, limiting a firm's competitive edge. This fragmentation yields marginal improvements, which fall short of achieving strategic differentiation. An integrated organizational structure ensures that resources are shared, fostering innovation and driving toward the company's goals.

How does organizational structure impact Customer Experience (CX)?

CX is an inherently holistic pursuit. Customers do not perceive their interactions through the lens of separate departments but as a continuous, fluid experience. They remember the specifics of each interaction as they apply to the overall consistency of their journey.  

A disjointed organizational structure hampers the delivery of a seamless customer experience, as it fails to align with the integrated way customers evaluate interactions. To truly excel in CX, an organization must adopt a structure that promotes a comprehensive view, mirroring the customer's perspective and fostering exceptional service delivery.

What is the ideal organizational structure to foster CX success?

The essence of an ideal organizational structure for CX lies not in a rigid framework but in fostering a culture of cross-departmental collaboration. 

Allocating a minimum of 15% of employees' time to collaborative efforts is crucial for transcending departmental silos and nurturing a shared focus on customer-centric outcomes.
Aric Zion
Aric Zion
CEO at Zion & Zion

Cross-departmental collaboration requires more than a matrix organization structure on paper. Leaders need to coordinate across all teams to ensure they have the time, resources, and shared goals to break down departmental silos. This structure supports and amplifies the strategic objectives of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What frameworks can help teams keep on top of market forces impacting CX? 

Zion & Zion has developed an "8-Forces" framework to facilitate organizational collaboration associated with digital transformation. 

The Zion & Zion 8-Forces Framework

Concentrating on these forces can help organizations move beyond isolated Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), fostering a shared focus that promotes unity and strategic alignment. 

The 8-Forces approach is particularly effective for CX and Customer Data Platform (CDP) initiatives. Our research indicates that a majority of unsuccessful projects cite either a lack of collaboration or the absence of a unifying framework as a critical shortcoming. 

The 8-Forces framework is a strategic tool to help organizations navigate the complex interplay of factors that influence customer-centric objectives. Companies should use this framework to evaluate their competitive environments and align their CX-focused teams. 

Embracing the complexities of CX is more than just a marketing strategy. It's about understanding the context in which you operate to support continuous adaptation and innovation.

What can leaders do to align teams and drive better CX?

Aligning teams requires more than directive leadership; it necessitates teams having the time, space, and encouragement to integrate their input across departments. 

Leaders must foster an environment where cross-departmental empathy and collaboration are valued and recognized as pivotal to organizational success. This process involves adjusting KPIs to reflect collaborative objectives, ensuring there is the correct balance between department and cross-department goals, and incentivizing teams to work towards the broader organizational vision. 

Such alignment is crucial for nurturing a culture that is adaptable, innovative, and collectively focused on delivering superior customer experiences.

Before founding Zion & Zion, you were responsible for product marketing for a $10 billion business unit at Nortel Networks. How did this experience influence the work you do at Zion & Zion?

My tenure at Nortel Networks profoundly shaped my approach to leadership and business strategy. That experience underscored the importance of collaboration as a catalyst for innovation and success. 

It instilled in me the belief that groundbreaking ideas and sustainable growth are often the results of collective effort and cross-functional synergy. 

This philosophy is now a cornerstone of my work at Zion & Zion, where we emphasize collaboration, strategic alignment, and the holistic integration of various perspectives to drive digital transformation and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

If you’d like to keep up with all the industry's top experimentation-related news, sign up for our newsletter or find industry leaders to follow in our Expert Directory.

If you are interested in learning more about cultivating amazing customer experiences, check out the 3 CX drivers that power growth or how to optimize customer experience with user data.

Topics covered by this article
Katie Kelly
Katie Kelly
Katie Kelly, B2B marketing & PR consultant. CRO industry commentator.