Let’s try an experiment. Write down five words that define the ideal customer journey—and request the same from your colleagues in other departments like sales and customer service.

Now consider what the journey is really like from your customers’ perspectives. Or better yet, ask them directly. What words best describe their actual digital and physical experiences with your brand?

How closely are your definitions of the ideal customer journey aligned with your customers’ actual experiences?

For those who identify disconnects, I have some great news. As a marketer, you are in the perfect position to make everyone’s vision a reality and connect the dots. Here’s how you can get it done.

Embrace the Connected Customer

Unlike any other time in history, customers are connected across channels and devices. Meanwhile, four massive technology shifts have created unprecedented opportunities to leverage those connections and engage customers with great experiences.

It all starts with the cloud, which has made possible scale, performance and real-time access to information that was previously unthinkable. Meanwhile, billions of customers now gather on social networks, and they increasingly expect brands to be there for them as well. Thirdly, mobile will mean a super-computer in the pocket of 6.1 billion people by 2020, extending the possibilities to reach always-on, always connected customers. And finally, data science has unlocked the goal we’ve strived to achieve for years—how to anticipate the next best step on the customer journey to create truly relevant, personal 1-to-1 interactions.

Together, these four technology shifts have merged the physical and digital worlds—creating incredible opportunities to connect with customers.

Make Customer Experience Everyone’s Mission

Too often, delivering a fantastic customer experience is everyone’s ultimate goal, but not the organization’s mission as a whole. The problem with this model is that  customers don’t think in terms of departments or lifecycles. The boundaries have blurred because the always-connected customer doesn’t care whether it’s a service, marketing or sales interaction. That customer just wants his or her needs met quickly and consistently—regardless of what channel or device they choose.

The solution starts with following the customer’s lead and gaining a top-down consensus to act. Everyone must agree on a strategy, then make its execution a top priority. 

Unify Your CRM Technology

Too often, a trail of disconnected systems inhibit the ability to deliver a seamless customer journey. The disparate technologies were never designed to work together, making it impossible to understand how, when and where the customer was last communicated with—especially if another department using a disconnected system initiated those interactions.

Solving this problem is the very reason Salesforce created the Customer Success Platform. It is a complete CRM solution with sales, service, marketing, community, analytics, apps, and now the Internet of Things. No other solution enables organizations to understand the details of their audience, personalize every interaction, and deliver exceptional content across channels throughout every step of the customer journey.

Unite Marketing, Sales and Service Data

Having a complete CRM is critical; yet, the challenge of bringing together all available data across functions has historically been difficult. The much-desired 360-degree view of the customer—the fuel that powers 1-to-1 engagements—is still elusive.

The answer? Marketing Cloud Connect seamlessly connects the journey management capabilities of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud with every customer interaction across sales, service and more. It allows organizations to create a single customer relationship, empowering them to deliver a more data-driven, personalized conversation.

With the integration capabilities, you can not only automate journeys using all your customer data from the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or custom objects, but you can also automatically sync the data to the Marketing Cloud and return the tracking data (open, clicks, bounces) back to the contact record in the other Salesforce clouds.

Best of all, it’s simple to do. A wizard guides you through an intuitive check-box process that recognizes the data schema in Salesforce and allows you to select what data you want to sync. One screen translates the data schema of hundreds or even thousands of Salesforce objects into an easy-to-use, easy-to-manage interface.

Make Your Vision a Reality

If your existing customer experience doesn’t align with your goals, now is the time to act. Today’s customers expect seamless customer journeys, regardless of where they are in the lifecycle. So make that your mission. Equip your brand for success with The Customer Success Platform, and power your journeys with data that’s ready and waiting to go to work for you.

To learn how you can get the most from the Customer Success Platform, download Salesforce for Marketers today!