Organizational Silos that Hurt Customer Experience
With the very best of intentions, most organizations structure themselves into silos. This happens when companies segment people on the basis of skillset into different departments and roles. Although this focused framework can be healthy for a business, it can also lead to many problems. Simply consider the fact that “silo mentality” is a well-known phrase. In today’s marketplace, silos have proven to be especially detrimental to customer experience. They prohibit information-sharing and discourage collaborative ownership. According to research from New Voice Media, 41 percent of customer experience professionals say operational silos are significantly holding back customer experience.
Successful customer experience requires silos to go against their genetic makeup and work together across the customer journey. Your business goals include improving customer experience, (as all companies’ should). To do this your tactics must include examination of operational silos that could hold you back. That’s not to say that silos should be abolished. Rather that your customer experience strategy include ways to build bridges between them.
Is your business guilty of operating one or more of these common silos that can derail customer experience?
These occur when it takes time for businesses to consolidate or integrate new technologies. The result is customers feeling they have to chase answers indefinitely for reasons that don’t make any sense. An example is telling customers they have to log in to another site to get what they need. You can solve the resulting frustration by doing this for them rather than asking them to take on the inconvenience.
These occur when businesses capture data along the customer life cycle from different sources and in various formats. The result is customers are required to perform mundane and laborious steps in order to get what they need. An example is when multiple agents ask for a customer’s account number. In customers’ minds, this means repetition, wasted time, and uncertainty.
These occur when multiple groups communicate with the customer. For example, sending a customer a welcome greeting from several different departments. This creates redundancy and confusion for the customer. Multiple groups sending onboarding notes or requesting survey feedback indicates inefficient processes.
These occur when different people in different departments have different visions of the customer experience strategy. The result is customers feel their best interests and well-being aren’t the company’s main focus. For example, Information Technology’s vision may be at odds with Marketing’s vision, and so on across the C-suite.
These occur when different people throughout the company have different understandings of customers’ realities. For customers the result is an inconsistent experience and little empathy for their problems. It takes major effort to create a common understanding across all employees. However it is imperative when it comes to showing customers they are valued.
These occur when businesses’ multiple obligations such as shareholders and industry analysts dilute the over-arching importance of customers. Customers are the life blood of the business. For customers, the result is unmet expectations. Especially when it comes to having issues solved right the first time, all the time. An example of this is when staff without customer-facing roles disconnect from how their jobs affect customer experience. All staff, despite department, should have customer experience goals.
These occur when a business’ overall performance measurements differ from those of departments, individuals and teams. For customers, this means there is a lack of problem prevention and anticipation of their expectations.
In order to create a customer-centric business, customer experience professionals must be work toward solving silos issues resulting from the examples listed above. By focusing on what’s best for customers, many silos will prevent these issues from developing in the first place. Ultimately, if your company doesn’t work together as one cohesive unit, the result will be a disjointed customer experience. To learn more about how silos may be affecting your business and customer experience, contact Ansafone today.