Breaking Down Silos: Why They Hinder Customer Experience Execution

March 19, 2024

In today’s fast-paced business landscape, customer experience reigns supreme. Companies across industries are investing significant resources in crafting seamless and personalized experiences for their customers. However, despite these efforts, many organizations still struggle to execute effective customer experience strategies. One of the major roadblocks? Silos and the associated discussions on ownership of the customer!

I believe we have all experienced being forwarded from one person to the other time and time again when calling a vendor! This siloed approach to business operations has been the norm in corporate structures for ages, not changing with the needs of the customer. Departments operate independently, focusing solely on their specific functions and goals, often leading to a decrease in the overall customer experience. Here’s why:

1. Lack of collaboration.

Silos create barriers between departments, leading to a lack of collaboration and communication. When teams work in isolation, valuable insights and information that could enhance the customer experience are often overlooked or underutilized. For example, marketing may have valuable data on customer preferences that could inform product development, but without collaboration with the product team, this data remains untapped.

2. Fragmented customer journey.

Customers expect a seamless experience across all touchpoints with a company, whether it’s interacting with sales, customer service, or marketing. However, in a siloed organization, each department may have its own agenda and approach to engaging with customers, resulting in a fragmented and disjointed experience. This can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among customers who expect consistency and continuity throughout their journey.

3. Duplication of efforts.

Silos often lead to duplication of efforts and resources. For example, multiple departments may invest in separate customer data systems or tools, resulting in redundant processes and inefficiencies. This not only wastes valuable resources but also hampers the organization’s ability to gain a comprehensive understanding of its customers and deliver a unified experience.

4. Inflexibility and slow response.

Siloed organizations tend to be less agile and responsive to customer needs and market changes. Decisions must pass through multiple layers of bureaucracy, slowing down the implementation of customer experience initiatives. In today’s fast-paced digital world, where customer expectations evolve rapidly, this lack of agility can put companies at a significant disadvantage.

We often tend to talk only about sharing data when talking about customer experience, but in my view, that is only 50% of the solution. As stated in this article from Forbes, it needs a cultural change, and the c-suite needs to be on-board. So, how can companies break down these silos and improve their ability to execute customer experience strategies effectively?

A. Foster a culture of collaboration.

Encourage cross-functional collaboration by breaking down the barriers between departments. Promote open communication channels and create opportunities for teams to share insights, knowledge, and resources.

B. Align goals and incentives.

Ensure that all departments are aligned around a common goal: delivering an exceptional customer experience. Aligning incentives and performance metrics can help reinforce this shared objective and encourage collaboration across departments.

C. Invest in integrated systems and technology.

Implement integrated systems and technology platforms that enable seamless data sharing and collaboration across departments. This will streamline processes, reduce duplication of efforts, and provide a unified view of the customer journey.

D. Empower employees.

Empower employees to take ownership of the customer experience by providing them with the training, tools, and autonomy they need to deliver exceptional service. Encourage a customer-centric mindset at all levels of the organization.

Conclusion.

In conclusion, the existing silo approach in companies poses significant challenges to executing effective customer experience strategies. By breaking down these barriers and fostering a culture of collaboration, alignment, and empowerment, organizations can overcome these obstacles and deliver the seamless and personalized experiences that customers expect and deserve.

Breaking down silos: Why they hinder customer experience execution

This is a guest blog by Ole Goehring, member of the Advocacy Mavens Coalition.

The Advocacy Mavens Coalition is an association of open for contracting customer-led professionals, each with extensive industry experience. We’re experts in building advocacy and community programs, designing experiences, running advisory boards, creating content, managing and migrating platforms, and more.

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