A First Step to Solving the Conflict Between Silos and Customer Journeys
The structural inefficiencies of silos have been the source of complaints for decades. Silos typically have a leader and their own tools, data, budget, teams and metrics— each contributing to its vertical focus. The conflict lies in the fact that our customers traverse across the silos. In other words, customers are traveling horizontally across the vertical silo focus. Make sense?
As a consultant, I’ve heard it repeatedly said, “If we could get (insert department, responsibility or a person’s name) to do this one thing differently, it would make it so much better for the customer and us. It isn’t uncommon that the sales team doesn’t communicate well with service, and service doesn’t work well with accounting, etc.. This siloed focus negatively impacts customers’ service journeys, employee satisfaction and business results.
For example, when customers have an issue with their internet, they will interact with many employees. They will probably talk to five or ten different people on the phone and field some email communication from other team members. So they’re working horizontally across this vertical focus in terms of our end-to-end customer and individual service journeys.
The conflict is between the silos’ vertical focus on the steps of their responsibility and the purpose of customers’ service journeys traversing horizontally across those siloed steps.
Solution: Become journey-focused and individual-centric
The CX Transformation Maturity Model provides a guide to solving the conflict. Progressing through the accomplishes two shifts critical to addressing the conflict, optimizing outcomes and better positioning the organization to compete and win.
- Shift from a silo focus to a service journey focus
- Shift from segment-centric to individual-centric communications
To become journey-focused, an organization must layer a service journey model over its silo structure. This involves identifying and renaming service journeys from the customers’ perspective. Lastly is establishing a service journey structure like the departmental structure. Each service journey has an owner, team, metrics and accountability. This doesn’t replace the departmental structure but adds the horizontal service journey focus to silo responsibilities.
Supplementing the journey focus is a shift to becoming individual-centric. Here it is all about generating timely and actionable intel by better integrating critical marketing activities, their platforms and data flow, with relevant emerging technologies. The goal is to build the capability to develop and deploy touchpoints in real-time that are relevant to the individual. The organization can move away from the more general personal or segment-based communications to those specifically tailored to the individual. The result, increased conversions and successful service journeys.
The benefits of addressing silo conflict by shifting to be journey-focused and individual-centric are significant, from saving resources by improving internal efficiencies to improving customer loyalty and retention with increases in Net Promotor Score and customer satisfaction. This leads to happier employees and a better bottom line.
Addressing the silo conflict will improve customer, employee and business outcomes.
For more information on how to become journey-focused: