In any business, a lack of communication among employees and across departments can be disastrous to growth. When everyone isn’t on the same page, and directions are simply unclear, employees may think they are doing their best but in fact are failing to deliver what the brand has promised to its customers. Such is the problem of operational silos, which are essentially people, processes, or management methods that fail to interact properly with one another and consequently affect an organization or business as a whole. While sometimes silos may be considered a good thing—for example, when an automobile company assigns a specific department to work on a specific model—the overall goal of a brand may be lost, collaboration suffers, and the customer experience is compromised. Here are seven ways to break down silos and create truly seamless customer experiences.
In order to achieve goals as a company, everyone needs to know what they are. Corporate executives must define clear brand values, priorities, and processes and communicate these messages to all employees through the appropriate managers. When everyone has common goals to strive for, an organization may thrive better as employees are better informed and more confident in their roles.
An essential way to understand how a brand can improve is to solicit and share feedback across the entire company. This means asking everyone from customer service agents to managers and top administrators for their opinions as well as detailed accounts of their experiences within the company. For example, agents may share stories of difficult customer cases, encouraging executives to revise practices in place and improve the customer experience.
Centralizing customer data is a must, as a lack of customer information during a service interaction costs customers time and quickly makes them lose confidence. CRM software is ideal for collecting all customer data in one place, giving agents quick access and the ability to make real-time updates, and creating a truly seamless customer experience.
To better understand your brand’s customer service experience, try putting your employees in the customer’s shoes. Ask employees to try contacting your brand on various channels and observe the results to see if your brand is truly delivering a great customer experience. Is better communication needed among agents? Are inquiries being sent to the right department? Such questions can best be answered by playing the role of the customer and learning from the experience.
Meetings should include members of various departments to include as many different perspectives as possible. Employees may share updates about products and services each team is working on, swap customer stories for a better global view of the company, and offer input on what improvements can be made. Similarly, training sessions should also include employees from different departments to help everyone unify their approach to delivering great customer service.
Motivate your employees by giving them opportunities for professional development. By doing so, your brand can create a stronger team spirit, convey your brand values, and give your employees a chance to reflect on their roles and apply their skills with more confidence. Also give them a chance to network socially with one another at offsite events to encourage conversation and create stronger social ties that keep up the team spirit.
Lastly, a prime way to make sure employees don’t stay within operational silos is to make sure they have chances to take on different roles. For example, managers may rotate roles within departments to let employees take on different perspectives and create buddy systems or small teams to check each others’ progress and offer peer support. The more employees collaborate and understand each others’ roles, the more cohesive the company.Operational silos can prevent a brand from delivering a seamless customer experience, but greater communication and a dedicated approach to discussing brand values as an organization can remedy the problem and make a brand stronger.
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