Aligning the business with customers
Article

Aligning the business with customers

Take aways
  • Customers are victims of silo mentality, and a solution to it too!
  • Profits likely increase when internal processes are realigned.
  • A shared customer vision reconnects departments and internal processes.

Silo mentality - where departments operate in isolation - not only hurts organisations, but also customers. By creating a shared goal that prioritises customer experience across the entire organisation, internal processes are likely easier to be realigned - a foundation that is crucial for a better customer experience, and hence bigger profits.

Organisations always complain about silo mentality, while customers also suffer from bad services due to uncoordinated departments. Interestingly, the realignment of departments can still be possible, if customer experience becomes the one goal that the units have in common.

Mapping customer experience

Typically, a customer experience can be broken down into phases and by departments. Understanding these different parts of the experience enables us to re-connect staff, processes and technology within an organisation. It helps us identify problem areas and develop strategies.

Align front-stage channels

Typically a customer experience is broken down into key phases and more detailed stages. Understanding the different phases and stages helps to identify the problems in an existing experience or to develop future scenarios.

The customers’ experience mapped can provide both the qualitative narrative that will engage the business in the customers’ experience and the quantitative analysis that identifies the points for impactful improvements.

Align the front-stage channels

Front-stage channels are what customers can see, hear, feel and touch. These touchpoints typically include staff behaviour, websites, call centres, printed materials and products.

Individual channels, often work in silos, need to be realigned in order to achieve a better overall business performance. The first step is to define the role of each channel throughout the customer experience. The next step is to clarify the organisation’s overall customer strategy, then to design how channels interact with each other at different stages of the customer experience.

Align on-stage activities

On-stage activities are understood as all the things the business does that directly impact the customer experience, such as sales and marketing. A good on-stage performance requires each business unit to share the common purpose of supporting the customer experience, from which internal alignment follows.

It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience

Align back-stage capabilities

Back-stage capabilities are what the business does that are invisible to customers, but essential to enable a good on-stage customer experience. Business units have to align their operation around that shared goal in order to produce a coherent customer experience. Therefore, corporate policies, staff, processes and systems all have to be in line with each other.

Toward bigger profits

When an organisation faces siloed business units, the first step is to get all the units to understand how customers are affected by fragmented internal processes. That should motivate the units to work toward internal alignment and more collaboration with each other. A better customer experience likely follows, which will bring in bigger profits and lower costs.