Connect Your Silos

Organizational silos exist, and we will likely never get rid of them, but they are not great for Customer Experience. Silo-thinking prevents effective communication, collaboration, and decision-making. And worse, by its nature silos are inward-focused, and that is the root of many problems when it comes to achieving great CX.

At the Forrester Research conference a couple of weeks ago, I sat down with Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, one of their senior Analysts focused on Customer Experience. We spoke about many trends in the CX/Journey Mapping market space. One unexpected trend she highlighted was how companies are finding that the process of Journey Mapping can connect silos and launch cross-department communications leading to broader customer awareness, and ultimately better CX.

How to Connect Silos

If you’ve never been through the journey mapping process, you’ll be surprised at how many things we don’t realize that our companies do that are quite internally focused. Often, we develop internal processes that are focused on saving time, or money, which is great for our company but may end up having a negative effect on our customers. Some of those internally-focused experiences that we force our customers to go through will start showing up on your customer-focused journey maps.

Going through the cross-functional exercise of mapping your customer touchpoints, customer pain points, and customer emotions – all from the customer point of view takes a little more discipline, cooperation, and guidance than you might think. Additionally, because the mapping is done from an absolute customer focus, you will quickly discover that internally among different departments, there might be major differences in the perception of a customer pain point, or who is responsible for each touch point.

Touchpoint ownership is one of the journey mapping concepts that provides great clarity and fosters cross-silo communication and decision-making. There may be customer touchpoints that do not easily fall into a traditional department or division, there may be some that have no owner, or some touchpoints where multiple people feel they have ownership.  Decisions need to be made together for the benefit of a clear and positive customer experience.

CX Improvements

The goal of a journey map is to help the company provide better customer experience. But that is nearly impossible to make happen if you do not understand what is wrong in the customer journey, or if the silos in your company cannot effectively communicate with each other regarding the customer journey. Only by using a Journey Mapping application can you gain the benefits of having your army of touchpoint business owners sharing customer-focused goals, collaborating, and communicating to optimize the Customer Experience.

When there is a systematic way to view and report on where each business owner is on their touchpoints goals, progress is much more likely to happen.

At CustomersFirst Now, we recommend using journey mapping software to not only build robust maps, but also to use the maps, the touchpoint data, and the reporting & collaboration tools as a framework that easily works across the company, regardless of silo barriers. Often companies try to solve their silo problem by forcing the corporate culture to change first, which can take years and be very expensive. But when you implement a journey mapping system, your silos will be forced to keep the ‘Customer First’ as their priority, and that is what will help connect silos quickly and effectively.