In this guest piece, Cyara co-founder and CEO Alok Kulkarni (pictured below) explains why organisations need to break away from the silo mentality to ensure seamless operational customer experience.
The ‘silo mentality’ is a mindset whereby certain departments or sectors are reluctant to share information with others within their organisation. This type of mentality will reduce efficiencies and morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive company’s culture and customer experience.
Silo mentality is hindering the progression of digital organisations by limiting internal communication and access to information, which has a knock-on effect. According to a global study by Walker on the future of customer experience, if companies are to succeed in the era of “empowered customers,” every aspect of the business must contribute to enriching the customer experience, from sales through to HR and finance departments.
Working exclusively in silos can be detrimental not only to a company’s culture, but also to its customer experience (CX). This becomes particularly pertinent in ensuring an organisation’s CX technology is high-performing at an operational level, otherwise known as operational customer experience (OCX).
OCX is focused on a customer’s experience of an organisation’s technology systems. Measuring OCX provides the organisation with the ability to view a customer’s journey across digital channels with an outside-in perspective in an objective and repeatable way. Doing so allows flawless customer experiences by detecting and eliminating operational failures that lead to customer dissatisfaction before they even happen.
Given the ease in switching products or brands, time-poor consumers are very unforgiving and will turn to competitors after experiencing OCX failures, making it more important than ever to measure and monitor OCX. Eliminating the silo mentality within your organisation is an important step to achieving a robust OCX solution.
Customer expectations in a multi-channel age
Before the rapid rise in technology, business silos did not generally impact upon CX, as consumers were much less demanding. However, new technologies have increased consumer expectations of communication between silos.
Prioritising OCX across every facet of an organisation ensures a smooth customer journey across every digital touchpoint, through the free sharing of information, opening up opportunities for the correct departments to execute a great customer experience.
Information must be available at the click of a button to ensure a seamless customer experience. Each department, location, and channel needs to have a holistic view of the customer available at any point in time in order to facilitate this exchange of information.
The overall perception of an organisation’s CX will be greatly improved through providing the customer service team with the tools to pre-empt a customer’s enquiry. For example, if a customer begins a conversation with a telco chatbot about their bill and the issue is not resolved, it is likely they will then call the support centre to seek further help. If the support staff have easy access to each customer’s chatbot conversation history, they will be able to pre-empt that the customer is likely calling about an issue with their bill and can then easily pick up where the chatbot left off.
Time-poor customers never want to feel like they’re interacting with an organisation for the first time. Information should be easily accessible so that repetition is kept at a minimum and interaction times are reduced. Not only does this improve the customer’s experience, it also reduces operational costs for the organisation.
Appointing a CX leader
Poor CX performance created by a ‘silo mentality’ can be costly, ultimately leading to a loss of customers as they make the switch to competitors. Yet these communication failures are easily avoidable if the organisation’s CX is managed properly.
It is critical to appoint a head of CX or customer experience officer (CXO) who can engage different departments within an organisation to ensure high-performing OCX is implemented in every facet of the business. This will ensure that a designated board-level executive is leading customer experience initiatives across all business units or even over the entire company. Combining organisational goals to ensure a seamless experience for consumers across each digital touch point ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction. Without this leader in place, each of these touch points and the responsible teams will act in silos, inevitably missing potential opportunities to further improve customer experiences and benefit the organisation’s bottom line.
To ensure seamless OCX, organisations must break away from the silo mentality and connect each of their digital touch points to enable all customer-facing staff to have accurate, timely, and relevant information about the customer in order to make the right decision, at the right time, in the right channel.