Breaking down silos – one of the keys to creating collaboration around the customer

Is your leadership team really a team or a collection of individuals running their own teams?

When the team at the top of the organization is fragmented and mis-aligned this trickles down to everyone in the company. If the hard discussions and debates related to what customer focus means for the organization are not taken at the top, confusion reins.

Ultimately there is only one customer, the customer external to the company that pays the bills, when silos develop inside organizations these customers have an inconsistent experience at best.

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of being sent from one department to another when contacting an organization? This is often the result of silos that retain the only authority to make decisions related to their turf. This sends a clear message to the customer:

“your time is not important, you have to navigate our systems to get your issues solved.”

This situation is also the result of not having a customer focused culture. One that recognizes ownership, accountability and empowerment are critical to creating loyal customers.

True team work at the top is hard work, it involves the willingness to sacrifice department resources and personal time to help the team overall (the company) succeed. Depending on the company’s strategy it could mean allocating more funds to customer service and less to marketing or more funds to IT and less to HR.

The only way to make these tough decisions effectively is for the top team to collaborate around what is creating most value for the customer in the short and long term.

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