Silos get a bad reputation in customer service; for good reason. Organizational barriers prevent information flow among work groups, customers are asked the same questions over and over again, and blame tends to flow faster than solutions. But one silo, aligned around a customer for a customer, can actually improve the customer experience and improve business results at the same time.
- To Benefit the Customer, not the Company – Protect customers from bad policies. My favorite recent example (involving a lost dog) shows what happens when company policies meet the letter of a policy but fail to account for the simplest of courtesies. When (if?) Delta finds the dog, poor Paco should get a first class return trip with its owner.
- To Treat Customers as the ONLY Customer – Companies are powerful entities, and once they have our money, they become more so. We want to create experiences where the entire strength of the company is aligned around a single customer at a single point in time. When all the resources of the company are focused on satisfying a customer (even if there isn’t a procedure, budget, approval, etc.) we create memorable and unique experiences that lead to a genuine sense of loyalty.
Silos, often erected to increase operational efficiencies, can have detrimental effects on your customers. The Pivot Point? Align your company around the needs of a customer to destroy harmful silos and replace them with a silo that enhances the customer experience and your business simultaneously.