Bring the Silos together in the Customer Room

One of the hardest skills is for the company to learn how to work cross-functionally.

Silos need to make cross-functional collaboration a part of all they do to ensure that the handoffs across the organization are executed for optimum customer interactions. This will seem to slow people down. They will feel frustrated that they can’t own the entire job as they did in the past.

As a leader, you’ll need to ask the questions constantly about whether people are engaging in this important collaboration.  You’ll need to be thinking about the handoffs they affect, not just the function they perform. There’s got to be some kind of accountability forum that forces the issue.

You have to ask regularly about the customer touch points that are affected and question if they were all thought through. And you’ll need to figure out a way to motivate teams of people across the organization to pull in the same direction.

The most rewarding accountability forum is the customer room, which has four goals:

  1. Drive continuous learning about the impact the company has on customers
  2. Assign accountability and import urgency for improvements
  3. Execute ongoing modifications and improvements
  4. Create awareness and manage the customer profitability pipeline

The customer room brings alive the concept of guerrilla metrics and pushes them from concept to accountability that people can manage. Outcome metrics and priority contact points can be enlarged visually and posted on the walls. 

For example, if receiving a shipment was a key priority, you would display the packaging and communication with the results on how shipping was executed and responses from customers. You include customer complaints, the KPI’s for each key touch point and the survey results that are impacted by it.   The trending and tracking of customer issues captures who is working on the issues, what they’re doing to fix them and how long it’s taking to get the counts down.

The walls of the customer room depict the customer experience stages with the priority metrics you have identified and tracked to manage customer relationships and profitability.

Wall #1 – depicts metrics on overall outcome: the flow of customers and other guerrilla metrics.
Wall #2 – posts the volume, flow, and nature of customer issues.
Wall #3 – identifies operational accountability and performance in executing the customer experience at priority contact points.

The visual and interactive customer room brings the organization together to think “experience” rather than “my silo.”


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