Can You “Jump a Fence” to Serve a Customer?

The silos often get in the way when we are serving customers. We deliver a broken up customer experience when the data does not connect, so the frontline is compromised with lackluster information. Customers are triaged, put on hold, or passed from one person or department to another.

This leaves customers thinking:

“Do they know me at all?”

“Do they even talk to each other?”

“Why can’t someone own my call?”

How Good is Your “Fence Jumping” Ability to Connect the Silos and Data?

  • Do the boundary lines of your organization chart keep people from going the extra mile?
  • Do people care more about where they sit or how they matter?

San Antonio–based Rackspace grows by imagining the life of their IT manager clients. That means making it easy to get help, support, and service without the customer “hot potato.” So Rackspace is organized by teams assigned by customer account, in order to create customer peace of mind. Rackspace’s Web site explains this commitment: “No more call centers. No more dealing with a different person every time you need something. No more transferring you to the ‘expert’ who transfers you to another ‘expert.’ . . . And, most importantly, no more feeling like you’re just one more anonymous customer stuck in a system that works against you instead of for you.”

Unify Accountability for Customer Growth

With this decision, Rackspace is there for clients, on their terms, with a reliable delivery method they can count on. Teams are assembled to include everyone a client needs: account managers, engineers, support technicians, billing, and data center professionals. Everyone on the team has a common set of goals aligned to the client’s goals. And they are all rewarded and recognized together— with shared accountability— for ensuring the customer’s needs are met. This team structure ensures that when the client calls their account manager, ready resources are available to support the client. The traditional silos that create the “hot potato” experience are gone. So the client doesn’t have to figure out who to call for what and when. Rackspace connects the team to give customers peace of mind.

Jump a Fence



4 comments to " Can You “Jump a Fence” to Serve a Customer? "

  • The “fence-jumping” analogy is great. It puts into perspective how critical internal culture is to the external experience.

    • jeanne

      Janessa somehow we need to bring to life – the customers’ life and what we are inadvertently putting them through because we expect customers to traverse our silos to get what they need. The best companies start with the customer perspective and are starting to organize around their priorities.

  • It is always striking to see how companies are organized as groups of islands. Somewhere at a certain moment they foorgot to maintain the ferryboats and bridges between the islands. Without realizing it departments became aliens and started using language like US and THEM. They look out for themselves, but they don’t care about the group… I don’t want to settle in this situation and send out the same message 10.000 times a day “united we stand, divided we fall”.
    And yes Alan, you are right. Our customers are not interested in this island culture. They want solid solutions for their challenges.

    • jeanne

      Hi Pim
      So glad you jumped in here. What are you doing in your business to help get rid of the islands? I’d love to know! Also…who is Alan?

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