Breaking down organizational silo’s is probably on top of your list. But how do you get support for such a plan? Simply going to each owner of the silo and telling him or her that you are going to break down their castle is probably your best exit-strategy.
As with many big initiatives and change, they ‘need to be driven from the top’. Sounds very popular but how do you make that work? I am sure your CEO will like your idea but will also be wary of the resistance in the management team. So what do you do?
One way to have all noses point in the same direction is to set out an objective that sounds logical to everybody. One where nobody will say ‘Are you nuts? That’s the last thing we should do!’ To really drive towards a better Customer Experience and transformational change you need to define a ‘corporate theme’ that represents the business transformation.
In Customer Service the ‘One Company’ story is resonating well with all key stakeholders and can be launched to make people understand what the objectives are, get buy-in from everybody and make it more tangible. One Company means the customer will experience your organization as one. It does not matter what touchpoint they choose, who they talk to or what communication channel is used, the Customer Experience is consistent.
Here are 8 tips when designing your ‘One Company’ strategy:
Align it with your brand – Call your theme the ‘One ACME’ initiative (but replace ACME with your company name of course!). When tied to the brand suddenly everybody understands it impacts them, but they also have an opportunity to influence.
Make it Customer Centric – The reason why the ‘One ACME’ project is initiated must be clear. It’s for the customer. Make everybody understand that customer life time value is more important that short term profit or ‘bad revenue’.
Describe what will change for the customer – Be very clear about what the Customer Experience needs to look like for your customers. Things like ‘customers will always get a consistent answer’ or ‘customers get the same service no matter what channel they use’. These will be the guiding principles for every change your company will make
Involve your customers – Involve the marketing team and determine how the ‘One ACME’ initative will be used in corporate branding and other marketing activities. You are doing this for the customer so tell them you care. Challenge yourself and ask your customers to be part of the ‘One ACME’ panel and let them tell you how you are doing and what can be improved.
Communication – Keep communicating about the initiative. The basic rule is that you can never over-communicate. Include everybody, even if you don’t think that one department is impacted. You could be surprised about some ideas they might come up with.
Set priorities – You can’t change the company in one day to determine a transformation roadmap. Analyze what has the biggest impact and what the cost will be. Typically your customer service department can have a big impact on the initiative. Start by including your outsourcers in your customer service platform for example. Next could be your back office and than your branch offices.
Make it part of the culture – The ‘One ACME’ initiative is not a project. Yes it has a beginning but it does not have an end. It is business transformation and allthough there are key milestones, you will never be done.
Key Performance Indicators – Define your KPI’s and measure them throughout the transformation. It’s tempting to pick classic KPI’s like Revenue, Margin and SLA but also investigate Net Promotor Score for example.
Fail fast – Failing is not the goal of course, but if you discover something is plain not working, change! Do not keep trying as people will loose faith, your milestones won’t be met. Admitting that something does not work is perfectly fine, actually, it show’s great leadership.
My final tip would be not to underestimate this initiative. As I said it’s business transformation and the stakes are high. But so are the returns.
To learn more about how improving the Customer Experience will drive return for your company by downloading eBook, 7 Drivers for Buying an Integrated Contact Center Suite.
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