Break through silos. So you can work together effectively to bring about change

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Abandoned Building with broken walls and windows, with stones visible and wall crumbling and blue sky and green grass visible in the background.

The essentials

  • Break down silos. Break down departmental barriers to create a unified, customer-centric organization.
  • Feel into the customers. Understand their goals and difficulties in building real, lasting partnerships.
  • Driving change. As a marketer, take the lead to implement new systems, align goals and measure success by revenue.

In the last five parts of this six-part series on how to empower marketers to understand their role as change agents and customer experience champions, my colleague Eric Hollebone and I have that covered purpose of marketingIt is Contribution to sales, Building a blueprint for growth and put it into actionAnd Use of data and tools to create the ideal customer experience.

In this final part, we’ll show you how we can apply that same sense of closeness that we seek with our customers and prospects to a business.

Turn off the silos

Communicating beyond your own department can feel like a radical shift. Most organizations still think and act in silos. Unfortunately, there is a certain “it’s always been done this way” or “this department does this and not that.” This mindset has to go.

When an organization works together to put the customer at the center of everything they do, there is a risk of silos collapsing.

Let’s look at what that might look like—before and after team collaboration—and determine who needs to take the lead.

Related article: Your silos show up in your customer experience

Silos: The “Before”

Here’s a snapshot of what a “before” might look like, both internally and externally.

Internally: Misaligned goals and metrics drive departments forward. Sales are frustrated with marketing and play blame games. Customer success is upset that sales and marketing over-promise and leave them alone with disaffected customers. The product produces irrelevant research. IT focuses solely on organizational security and compliance. The finance department is tired of writing checks without seeing tangible returns.

Externally: Businesses cannot hide misalignment and disorganization from their customers. Customers face obstacles, confusing detours and companies that don’t seem to know much about them.

The good news: You can fix that.

The first step is to bring together representatives from all business functions to discuss their needs, wants and concerns related to customer retention.

And the best lead for this role is the leadership in marketing because marketing has the longest-lasting relationship with the customer and the CMO has the executive-level relationships to bridge that gap.

Related article: Fix the persistent data/content silo problem once and for all

Silos: The “after”

This is what the “after” could look like, internally and externally.

Internally: Departmental goals align with company goals for each team. Cross-collaboration is built into metrics. Sales and marketing form a true partnership. Customer Success has access to pre and post sale data related to and supporting the customer. IT and marketing work together on technologies. The product captures more meaningful insights.

Externally: The customer feels known and seen. Your cooperation with the company runs smoothly. Every customer experience feels memorable and meaningful.

This is job #1 for marketers: Empathize with the customer’s goals and difficulties. It’s not like speed dating where you meet someone and then move on; Rather, it is a true, lasting partnership based on a deep understanding of where your customers come from.

Marketing’s first step on a long journey

CMOs face great responsibility—and great opportunity. To take the lead, we need to implement new systems and think in new ways. Here are six action points to get you started.

  1. Realign your team: Set the customer journey as everyone’s goal and develop the technical and analytical skills to pave the way. This builds credibility, drives change, and prepares your team to collaborate with others.
  2. Make your presence known: Champion a customer-centric approach with data, action, and measurable results. Represent the customer’s best interests and become the focal point for their perspective.
  3. Deepen relationships: Connect with the leadership. Get to know their priorities and frustrations. Discuss how you can make their lives easier by supporting revenue attribution, data management, and system controls.
  4. To build bridges: Bring marketing, sales, and customer success together to align goals and success metrics, integrate technology, and share data.
  5. Learning a new language: Ditch marketing lingo like impressions, open rates, and clicks. Instead, expand your business and financial vocabulary and discuss acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and revenue growth.
  6. raise the level: Think bigger. aim higher. Set goals that align with your company’s KPIs and measure success against revenue targets.

Maximize the customer experience: The change starts now

This will take some time. It might test your patience. That is normal.

In the meantime, stay clear about goals, timelines, resource availability, and your decision-making authority, especially to your highest-level leaders. Implement systems that are connected well enough to pull the data from every point of the customer journey. With the right platform, you get a clear view of how your channels are performing — and what you need to do going forward.

When you push your business to maximize customer experience, customers will have a cohesive and valuable experience that will keep them coming back.

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