For many organizations, the customer experience is an ever-evolving vision. At the fast pace that technology and customer service progresses, the needs and expectations of customers are constantly in flux, and the tools available to meet customer demands are multiplying rapidly. So how does your organization keep up with the competition when it comes to providing your customers with the absolute best possible experience?
Collaboration (hopefully) comes naturally to individual teams. Your team shares goals, expectations, and sometimes even desks. Where collaboration is less likely to occur is cross-organizationally (across roles, departments, or functions), and this might just be where your customers need it most.
Cross-organizational collaboration is critical to business innovation and a positive brand experience for your customers. Quality and consistency from every department will create a more enjoyable and efficient customer experience.
Here are four ways cross-organizational collaboration will improve your business’ customer experience:
Diverse Perspectives Lead To Innovative Solutions
We’re all guilty of viewing problems through the lens of our own perspective and by extension, producing solutions based on our limited view. But the same scene may look a lot different from another vantage point (i.e. the marketing team, product team, sales team, and so on).
When teams fail to seek input from other departments, they often overlook steps of the process that they may not personally be involved in, leading to shortcomings that the customer discovers. Bringing representatives from across the company together to collaborate on one issue sheds light on process problems and produces innovative solutions that might not have been possible in a vacuum.
Challenge Outdated Practices
As we know, customer expectations and needs are evolving, and fast. But it’s unreasonable to expect every single member of your organization to be totally caught up with all these changes at all times. Cross-organizational collaboration provides an opportunity for a fresh set of eyes to view your team’s practices, challenge what appears to be outdated, and offer suggestions for improvement.
Clarify Responsibilities So Nothing Fall Through The Cracks
Some tasks fall directly into the wheelhouse of a specific department, no questions asked. Others are not so clear. Holding cross-organizational meetings (or at least having your leaders from each department present) to review departmental projects and goals can help reduce redundant work and missed opportunities. Identifying all tasks at hand and making sure they are clearly defined and assigned ensures that nothing will be overlooked.
Standardize The Way Employees Interact With Customers
Nothing is more frustrating or confusing for a customer than speaking with employees from two different departments and receiving conflicting information. Effectively sharing knowledge across departments ensures that every step of the way, your customers receive consistent information.
The benefits of cross-organizational collaboration are clear, but how exactly can you improve communication within your organization?
- Begin with the executive team. A culture that fosters collaboration should move from the top down. Having the leaders of your organization model and enforce collaboration ensures the rest of the organization will follow suit.
- Clearly define the role of each department. Define what tasks are covered by which departments, how departments can better support each other, and the common roadblocks other departments face.
- Invest in the right technology. Meetings and cluttered email chains aren’t always the most effective form of communication. A knowledge sharing platform allows employees to easily communicate with members of other departments and remote employees all without having to leave their desks.
A culture of cross-organizational collaboration cultivates a sense of community within an organization, and with community comes accountability. The more thoroughly employees understand their role within the organization, and how that role fits into the larger picture, the more motivated they will be to go above and beyond expectations to achieve the company mission. Follow these tips, and you will see the benefits of collaboration in no time.