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How Cross-Organizational Collaboration Improves Customer Experience

December 7, 2017
Written by Rachel Alexander

For many organizations, the customer experience is an ever-evolving vision. With how quickly technology and customer service progresses, the needs and expectations of customers are constantly in flux, and the tools and practices available to meet customer demands are multiplying at a rapid pace. 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 innovation and improved business performance. Quality performance from every department within your organization will create a more enjoyable, efficient, and thorough customer experience overall. Here are four ways cross-organization collaboration will improve your business’ customer experience:

  1. Diverse Perspectives Lead To Innovative Solutions

We are 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 often appears to be very different from another vantage point (i.e. the marketing team, to the product team, the 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 unveil themselves to the customer. Bringing representatives from across company together to collaborate on one issue sheds light on process problems and delivers innovative solutions that might not have been possible in a vacuum.

  1. Challenge Outdated Practices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 abreast of 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provides an opportunity for a fresh set of eyes to view your team’s practices, challenge what appears to be outdated, and offer suggestions for improvement.

  1. Clarify Responsibilities So Nothing Fall Through The Cracks

Some tasks fall directly into the wheelhouse of a specific department, no questions asked. While others are not so clear. Holding cross-organizational meetings (or at least having your organization’s leadership team from each department be 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 and result in an unhappy customer.

  1. Standardize The Way Employees Interact With Customers

Nothing is more frustrating or more 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.

Harness The Power Of Knowledge Sharing With Digital Transformation

Companies that grasp what the digital workplace is really all about are willing to change the ways people and applications connect across their organizations. By fostering a digitally driven culture of collaboration, they break down silos, share knowledge more effectively, and compete more successfully.

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