How Demolishing Silos Will Improve the Customer Journey

By Jim Sinur

(Aragon Research) – Every organization practices some degree of labor and skill specialization because of the limits of what people can do, what organizations of people can do, and system constraints. This specialization contributes to organizational silos, which, though naturally occurring, can contribute to failure of information being passed between different departments of an organization. This can cause an organization to be less productive, less efficient, and solve less problems. It can also have a big effect on the Customer Journey.

Customer Journeys do not fall neatly into silos. Breaking down organizational barriers is essential to retaining customers in the digital era.

Customer Journeys do not fall into neat little containers of tasks or organizational and software boundaries; they extend beyond silos. In the era of Digital Transformations, it is even more important to demolish the negative effects of organizational barriers to ensure that the Customer Journey is smooth throughout the organization, not just in one silo. This blog overviews how to do just that in order to create a better Customer Journey.

Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Demolish Silos

With AI, we can augment the abilities of workers so that their knowledge and power can be extended beyond their traditional silos. Like robots on a modern production line, workers can leverage extended knowledge to expand beyond their degrees of speciality and experience base. Over time, people can become generalists – and this will enable them to service customers across a number specific domains of tasks and work. This allows for better Customer Journeys as handoffs almost disappear – except in the most difficult of situations. The side benefit of this approach is that workers can keep learning and expand their knowledge of other organizational departments.

Create Unique, Digital Customer Journeys to Retain Customers

Many organizations currently direct customers down standard paths that they have to self-select with precision. In the future, this will change. Organizations will be able to handle multiple customer requests with one service stop by having generalized, customer communications-savvy support employees.

This support team, with the help of AI and bots, could handle the customer’s needs in a one-stop-shop fashion for a majority of the cases. The customer’s history, likes, and disposition at any specific point in time could be taken into account for a customized experience. This will help organizations retain their customers.

Process and Task Constrains Will Disappear with Intelligent Software

Right now, processes that guide the customer experience are rather rigid and slow. With the advent of case management and real-time speed to knowledge, bot assisted or not, software and the processes controlling that software no longer have to be rigid. They can be pliable and speedy, so the time to resolution of problems customers might be facing can be reduced.

“Flex, Fast, and Ever Learning” should be our new motto for software assistance. Just like people, software can get a similar boost in intelligence and intelligence gathering in the context of flexible processes or cases.

Bottom Line: Don’t Let Customers Suffocate in Silos

The Digital Era presents a great opportunity to change the way we treat customers while still being operationally effective and efficient. We would be foolish to fumble this opportunity. While we will have to live with temporary bridges and transformations as we head to these targets, it is now possible to demolish – or dampen the effect of – silos.