Playing Nice In the Enterprise, Cross-Functional Alignment

Cross-functional teams and departments have the potential to maintain and boost company growth, provided they stay aligned with corporate goals and policies. Of course, that does rely on your management and administration team deploying clear, achievable goals and monitoring systems, such as OKRs - referred to as Objectives and Key Results.

In fact, many will argue that in order to grow, you absolutely need cross-functional alignment within your organization.

The problem, however, is that most cross-functional teams are deeply troubled. As many as 75% of cross-functional teams, are actually dysfunctional. Why? The answer is simple, but solving the problem is not quite as straightforward.

Often times, groups and departments within an organization are siloed, separate, and have a strong desire to “own” the relationship or part of a relationship they have with customers. This not only causes dissent, but disorganization between multi-parties. Yet, it’s truly a cohesive team effort that contributes to a successful customer program. To make this happen, you need to break the chains and barriers that separate different teams or departments.

But how, especially when each department or group is directly responsible for a specific task? Is it even possible to come up with a transparent customer success program? An “all hands on deck” strategy naturally creates more confusion, more disorganization, and more chaos, right?

Well, yes, that’s true, unless you adopt a cohesive mobile customer experience program, seeing as how 85% of the customer relationship will be managed without human interaction by 2020.

Wait, What? What Does a Mobile Customer Experience Program Offer?

In simpler terms, a mobile customer experience program provides all the assets and resources you and your team need to understand and interact with customers, at any touchpoint or stage of the journey.

Every team or department has access to a set of consistent, cohesive tools that can help them complete objectives. But they also gain access to crucial insights and data, which can be shared across multi-functional teams, further improving and streamlining collaboration.

But most importantly, it plays into a mobile-first mindset for every stakeholder in your organization.

How Do You Make This Happen?

Strategically aligned enterprises have a much better chance of winning in today’s challenging business environment, but therein lies the challenge. You first have to get your company and teams strategically aligned, and or fully operational, at least collaboratively.

A mobile customer experience program is the answer, yes, but it applies differently to each group in corporate world.

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Customer Success:

The customer success group or team is responsible for creating and deploying solid customer relationship touchpoints along an entire journey, including across different groups. They need to think about the process from the viewpoint of a customer.

Why is this so important? 86% of buyers will pay more for a product or service so long as they receive a positive customer experience in return. This can manifest itself in many ways including pre-sale content, personalized email and collateral, and spot-on relationship building efforts for example.

Administration, Touring, and Facilities:

These group professionals facilitate on-site and off-site customer expectations, ranging from administrative tasks and engagements to executive calendaring. Despite being so critical to success, only 37% of leaders have set aside a dedicated budget for customer experience improvement initiatives.

But a mobile customer experience solution can help change those numbers, and promptly. When you think about a seamless customer visit from invite to goodbye, it covers several key components of setting expectations and delivering them flawlessly to the customer and key contributors. 

Marketing: 

These professionals are in charge of any and all customer facing materials and content, from pre or post sales assets to collateral materials, and ongoing efforts to deliver an on-brand product and story across your organization.

By 2020, customer experience will exceed price and product quality as the key differentiator for consumers. That puts more pressure on various stages along the customer journey, including brand awareness and acquisition, which coincidentally marketing professionals are responsible for.

Sales:

Sales professionals handle the direct customer interactions and relationship, by generating new accounts, servicing existing ones, and upselling to better more beneficial products. They are also responsible for improving customer satisfaction.

A bad customer service experience will have far-reaching consequences, as they are twice as powerful as a good experience. To make up for a step back, it takes 12 or more positive experiences to improve reputation. So, good experiences are tough to achieve in most cases, but less powerful than bad ones. That should tell you how important it is that your sales team is on par with every other group in your organization.

Operations:

The professionals in the operations group tend to be more tech or system oriented, with their hands in security, on-site IT and technology or hardware, and similar areas. They are responsible for ensuring the systems and equipment used within the organization are consistently operational and valuable.

In addition, IT departments must streamline processes and tools, allowing the business to operate freely, without limitations or constraints while maximizing productivity and minimizing cost. Failure to align cross-functional teams around the right processes and technologies can cost companies at least 10% of revenue per year.

Bringing It All Together

As you can see from the breakdown of the different departments or groups and their impact on the greater success of your company, teams globally are in need of a go-forward strategy that aligns with technology trends, customer needs, and corporate alignment.

This is a chance to not only make employees, teams and customers employees more technologically interconnected than ever before but to deliver logistics, content, scheduling, data, insights, social, news, and high-touch enterprise information in real-time across internal and external groups in a reliable, consistent, and cohesive platform.

Cross-functional success depends on how well and how fast you respond to the demands of the modern consumer at deliver superior customer experience at the speed of engagement.