Breaking Down the CS-CX Organizational Silos

In the fast-paced world of business, organizational silos have long been a notorious challenge that can hinder growth and innovation. Picture a collection of separate departments or teams working in isolation, each focused solely on their own goals and priorities, disconnected from the broader organizational mission. This silo mentality can create barriers to effective communication, collaboration, and, most importantly, the seamless delivery of customer solutions.


CS/CX Organizational Silos

Photo Attribution: IR Stone/Shutterstock.com

In today's customer-centric landscape, businesses must break down these barriers and emphasize a cooperative environment where individuals are encouraged and rewarded for transcending silos and uniting their efforts to provide exceptional customer experiences. By understanding the difference between working in silos and collaboration, organizations can unlock the true potential of their customer service (CS) and customer experience (CX) functions.

In this blog post, we will explore the essence of breaking down the CS-CX silos and explore how fostering a culture of collaboration can lead to unparalleled success in delivering a superior experience.

What is Silo Mentality?

Ever encountered the phrase "operating in silos"? The silo definition in business is when different teams or departments in a company work independently, focusing only on their own objectives and keeping important information to themselves. This mindset hampers communication, collaboration, and the overall effectiveness of operations.

To overcome "siloing", organizations must prioritize the following two concepts:

  • Break down barriers and promote cross-functional teamwork
  • Foster open communication, knowledge sharing, and a shared vision. With this, organizations can achieve greater operational efficiency and success.

What are Silos in Business: 3 of the Most Common

Departmental, positional and location make up three of the most common types of silos that exist in organizations today. Using examples, let us take a look at their impact on collaboration, communication, and ultimately the customer experience:

  1. Team/Department: This silo forms when teams within an organization become isolated from one another, primarily due to the organizational structure that typically groups individuals based on their job functions. Each department focuses on its own objectives and responsibilities, often neglecting to collaborate effectively with other departments.

    For example: Consider a company where the marketing department develops a new promotional campaign without consulting the sales or customer service departments. As a result, the sales team may be unprepared to handle the increased customer inquiries generated by the campaign, and customer service may lack the necessary information to address specific customer concerns related to the promotion.

  2. Positional: These silos occur when individuals or teams withhold important information, usually surrounding strategies, from team members at different levels in the organizational hierarchy. This type of silo can hinder effective collaboration and limit the flow of information necessary for making informed decisions.

    For example: Imagine a scenario where a senior manager devises a new strategic initiative but fails to communicate it to their subordinates. As a result, the lower-level team members continue to work on projects that may no longer align with the organization's overarching strategy. This lack of transparency and collaboration between different levels within the organization can lead to confusion, redundancies, and a sense of disconnect among team members.

  3. Location: While the concept of remote work existed before 2020, it was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, many businesses offer employees the choice of home-based work on either a permanent or hybrid basis. However, this has further eroded the location silo. Departments are now not only separated by areas of focus but also by physical locations, some across different countries and time zones. Issues arise when employees working from one location neglect to share information with those in others.

    For example: Consider a multinational company with offices in different countries. The product development team in one location may develop a patch for a security flaw but fail to communicate it to their counterparts in other offices. Consequently, other teams may unintentionally duplicate efforts, or to their surprise, stumble across the patch during a test download. These instances result in wasted resources and decreased efficiency.

How CS/CX Feedback Loops Benefit Entire Organizations

So by this point, we have determined that working in silos rather than collaborating can hinder success. This holds true for customer service (CS) and customer experience (CX) — often separate entities within an organization. If silos exist between the two teams, there can be disconnects in the customer feedback loop.

In case you need a refresher, the customer feedback loop is a systematic process that involves collecting, analyzing, and utilizing feedback from customers to improve products, services, and the overall customer experience. It is a continuous cycle that allows organizations to gather insights, make informed decisions, and take action based on customer input, all while helping them better understand the difference between customer support and customer success.

The critical components of a customer feedback loop include:

  • Collecting Feedback: Organizations can collect customer feedback through various channels such as surveys, feedback forms, online reviews, social media interactions, customer support interactions, and more.
  • Identifying Actionable Insights: These insights help prioritize areas that require attention and provide direction for improvements or changes in products, services, or customer experiences.
  • Implementing Changes: This may involve updating products, refining processes, enhancing customer service, or making changes to marketing strategies.
  • Closing the Loop with Customers: After implementing changes, it is essential to inform customers about the actions taken based on their feedback. This can be done by providing updates, sharing improvements, or reaching out to individual customers to let them know their feedback was heard and acted upon.
  • Monitoring and Iterating: The feedback loop continues as organizations monitor the impact of the changes and gather new feedback. This ongoing process helps organizations evaluate the effectiveness of their actions, make further improvements, and continuously enhance the customer experience.

Feedbackly Customer Feedback Loop

Image courtesy of Feedbackly

What about the client? What does a well-functioning feedback loop mean for them?

  • Enhanced Product and Service Offerings: By incorporating CS/CX feedback into the product development process, organizations can create offerings that better meet customer expectations. Of course this could also lead to increased sales and market share for the organization.
  • Streamlined Issue Resolution: CS/CX feedback loops facilitate a seamless flow of information between teams, allowing for efficient issue resolution. By connecting CS representatives with CX professionals, customer feedback can be quickly shared and analyzed for a quicker resolution and lower support costs.
  • Overall — A Better Understanding: Customers want to feel like they are being understood. CS/CX feedback loops enable a deeper understanding of customer needs, pain points, and preferences. By leveraging this shared knowledge, organizations can deliver more personalized and effective solutions. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty as customers feel understood and supported throughout their journey with the brand.

Read more: Customer Service Resource Center

The Bottom Line: Uniting Customer Support and Customer Experience for Business Success

In the fast-paced business world, the challenges of silos in the workplace have long hindered growth and innovation. To thrive in today's customer-centric landscape, organizations must break down these barriers and foster collaboration across business silos. By uniting CS and CX functions, businesses can deliver exceptional experiences that set them apart. It's time to transcend the limitations of working in silos, unlock the full potential of your organization, and prioritize customer satisfaction for unparalleled success.