Silos and Cross-Channel Turf Wars

Multichannel integration continues to be the holy grail for most customer service organizations. However, despite recognizing this, most companies still operate their business units as individual silos that rarely intersect with one another.  Why?  The reasons vary.  Sometimes it’s lack of resources.  Sometimes it’s lack of ownership.  Oftentimes, it’s the result of age-old online vs. offline turf wars.  And like most wars, there can be innocent bystanders.  In the case of e-commerce, it’s the customer.

At this week’s Frost & Sullivan Customer Contact Event, the challenges of integrating channels and breaking down silos are front and center. As 1to1 points out today, the challenges are ubiquitous, "from unsuccessfully disseminating information and not achieving a holistic view of the customer, to not obtaining cooperation in the culture and having the inability to optimize customer information from outside the organization.

When each channel is its own island, there’s little hope of delivering integrated customer service experiences that impact the bottomline.  It’s not just a matter of changing technology, however, it’s a matter of evolving culture and process aswell.  In many ways, businesses must start thinking the same way that consumers think. 

Most customers don’t care about channels, they care about brands, products and services.  If you offer them seamless cross-channel experiences that deliver on the brand promise they’ve come to expect, then you’re likely to have a customer for life.  If you present a jarring experience that distracts customers from what they care about, then you are  one step closer to losing them.

1to1 adds, "If a company’s communications channel is not integrated with the rest of the organization, then customer loyalty is at risk. Without integration, companies cannot deliver an experience to the customer that is tailored and one that they’ve come to expect."