Recently I switched my mobile phone carrier.
The process should’ve been simple.
But as many people who have switched or connected a phone or internet service knows, it was in reality a bloody shambles.
Things started out ok.
I received my new phone quickly, with an assurance my sim would be switched over the next business day. Cool.
So the next morning I received a text saying the swap was beginning, and it would take 15 minutes - 4 hours to happen. Cool.
9 hours later… nothing. New phone not working - still just an expensive and shiny toy.
Let the games begin…
Over the next 5 DAYS, I was bounced from department to department
I was told ‘it will be fixed today’ – for 5 days in a row 😠😠😠
Each time I called, not only did it waste my time, but it eroded any trust I had in this new carrier. To the point I was regretting my decision and about to cancel my contract.
I’m sure I’m not alone – it seems every Australian has a ‘Telco horror story’.
It’s why the thought of ringing customer service raises our blood pressure. Why the very term ‘customer service’ is becoming an oxymoron…
It’s not the time wasted. It’s more the little pieces of misinformation, tiny delays, incongruencies in communication, and being told different things that don’t add up by different people that is what really causes our rage.
Interestingly, this is a powerful lesson for YOUR business.
Let me explain.
Clearly, the big Telcos work in SILOS.
Each department is compartmentalised. And so is the knowledge between them.
So instead of seeing the whole picture, their operators can only see one tiny piece. The piece they’ve been trained on.
So everyone you speak to in each department can only see 10% of the picture. They’re blind to the rest of the chain they’re a part of.
And that’s why simple problems take 5 people and 8 hours to solve.
Because nobody can see the big picture enough to troubleshoot problems.
They can’t see how information from Department A affects Department B.
I get why big multinational corporations do this.
It’s simply not feasible to train people to have a higher ‘bird’s eye’ view of the entire business.
But for YOUR business, it’s crucial that your employees know how EVERY OTHER department works.
I’m not saying your marketing manager needs to do a bookkeeping course, but it’s important for your staff to understand how what happens in their department affects other areas of the business.
How a missed call from one department can break another department’s chain for onboarding a new client.
How a new marketing email sequence will completely derail your sales team’s communication strategy.
How the great new app you’re using in your department has chopped off functionality for your accounting team.
Get the picture?
The scary thing about ‘silo problems’ is that nobody notices them until the sh*t totally hits the fan.
And you’ve got a pissed off client wanting to withdraw.
Your monthly sales go down the toilet because your prospects are confused.
Your cash flow chokes and dies because invoices aren’t being issued.
So rather than employ a bunch of people to do ‘their jobs’, think about how you can educate every employee with a working understanding of your business’ ecosystem as a whole.
Get them talking to each other about what they’re doing.
Get them to collaborate in ways that help each other’s department do their jobs easier and better.
Make sure each employee understands the strategies and initiatives you’re launching each month, so they understand how their actions affect the business’ goals in the bigger scheme of things.
Elevate your staff’s thinking beyond ‘task level’.