Most businesses will structure themselves around functional expertise. The problem with this is it often inhibits collaboration and often stifles innovation. When you have a group of people solely focused on one task its easy for them to be too close to understand the larger picture and/or be resistant to change for fear it will impact their livelihood. Today many teams are still slowed down by being dependent on each other, and even cross-functional teams often don’t work close enough together, which results in scattered customer journeys, outcomes and service levels.
So when you’re thinking about changing things up, make sure the right people sit together in ways that make sense to your customer. Think about the customer journey and how you can better move from one point to another. Align your most expensive resources to your most valuable customers. for example in customer acquisition; align your high-touch and face-to-face channels only with high-value segments.
Hire Specialist Roles
Amazon famously used to keep an empty chair at all their major board meetings to represent the customer. (Or at least this is the excuse the procurement person came up with as to why he’d bought too many chairs) Many organisations are now deciding to instead fill that empty chair with a Chief Customer Officer or a Chief Experience Officer etc. The role of a CCO or CXO is to be an advocate for customers and enhance their journey. All too often though, they aren’t given enough power, resources or influence in order to impact real change and whilst having a single “owner” is desirable from an organisation’s point of view, they can unwittingly take responsibility away from the employees actually serving customers. Unless you fully support a CCO/CXO they will quickly become a figurehead and may even be perceived as being put in place as a gesture.