With all the ways we are in touch with our colleagues every day, it’s easy to assume that we are good collaborators.
And yet. How often:
- are we searching all the channels to see where we communicated <a thing>?
- do we sit down together with several functional areas to work through a critical business issue with data?
- do sales leaders around the world beg/plead/cajole for the CRM to be updated ahead of a next meeting?
- are our collaborative discussions codified, catalogued, transparent in our customer system of record?
I’d argue that most of us are pretty good at conversations with colleagues – but where do those unstructured insights go after the conversation?
My research on how well we share insights across functional areas is in Chapter 3 of my most recent book, Moats & Drawbridges, The Current State of Sharing. By far this quote from an interviewee sums it up best:
Essentially, every functional area today has insights the other teams need but we’re not great at sharing. And it’s not because we’re terrible humans. It’s simply because we have no history of structured collaboration. Our functional areas and supporting tech infrastructure are largely silo’d.
The Cost of Universally Miserable CX
We need to fix that asap. Customer expectations are far beyond company’s capabilities to be proactive. CX is universally miserable.
- What’s this costing us in terms of both productivity debt and lost customer insights?
- What’s the cost to customers, who need our solutions to make their work efficacious?
Structured Collaboration – Where to Start
- Determine where you are today in the Customer Insights Maturity Model
- Gather a cross-functional team to discuss where you are today and the impact of lost customer insights
- Identify your ideal state and when you’d like to get there
Customer Insights, Invisible All Around
Not only do we need access to the insights our colleagues have, but in order to take meaningful action we need to 1. structure those insights against the standard data we already have but also 2. keep the humans in the loop.
Tech can be great at slicing and dicing, but humans can add context and nuance. Discussions create trigger points that give breadth and depth that the tech just can’t bring to the table.
With the explosion of point solutions, categories, platforms in the past couple decades, we’ve forgotten the value of human connection. To our detriment. But the humans can fix that if we add ourselves back in.
Let’s do that, shall we?