Creating a flawless customer journey begins here: advice for getting your team out of silos and back on the same page

Last week, we explored how you can get your team to execute your policies and processes more effectively —
a core element of operational excellence.

Sidenote — here’s a recap of our series on operational excellence if you need to catch up:

This week, we’ll be closing out the series with some guidance around how to pull your team out of silos and create a more streamlined customer journey through cross-departmental training.

When we put together the content for the Design Studio Best Practices WORKSHOP, we knew that it needed to cover more than just what happens at the design studio. That’s why we spend two days exploring and improving upon your buyer journey, from end to end. So when we talk about operational excellence and improving your policies for how things get done, we’re talking about what happens from…

  • When a potential buyer is first considering buying a
    home from you
  • Through the sales experience
  • During and after contract signing
  • How buyers prepare for the design studio visit
    (and how we prepare as well)
  • At the actual design studio appointments and what
    happens in between them
  • During authorization and finalization of selections
  • Through change requests and beyond

… And more. That’s the reason why we require builder management teams of up to 5 people at Design Studio Best Practices, from your core departments, rather than a single attendee.

Operational excellence is about what happens in every touch point of your business. And if your departments are operating in silos, your efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction WILL be suffering as a result.

Why silos are killing your customer satisfaction

Can you remember the last time you called your bank or your internet service provider? (I get a headache just thinking about it.)

Maybe you’ve dealt with the frustration of dealing with different departments that don’t seem to have an open line of communication. You wait on the line, you enter your 21-digit account number, then your zip code, then your mother’s maiden name… and when you FINALLY reach a human, the first thing she says is, “Hi! Can I have your account number?”

And on and on it goes. Your customers feel the same frustration when their information isn’t transferred efficiently and consistently between departments — and when it seems like each department is operating in it’s own little world, rather than in the customers’ best interests and in service of their ultimate goal.

Which leads me to my next point…

How well is information being transferred between departments in your business?

The information that your sales team discovers about your buyers in the initial stages of their journey is priceless. Facts like why the buyer is relocating, or needs a larger home, or is choosing to downsize their home is critical information that should flow through to the design, construction, and customer care  teams.

Imagine how impressed your customer will be to meet their design studio consultant and hear them say, “So I heard from Joe, your new home consultant, that you’re moving here because of the great school system…”

Sharing information between departments not only makes the process easier for your customer, but it also creates trust and shows them that your team is working together on their behalf.

Sharing information isn’t just better for customers. The reality for builders is that your departments are already closely intertwined — sales, design, construction, estimating, purchasing, warranty… the question is: are your teams working towards the same vision?

Imagine the power — the improved efficiency and true operational excellence — you could achieve with all of your departments fully aligned with the customer journey, committed to sharing information and solving problems together. It’s powerful!

So… where do we begin?

Consider cross-training your team (but do it with a plan)

One our favorite ways to get teams out of silos and back on the same page is through a structured cross-training program, and it’s something we walk builders through in detail as part of Design Studio Best Practices WORKSHOP.

Our builder management teams find that the time they invest in cross-departmental training consistently returns significant benefits and huge improvements in customer experience (not to mention operational efficiency and more holistic solutions to complex problems).

Here are some examples:

  • Have your sales and design teams walk a house under construction together.
  • Take sales, design and construction on a walkthrough of a model home with the interior designer.
  • Bring sales and construction into the design studio to see what happens during a design appointment.

We recommend all of these and more as part of our Design Studio Best Practices WORKSHOP, and we give you a structured program to make it happen efficiently and put your insights into practice (among many other resources, tools, and action plans you can implement right away).

If there’s one thing I’d like to leave you with as we close out this series, it’s that operational excellence and improving your customer experience is a company-wide endeavour — one that ultimately begins from the top-down. If you’re reading this article, it’s because you have the power to create the exceptional experience your customers are looking for.

If you’re ready to step out of the silos into excellence, take advantage of the only opportunity in the next 9 months to learn the exact information we’ve taught over 100 other builder management teams, who are now functioning more efficiently and reaping massive rewards in customer experience, and increased options revenue.  Only two spots remain for builder teams at our Design Studio Best Practices WORKSHOP where you’ll get the insights, practical information and process playbook you need to turn your entire staff into a high-functioning and buyer-focused team. Don’t let another year pass before making the transformation that could change your company!

Go deeper with the Design Studio Best Practices WORKSHOP:

If you aren’t sure how to take back control and increase customer satisfaction at the same time, let us show you how. We’ve done it successfully with hundreds of builders and we’d love to support you with this comprehensive and powerful WORKSHOP experience.

 

Learn more here about the September 5 – 6, 2018 WORKSHOP.