As Aberdeen Group analyst Michael Lock (@MLock_Insights) notes in the report, leading companies are tapping into the collective brainpower that not only exists within their own four walls but also throughout the “extended enterprise,” including customers, suppliers, and business partners who are able to contribute unique insights that can be used to help strengthen decision making.
But before that kind of collaboration can occur, companies first must break through the divisional and information silos that exist within their own organizations. For instance, transactional and behavioral information about customers that’s gathered by different business divisions and organizational functions such as sales, marketing, and customer service are often maintained separately from one another, preventing decision makers from gathering a 360-degree view of their customers, including their needs and preferences. Those silos also prevent companies from being able to detect customer trends that can carry both positive and negative business consequences.
For example, a national, big-box retailer might discover that customer satisfaction scores have nosedived in certain locations. Such information can help alert decision makers that there may be one or more problems that are leading to customer dissatisfaction. However, the information on its own doesn’t let them know what the root causes of the problems might be or how to address them.
However, if business leaders can draw upon customer feedback and other information across various product lines and different parts of the business, they’d have greater insights into what the causes of those problems might be so they can help formulate a strategy for addressing those issues.
Start with small wins
One of the first steps companies can take to foster more collaborative enterprises is to initiate pilot programs to share customer data across different parts of their organizations and demonstrate the business benefits such teamwork can deliver. Indeed, the business divisions that willingly share customer information will be those that will most benefit from such collaboration.
By demonstrating small wins – and by gaining the commitment to information sharing from influential C-level executives – business leaders can help cultivate a more collaborative environment that will ultimately benefit the entire enterprise.
Companies that have developed a complete view of their customers are able to provide them with more relevant and meaningful offers and support that can then help lead to greater loyalty and increased customer value.
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