Create Customer-Focused Teams

Breaking the Silo: How to Create Customer-Focused Teams

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We’ve all seen it happen – teams get so hyper-focused on perfecting their internal workings that the customer’s needs fall by the wayside. Engineering obsesses over technical perfection, marketing chases vanity metrics, and sales pushes numbers without considering downstream impacts.

Many leaders simply accept this siloed mentality as the inevitable trade-off for having specialised expertise on each team. But rampant misalignment means the products and services hitting the market underwhelm and leave customers disappointed. That’s not a recipe for long-term success!

So how can we start shifting that inside-out approach to a more outside-in, customer-first mentality?

Well, it starts with some mindset adjustments.

How can we create customer-focused teams?

Promote Shared Ownership

Rally everyone around the full customer journey rather than just optimising for their isolated contribution. Sure, sales ‘owns’ revenue. But marketing, product, service – they all share ownership of creating a delightful end-to-end experience. Make rewards about cross-functional collaboration.

Incentivise Interdependency

Speaking of rewards – tie compensation and recognition (the good stuff) to goals that involve trade-offs between teams. Not just individual results. Basically, reward-checking department-level egos at the door to advance that higher-level shared mission of putting customers first. Make sure metrics align with real-world outcomes, not just functional targets.

Instil Immersive Empathy

Close the customer feedback loop already! Get everyone’s hands dirty by mandating regular rotations through support and success roles to hear the voice of the customer loud and clear. Conduct immersive customer research days. Inject real user stories and struggles into your usual meetings and planning. That frontline discomfort should be informing your prioritisation trade-offs.

Bring the voice of the customer into the room

Identify impassioned customer champions within each team to evangelise for user needs in every discussion and decision. Give these advocates formal influence by baking customer obsession into expectations and criteria. Make the voice of your customer feel tangible and ever-present.

The journey from silos to symphony requires deliberately infusing customer empathy into your cultural fabric, processes, and leadership priorities. But that collective sense of shared purpose? It’s absolutely worth the work.

Need help building customer-focused teams?

That’s literally our speciality! Our empathetic and experienced coaches work closely with you,  patiently guiding teams towards confidence, collaboration, and true customer-centricity.

Find out more here, or book a virtual cuppa and chat to explore how we can help you break down those silos, align around customers, and work better together. 

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