How do you design and deliver exceptional customer experience in an organisation that still behaves in functional silos? This question about organisation culture sits at the cross-roads between marketing and HR.

While questions about shaping organisational culture traditionally sit with HR (and the Executive Team), we see marketing beginning to play a more proactive role. Instead of hoping the business will transform quickly enough, they are stepping up and playing a pivotal leadership role to actively shape the organisational culture.

Play a bigger game

Members Equity (ME) Bank’s Chief Marketing Officer / Customer Experience, Rebecca James has a clear view. She says:

“With responsibility for the design of the customer experience, Marketing has the ability to heavily influence the culture of the organisation, especially in the area of service delivery.”

Certainly there is a massive imperative to act given that the cost of silo behaviour, while often hidden amongst delays, inefficiencies and slow response is damaging the customer experience. There are three powerful areas in which Marketing can shape the culture:

1. Make leadership commitment to the customer tangible

Marketing needs to step in and influence how the strategy is communicated and linked to day-to-day behaviour. Rebecca James explains:

“At ME this influence came in the creation of customer promises that the organisation strives to deliver each and every day. These promises were purposefully written from the customer’s point of view: Know ME, Know More than ME (when it comes to banking), Don’t Bullshit ME and Make ME Smile.”

2. Measure and reward the customer experience

We shouldn’t be too surprised that a ‘silo mentality’ still prevails, because team leaders’ goals, priorities and KPIs are so often in conflict. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) offers a simple, powerful way to measure, publicise and reward performance linked to the customer. Companies such as Lego base bonuses for the whole workforce on NPS scores, and not surprisingly they reinforce the behaviours of teamwork and collaboration.

3. Scale teamwork

Everyone talks about scaling technology, but only the leading edge are actively scaling teamwork as a core capability. Paul Lloyd, Executive Director at Think One Team says:

“We’ve seen a massive shift in our work from traditional silo-based team building, to embedding shared team tools and practices that enable companies to scale teamwork anytime anyplace.”

It’s not like marketing departments don’t have plenty to do, however all that could fizzle without a culture of working together as one team. Fortunately, marketing teams know a thing or two about people experience, which can be applied to culture.

The future of HR

The emergence of marketing specialists connecting customer experience and employee experience is changing the traditional role of HR.

While some HR leaders are stepping in to partner with marketing teams, many are at risk of being relegated to a compliance function.

This isn’t ideal because it risks creating yet another silo at a time when the capability to leverage the power of working together as one team has never been more important.