It’s the death knell of outstanding customer service: “I’m sorry sir, our department doesn’t handle that.”

You know you have a problem when your customer service team must explain how your company is organized.

Cross-functional dysfunction happens when two or more functions of your company don’t work toward a common goal, like providing seamless customer service.

People invariably smile or even burst out in laughter when I mention the phrase; Cross-functional dysfunction. It happened again last week as I was interviewing a client. People instinctively know what I mean. And they know that most organizations suffer from at least a little of cross-functional dysfunction.

Last week I had to call a customer service line due to an issue with a product. The nice fellow on the other end of the call was not able to assist, as the problem I experienced was caused by an issue in another area of the company. He couldn’t assist me. He was kind enough to explain to me how different parts of the company support different elements of the product. As of this writing, my issue remains unresolved, and I have no line of sight to resolution.

With more people working from home these days, excellent customer service is crucial for many industries. In fact, I believe it will become one of the most critical differentiating factors for many. Don’t let your company fall victim to poor customer service.

Call to action. Call your own customer service. Ask about something obscure. Look for the cracks. Then fix what’s wrong. Fixing could be as simple has having the two orgs discuss how they impact each other and then take action to close the gaps. This is one topic discussed in my eBook, Activate: 15 Steps to Profitable Strategy Execution.

Or, it could be as difficult as rebuilding your underlying corporate culture. Too big to cover in this newsletter, I’m always happy to discuss. Use my free culture assessment to determine just how significant your cultural issues might be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Please go out to LinkedIn to add your comments.

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,


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