Unite Your Divisions

Everyone in your company affects your brand. Here’s a brainstorming technique to get them all involved.

Wendy Ruyle 5.8.2018

These days your brand isn’t controlled by marketing. It is affected by each and every member of your staff from R&D to sales, from operations to customer service.

Solving customer problems has to be everyone’s job. Here’s a way to get everyone involved in a brainstorming technique to elevate your brand.

Start with your problem

Think about what problem you need to solve to increase your brand equity. Maybe it is your number one customer complaint captured in surveys or in your call center. Perhaps it is a change in your marketplace that you need to address. Or it could be the reason your sales team tells you they can’t close the deal.

Assemble the team

Get a representative from each area of the company from product or service inception to follow-up years down the road. That means R&D, operations or production, marketing, sales, customer service, logistics, delivery, repair, purchasing, finance, and human resources.

Leadership’s perspective can be useful, but sometimes it is better to get the views of someone with boots on the ground who knows the intricacies of the day-to-day operations of the organization. Don’t overlook how much insight someone in your call center or at your front desk has. They are the front lines to your customers.

Get them all in a room together and explain the problem you want to solve. Give them background on your discovery process for the problem. At this point double check that you are solving the right problem. With more voices in the room you may find that the problem you thought you had stems from a different place in the supply chain. Or there is a bigger problem that needs to be solved first.

Gather ideas

Start one round where each representative makes a suggestion about what their own department could do to solve the problem. Note what additional resources would be needed to accomplish this change. More staff? Training? New processes? Supplies?

Then do a second round where your team makes a suggestion for another department. Keep it constructive and don’t play the blame game but get a diverse set of opinions on how improvements could be made. Sales might request more tools from marketing. Delivery drivers may request logistic changes to better serve clients.

Finally, do a third round where you gather suggestions of how two or more departments could work together to solve the problem. Maybe R&D listens in on some customer service calls. Or marketing does some job shadowing with sales to understand their needs.

Evaluate and follow up

Do some informal voting in the room or use a different technique to evaluate the options. Be sure to allot additional resources where needed or nothing will get off the ground. Don’t forget to track and measure your improvements and follow up with the entire team to thank them for their ideas.

Consider making this a monthly or quarterly activity to address company-wide issues with your entire team. Your brand can’t thrive until all the parts of your organization are working in harmony to solve customer needs.

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