Silos to Systemness: Why it’s Critical to the Success of your CX

Systemness.  It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but if you’re in the CX arena and haven’t heard this word then you may want to familiarize yourself with it. Healthcare companies have been using the term increasingly over the last few years.  Sure, it sounds like another pretentious corporate buzzword but once understood and put into the context of customer experience it should resonate loudly.

The definition of systemness is as follows: the state, quality, or condition of a complex system, that is, of a set of interconnected elements that behave as, or appear to be, a whole, exhibiting behavior distinct from the behavior of the parts (yep, straight from Wikipedia).  For healthcare companies with a very sophisticated delivery model, that means providing patient-focused, seamless and high-quality care across the many parts of the system.  You could easily substitute a couple of words and achieve the CX-focused equivalent of delivering a consistent customer experience across every touchpoint that a customer encounters with a brand.

Easier said than done. First, consider all the touchpoints – website, retail stores, apps, billing, contact center and more.  It’s not uncommon for each of these touchpoints to fall under different departments. Moreover, the data generated from each is a) often created and stored in its own unique platform and b) “owned” by the department that is responsible for the touchpoint.  Different platforms, data and ownership lead to inconsistent insights, priorities and resulting decisions.  That sounds a lot like silos, and that is the opposite of systemness.

Here’s the thing – customers don’t give a $#!% what department they’re dealing with.  They see a company as one entity, and they expect to be treated consistently throughout their journey with a brand.  We’ve all been through this in our own consumer journeys.  The information we see on a website is totally different than what we’re told by a contact center agent.  The promotion we signed up for at the store is not reflected in the very first bill we receive.  The product we saw in the advertisement is not available on the app. These incongruencies drive us away from those brands in search of a better experience.  There are just too many choices out there to suffer through repeated problems.

Our Topbox customer experience analytics platform was created for the purpose of identifying those inconsistent experiences so that businesses can resolve them quickly and effectively.  We aggregate unique data sets, apply our classification model and provide interactive, guided visualizations needed to find these inconsistencies and determine the root causes. In short, we help companies achieve systemness.

Those of us in the CX arena should take a page out of the healthcare playbook and strive for systemness.  While the concept of “customer churn” may not have the same level as severity as it does in healthcare, the life or death of most businesses depends on consistently great customer experiences.

How does your company achieve perfect systemness?



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