For a long time silos have been talked about as the bane of the business world, because silos throw up barriers to communication. But silos do something else that is perhaps more insidious (or equally as insidious), they can allow one department to set expectations with members that another department fails to deliver on.
Sometimes the staff groups doing the selling, marketing, and soliciting feedback are not the same people who are serving the members throughout their membership. Unless these two groups work extremely collaboratively, members see a disconnect. Members experience:
- Promises are broken.
- Follow up that does not happen.
- Timing not matching up with expectations.
- Lackluster benefits that sound better than they actually are.
- Products that turn out to work differently than they were sold.
Check for silos wherever member expectations are being established.
- Between marketing and every department
- Between membership sales and member services
- Between volunteers who are calling members and the staff
- Between the membership department and a hired call center
When members tell you that their experience was different from their expectations, your association might have silos.