Death to Silos

by Heather Hughes on December 1, 2016


I wonder if most marketers think in-depth about the contact center and customer service experiences when they map, model, and work to optimize customer experiences and the customer journey. Maybe we should get more involved.

Over the last few years I’ve worked with a SaaS / cloud contact center software leader. Their research has revealed a myriad of insights including the strength of brand loyalty in the face of poor customer service experiences (not good), multichannel preferences (email, phone, online self-service, chat), and omnichannel expectations (let me talk to the same agent, know where I’ve been so far in my journey). And, customers interact with contact centers before, during, and after they make purchases.

Customers, we, expect contact center agents to be able to solve problems. But, when agents can’t access relevant data, or they don’t have the authority to act, the problem becomes more than a problem, it becomes a pain.

That’s why I called this article “Death to Silos”. First, there are data silos. Let’s get our data together. I know moving 100% to the cloud may not be the right solution for some, and that APIs aren’t necessarily plug-and-play, and that hybrid solutions can be a smart solution. Let us hope hybrid doesn’t leave data in silos, or put data in silos.

I’d tell you what customers hate. But you already know. You, me, we’re all customers. We hate being transferred to different agents who may be very good and very professional, but also happen to be very uninformed by no fault of their own.

I also say, death to customer relationship and authority silos. Let’s trust agents to do the right thing. Let success agents be successful. Let them make decisions to solve customer problems.

It is very difficult if not impossible to painlessly solve problems and quickly meet needs when customer success agents can’t access the data they need and do not have the authority to get the job done.

Calling a company with a question, for help, or to fix a problem is still quite commonplace. Some contact center executives and analysts have called the phone the “channel of last resort”. Let’s make it an oasis.

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