CX silo

4 Ways to Get Rid of Painful CX Silos

Siloed systems are one of the greatest obstacles to a quality customer experience (CX).

Your team can spend days crafting the perfect customer journey, but if only some people on your team can see the most recent interaction with the customer, how can your perfect customer journey come to fruition?

When customer touchpoints across different channels are not in sync, customers can get inconsistent information – particularly over email, live chat, and social media. When the data you collect from and about your customer is decentralized, you build a disjointed understanding of the customer for your agents, more often than not resulting in a poor customer experience. Customers are often forced to repeat themselves, re-enter information, re-explain the problem, or re-send a request for support.

Such silos can also result in a customer receiving the wrong message at the wrong time, or getting different or confusing messages from two agents who both think they are handling the problem. This is becoming increasingly common as social media has become a platform to complain and publicly shame the brand in hopes of finding a resolution faster than the email support ticket they just sent.

If one agent is responding to support tickets and another is responding to social messages, do they know they just got the same query from the same person? Will they respond in the same way? What happens if the agent on Facebook promises a reimbursement and two hours later the customer receives an email saying there’s nothing that can be done?  

These inconsistencies and silos lead to mounting friction, unhappy customers, and a higher churn rate. Here are four steps to dismantle silos so that you can ensure that your customers enjoy the best possible experience across whatever channel they choose to reach out to you on. 

1. Leverage your CRM data 

The first step to providing your agents with the visibility they need to offer amazing customer experiences is to integrate your customer engagement platform with the lifeblood of your business – your customer database. 

Your customer database will most likely be a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. However, it could be any central store of customer data including your marketing automation, accounting or shipping systems.

By integrating your customer engagement platform with your CRM, every agent will have access to key information including customer contact details, past sales, accounts, and contact history. Unless you want to do a security or identity check, your customers will never have to re-enter their information again! Any new data can be fed back into this database, ensuring an ongoing, up-to-date view of your customer. 

Recommended for you: CRM, Social Media, Marketing and More — Everything You Need to Know About Customer Engagement Software 

2. Utilize web activity data 

Many organizations today use web activity insight tools to show them what individuals are doing on their website. For example, eCommerce companies can see when a customer or prospect has put something into their digital shopping cart. B2B companies, on the other hand, might be more interested in when a website visitor is hovering on the ‘get a quote’ or ‘contact us’ page. Would this change the way you engage with them? (We hope so!)  

When Google Analytics, or the web insights tool you use, is integrated with your customer engagement platform, web activity data can be used to trigger automated proactive live chat messages at the optimal moments. For example, when a customer’s cart value exceeds a certain value, or a prospect has been looking at your product page for several minutes, you can extend a friendly offer of assistance. This can have a huge impact on reducing web page abandonment and bounces.

Brands can also use this data to take advantage of cross-selling or upselling opportunities, such as initiating a live chat to recommend another item related to an item already in the customer’s cart, or even make sure they’ve seen the glowing reviews.  

When you properly harness web activity data, your organization can automate marketing pushes cohesively across channels like live chat, email, or even on social media. With a unified view of both your customer’s present web engagement and their relationship history, you can  address any real-time requests for support cohesively across channels. 

Recommended for you: 8 Proactive Chat Best Practices with Ready-to-Use Scripts 

3. Incorporate an omnichannel customer engagement platform 

For your CX systems to truly be free of silos, your customer’s entire journey should be accessible from one central location. Agents should have full visibility of a customer’s complete cross-channel interaction history and should be able to easily apply that information to interactions on any channel.  

Taking the silos out of customer engagement doesn’t just make customer service better – it also increases sales. 75% of business buyers say that connected processes are very important to winning their business. Connected processes help salespeople do their job, too – 81% of sales representatives believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey, and customer service agents would agree! 

When your agents have details about every ongoing query across live chat, email, ticketing, social media and SMS texting, at their fingertips through a digital omnichannel engagement platform, your customers will never have to repeat themselves, repeat steps in the process, or receive misguiding information again.  

Remember that customer who complained on email and through Facebook? These two cases can be packaged as one ticket for one agent to respond to so the customer gets the same, consistent, clear message back (although formatted slightly differently to accommodate the different channels).  

With a digital omnichannel customer engagement platform, you’ll have taken a great stride forward in improving your customer experience.  

Recommended for you: Customer Engagement 2020: Why the Digital Journey Changes Everything and How to Keep Up

4. Tackle internal silos 

Breaking down systematic silos won’t pack as much punch unless you address any internal silos among your departments and agents. Here are some easy ways to free your business of the pain-points that come with internal silos and better serve your customers:

  • Train team members to be fluent across channels. By training your agents to handle queries on any channel, a single agent can follow a customer’s query through to completion, regardless of which channel they engage from. This helps reduce headaches and confusion and can also help build rapport between agents and customers.
  • Use routing rules effectively. Some companies are too large to train agents to handle multiple channels effectively. If you want to ensure a digital omnichannel experience for your customer while maintaining siloed teams – one responding to email, one responding to live chats, for example – use routing rules to make sure that the queries gets to the right department every time. Agents will have access to the conversation history across other channels for the context they need to deliver a helpful response. 
  • Employ account managers. For some of your most important customers,  you need an account manager at the ready who knows their situation front-to-back. Partners, ABM accounts, high-spending B2B clients, and healthcare patients are just a few examples of people who may  require designated account managers for high-end personalized service. Employ similar routing rules as above, and these customers will always be directed to the most suitable agent.   

Recommended for you: Never Miss a VIP: How to Identify and Delight Your Most Important Customers in the Digital World

Conclusion 

According to a Walker study, by the end of 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. The more effort you put into effectively recognizing and supporting your customers along their journeys, the more successful you’ll be in delivering a quality customer experience.

By integrating CRM and website activity data with a digital omnichannel customer engagement platform, you will eliminate restrictive technology silos and data black-holes from your CX systems. Couple this with effective training practices, routing rules, and dedicated VIP account management, and you’ll be providing amazing customer experiences on every occasion. 

This post is the second of two that cover just a few points of our ‘Never Miss a VIP’ white paper. Read part 1 about how to identify your VIPs here, or access the full story below.

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About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Specialist at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.