Virtualization Technology News and Information
How IT Silos Are Creating a Fragmented Customer Experience

By Darach Beirne, VP of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado

Providing a seamless customer experience (CX) across all touchpoints is a top priority for businesses in any industry. According to a recent report, organizations consider customer experience and service as top investment areas in 2022. However, the shifts to remote and hybrid work have created their own challenges for businesses. With the influx of workforce optimization tools, changing consumer preferences and the rapid move to remote work, businesses face numerous barriers in creating a fluid customer experience.

Another common obstacle to CX is the emergence of IT silos. An IT silo occurs when data is stored in different places or isolated from parts of the organization. If the systems cannot communicate, then the data sets cannot be linked, and they each would be considered their own data silo because they are effectively invisible to each other.

Organizations with numerous departments or distributed teams can easily fall victim to the problem of IT silos. And the longer such silos exist, the more deeply and stubbornly ingrained they can become within an organization's culture. A business' dysfunctional flow of information can bleed over and impact its external interaction with a customer.

To address the threat of silos and their impact to CX, a company can optimize its technology stack to bridge disparate systems and improve customer support. More specifically, businesses can optimize cloud-based telecom solutions to overcome isolated communication channels and encourage sharing of data among employees, like contact center agents. According to Frost & Sullivan's report "The Contact Center's Journey to the Cloud," the most agile organizations rely on cloud-based communication tools to support remote workers and optimize business functions. The report notes that "cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions proved most effective at bridging people across geographic distances." In addition, the report states that cloud-based technology is important to the future of contact centers specifically, strengthening agent efficiency and the team's approach to customer experience.

To overcome segmented internal channels and increase agility, many contact centers are turning to cloud-based telecom APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Telecom APIs are a set of standard software functions that an application can use to operate the network architecture and help customize telephony offerings to meet customers' needs. These APIs streamline communications in software without adding technical complexity. They are also a critical tool for preventing silos and enhancing a customer's journey.

Telecom APIs are often leveraged by contact centers since they enable contextual communication experiences. For example, a contact center using telecom APIs can access a call detail record (CDR), which corresponds with a specific phone number. When a customer calls the contact center, the support agent can quickly access the CDR to gain a better understanding of the customer's past interactions with the company. Without visibility into past communications with the customer, a representative may extend the conversation unnecessarily and ask questions that were previously addressed in other conversations. This lack of transparency and choppy interaction can cause frustration to the customer and ultimately hurt brand loyalty. Cloud-based telecom APIs can help businesses overcome these situations by knocking down the barriers created by silos and bridging internal communications together to give agents a holistic view of the customer.

Cloud-based and fully remote contact centers have increased in popularity in recent years as the preference for contactless customer support has grown in tandem. It is anticipated that remote contact centers will continue to increase in popularity. According to Gartner, "30% of organizations will have moved their contact centers' operations off-premises, with a 60% jump in all agents working from home" by 2024. Utilizing the right technology that fosters collaboration and prevents silos becomes even more imperative for contact centers that have been fully migrated to the cloud or have remote contact center operations, where agents may be scattered across different locations. The last thing a company wants to do is create information silos which can hinder an agent's ability to easily locate detailed information about a customer.

To connect the gap between different tools, hosted contact centers can leverage intelligent communications solutions that integrate with other applications and providers to help companies communicate effectively. Remote contact centers can work with their communications service provider to determine best practices to ensure smooth integration across all platforms. As more departments embrace cloud-based IT investments to remain agile and resilient to future unknowns, the need for transparent cross-department integration is critical.

In conclusion, optimal customer experience drives the long-term health and success of a business. Leveraging cloud communications solutions like telecom APIs help organizations scale and mitigate growing pains. With cloud-based telecom solutions, businesses can enable better communication at all their external touchpoints with customers, helping to elevate the customer journey.



Darach Beirne 

Darach Beirne is vice president of customer success at Flowroute, now part of Intrado. With more than 25 years of experience building and leading B2B customer success, Darach leads Flowroute's dedicated customer support team, driving strategy for customer success and improved customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Flowroute, Darach led professional service and sales engineering teams for providers such as Contenix, Huawei/3Leafsytems, InQuira, Siebel/Scopus, and Ingres. He also has assisted high-tech companies in developing strategies to improve the customer experience and increase scalability.

Published Wednesday, October 20, 2021 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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