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We all know functional silos of any sort are bad for any organization, let alone in the highly competitive telecom sector where customer loyalty is hard to come by. Silos reduce efficiency, create barriers and add costs to day to day tasks. Your customers see your organization as one entity, yet internally, your employees are divided into departments and geographic locations.

Silos within silos
There are silos within silos. Take, for example, your customer experience department. Is your email response team separated from your social media team? Or are your contact center agents on a different system than your webchat team? How does management view all these reports from different silos at different times?

How to check if your CX processes are in silos
Let's take the point of view of four stakeholders. They all engage with your customer experience department. If you hear the following comments or questions, your CX are in silos:

The Customer
I've emailed you already, why do I need to explain myself again? This is wasting my time.

The Contact Center Agent
I don't have the complete customer conversation history to respond well. The customer is getting frustrated.

The CX Supervisor
Why are my CX reports at different times, with different metrics? This inconsistency is stopping me from analysing effectively. These are providing me with no actionable intelligence.

The Marketing Manager
I want to use a new communication channel for our new product launch, but the costs and risks are too high. This is stopping us from reaching a new demographic.

These comments all affect your CX. The impact of these statements is obvious: your customers are frustrated for repeating information, the contact center agents are not empowered to deliver a good service, the management team cannot rely on reports to improve service delivery and the marketing department cannot innovate with new communication channels due to high costs and time restraints.

Your organization is not alone
Hearing these four comments is not uncommon. Rest assured, you are not alone. In a recent survey by Periscope McKinsey (2016), 78% of all organizations surveyed said their CX communications had no unified brand experience. This is another way of saying that 78% of organizations asked, had CX silos.

So, what are these 78% of organizations doing about this? Well, 64% now recognize that achieving a well-defined, consistent multichannel customer experience is a top priority for sustained digital growth. This is basically saying their customer experience channels need to be unified onto one system to deliver on a single brand experience.

The top 3 organization reasons for unifying silos
The three most popular reasons to remove silos in your CX operations are as follows:
67% say it is the lack of customer analytics across the communication channels per conversation
48% say silos are reducing agent productivity
45% say the data captured is of poor quality and unusable

The most popular reason for organizations to integrate their CX silos is data quality. Actionable intelligence is what drives CX quality and many organizations recognize this. This point cannot be stressed enough. Intelligence is vital for the entire organization, especially from a strategic standpoint. As Bill Gates once said, "Your most unhappy customers are our greatest source of learning." Your CX channels are at the forefront of customer engagement; any unhappy customers will be discovered here first.

Different CX vendors
As communication channels grow over time, your organization adapts and adds these new channels. It is very likely that all your communication channels are from different vendors, grown through organic expansion. This means your email system is from a different supplier to your SMS gateway, which in turn is different from your contact center provider. With so many suppliers, accumulating accurate reports as one department is almost impossible. Your contact center agents will also need access to numerous systems, slowing down customer interactions. Agents will require additional training on system updates and your IT Infrastructure manager has to juggle many service contracts. It's becoming clear that a unified CX platform is the answer.

It is obvious that the solution to multiple vendors is to only have one. There's one system to unify your email, webchat and social engagement, with one agent desktop and one reporting engine to create accurate and responsive reports.

OmniCloud: A unified CX platform from IST and Genesys
OmniCloud, powered by Genesys, is a unified CX platform that handles your customer emails, webchat and social engagements on one platform. Furthermore, it is hosted on the cloud, meaning all your stakeholders can access the system from anywhere. With OmniCloud, here are the comments you will begin to hear:
The Customer
Wow, I didn't have to repeat myself and you answered my query quickly.

The Contact Center Agent
I have the complete customer conversation history on one screen so I can respond with the right information without having to ask the customer to repeat.

The CX Supervisor
My reports are consistent and unified from one reporting engine. I am getting the accurate intelligence I need to improve CX.

The Marketing Manager
I can 'test the market' and launch new features quickly without the burden of typically high on-prem costs.

By integrating the complete conversation across one platform, the CX department will yield many benefits. You will generally require less agents as response times will be faster on one agent desktop. Agents will be cross-skilled to handle all the various channels and flexible enough to cater to customer surges, especially during new product launches, like new iPhones or 5G. Training costs will be significantly lower as your CX agents only need training on one system. IT product support and maintenance will be vastly simplified with a single vendor.

Cloud platform benefits
OmniCloud is hosted on the cloud. As with many cloud platforms, this brings a multitude of benefits to the organization.

Zero capital expenditure to get started
Add and remove agents to fit in with seasonal demand
Turn features on/off when you don't need them
Try new features without incurring high set up costs
Test the market before going live

This flexibility and scalability is essential for your CX team to grow as your organization does. The ability to test the market with new channels is vitally important for growth and innovation. Your marketing team now has the freedom to test new campaigns and measure its effectiveness without the traditional high costs.

Integrating CX Silos is now possible, thanks to IST and Genesys. It is even more advantageous when you consider the solution is in the Cloud, which provides ultimate flexibility and scalability.

Your CX team can view customer conversation across the entire customer journey, meaning customer correspondence is now context relevant, with full engagement history automatically presented to your agent during each interaction. Your agents will be empowered to deliver.

With OmniCloud, IST sentiment analysis can be easily bolted on, meaning you can now listen in on your customers' sentiment on social media and act on that intelligence. Negative sentiments are automatically routed to an agent to solve issues, and questions are routed to your sales team as possible leads.

Use OmniCloud today to reduce your CX operational costs and improve customer experience in line with your brand.

By Norman Liu, IST Marketing Directors

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