Blog 07 November 2022

Data integration: The awkward truth in contact centres

by Nicky Hjerpe

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There’s an awkward truth lurking inside contact centres — where data silos create a headache for data integration.

Even if your agents are world class, your contact centre could be misfiring badly — owing to a stubborn problem buried deep within your operation. Now’s the time to fix it.

According to CX Network’s 2022 report The Big Book of Customer Insight and Analytics, data silos are now the number-one customer data challenge facing customer experience leaders. In fact, nearly half of respondents (46%) list data silos among their top three headaches.

While data silos might seem like back-office gremlins for IT teams to grapple with, the damage caused on the front line is deepening, as tech stacks evolve and customer expectations keep rising.

There’s a common scenario that plays out every day in contact centres. It goes something like this …

A customer phones up with an issue which, for instance, might be about something like fees charged. After the caller answers several security questions and explains their case, the agent can’t find the information needed to resolve the problem, so they ask the customer to speak to the billing department.

The customer then gets transferred, has to wait in another queue, jumps through new security hoops and then explains their issue all over again because the second agent doesn’t have the call history.

The caller is frustrated and feels their time was wasted by an impersonal and dysfunctional brand that doesn’t make the effort to know them. At the same time, the contact centre suffers. The first agent’s time was completely wasted, while the second call-handler found themselves on the back-foot, trying to pacify a frazzled customer. Productivity dips and job satisfaction takes a hit.

How are data silos created?
Without the free flow of data, organisations struggle to get a true, up-to-date picture of their business, their customers and all their touchpoints. Often, multiple sources of information duplicate or contradict each other — or simply become too hard to access when it really matters.

This prevents leaders from making fully-informed strategic decisions or agents from answering everyday customer queries. It’s an awkward truth to accept, but it’s holding back many contact centres. There are common reasons why data silos appear:

  • business growth and acquisition leads to the arrival of new software without proper integration
  • disconnected legacy systems and apps evolve and spiral out of control
  • departments exercise territorial control over their data, hampering collaboration

Even though there’s a compelling business case for integration with a strong return on investment, the issue often gets kicked into the long grass because of short-term concerns over cost, risk and protecting the bottom line. However, the silo problem keeps growing in the background.

Three steps to fixing the problem
Eradicating data silos for good requires leadership and willpower. But it’s not as slow, complex or expensive as many business leaders might think. Companies should follow these three steps:

  • Step 1: Scope out the problem – you need to sit down with your contact centre teams to understand what data they need but cannot access.
  • Step 2: Review your data – this is a bit like reorganising your whole filing system … in the cloud. However, with the right contact centre integration tools, it’s fairly straightforward to conduct a thorough review of your existing data, find similarities and patterns between all data points, and sort your data into groups quickly.
  • Step 3: Create a single platform – using the same integration tools, you can bring your business processes together and unify your data on a single platform — and then make it available to your agents and as well as to colleagues across the business.

Thriving in a silo-free world
At Netcall, we’ve created integration tools for contact centres and cross-functional business processes that deliver game-changing results. Using low-code platform development methods, business professionals can connect systems themselves, unlocking data and accelerating digital transformation that benefits customer service teams and other departments.

Using trustworthy, actionable data, agents in your contact centre — and any colleagues working remotely — will become far more productive.

With a 360-degree view of each customer in our agent desktop, it becomes simple for contact centres to track someone’s earlier interactions, purchase history or other account details. Your team now has what it takes to enrich the customer experience, provide a more personalised service and solve issues at the first point of contact.

You can save time for customers, boost their loyalty, sharpen your team’s performance and grow your revenue — all at the same time.

Contact our team to discover more or visit out Contact Centre page.


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