Silos can be the bane of any organization. They originate from great intentions and the systems they encompass usually work perfectly well in their own right, but they make getting a seamless activity across the complete organization impossible. This is never truer than for a contact center.
Customers expect to use various methods of communication when they contact an organization. They may want to send an email one day, speak to someone the next and find it more suitable to use webchat three days later. And, they expect all those communications to be related with the subject matter continuing through each. Make the customer repeat their query every time and you may as well show them the exit.
Organizations need to tear down the silos and create a unified system, one where agents can handle communications regardless of type, and reporting can be delivered from across the whole contact center. A unified contact center not only provides a joined-up experience for the customer but can give the agent an exciting new outlook by providing variety to their workload. Instead of being locked to answering inbound calls, agents can be trained to handle a mixture of communications. Not only will the unified system blend different media types across the agents according to the rules applied but it will also move agents seamlessly between different media queues to handle peak periods.
Likewise, the reporting available for a unified contact center will not only give a complete view of how campaigns and agents are performing but will enable a more thorough understanding of customer behaviour. Using the knowledge of how customers flit between communication types will make planning more effective and give a better decision on what is a priority, which would have been totally missed in the silos.
And the holy grail is that a unified system should ideally involve just one vendor. No difficult integrations with third parties and total clarity when it comes to support. It's just one stop shopping.
Make sure your unified system is able to future proof itself and doesn't become a silo itself over time. When new media types come along and customers embrace them, your unified system needs to be open enough to easily accommodate them.