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Got Silo Syndrome?

Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Does your organisation suffer from Silo Syndrome? You aren’t alone. Many large organisations with a significant number of customers are experiencing the same major disconnect between their online and offline channels, and their customer service is slipping as a result.

Silo Syndrome occurs when each department/channel (digital, call centre, retail) focus only on their own specific goals, KPIs and targets. In short, they end up siloed. Yet your customer's interact with you across multiple touchpoints, both online and offline, so they naturally expect a seamless experience that supports their individual needs. But are they getting it?


Omni-channel is a word/phrase describing a business strategy. According to Frost & Sullivan, omni-channel is defined as "seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels”

Multi-channel vs Omni-channel

what's the difference?

In the traditional multi-channel environment, the website is the hub of the business. Consumers visit a website and complete their journey online, or they could move to an offline support channel, or go to the store. Brands understand channels individually – the volume of calls received, the impact of live chat on their website, and online conversion – but are unaware of how these channels are interconnected and interdependent.

As a result, opportunities are missed and customers are left with a disjointed experience. A multi-channel environment is essentially siloed, with multiple channels working independently of each other.

In the omni-channel environment, these silos are broken down. Channels are integrated to provide a seamless experience. Consumers move from online to offline and back again, and brands can follow that movement and know exactly who their customers are. An Omni-channel strategy provides a detailed understanding of the performance of each channel and, importantly, the impact channels have on each other as well as the whole business unit.

How to break down the silos?

In the B2C environment, competition is fierce. It is increasingly difficult to differentiate on product or price alone. Service, customer experience and ease of use are what make a company stand out, which is why it’s more important than ever to break down internal silos, helping your teams, such as website and contact centre, work together. But how?

In a siloed organisation the online team will typically concentrate on online sales/conversion, while the contact centre team is measured against offline-generated sales. Meanwhile, the customer service centre tracks how many people call for help and why.

To break down these silos, you should address three things:

1. Know the the customers journey?

In a siloed organisation, the contact centre team picks up a call but has no insight into what the consumer was doing on the website prior to calling. These calls are cold. The customer will possibly be frustrated by having to explain what they’ve done or what information they’re looking for.

Meanwhile, the online team has noticed this period of online activity, but has very limited visibility of why the online visitor might then chose call the contact centre. As a consequence, they can’t improve the site for this type of user journey.

It is essential to provide an overview – in real-time – of calls originating from the web, plus the consumer’s page history. Agents with an overview of the channel history are able to provide a personalised, knowledgeable service with a higher rate of first time resolution, while the online team can improve the effectiveness of the website faster and more efficiently.

2. Contact channel optimisation?

It is essential for the online and contact centre teams to work together to actively manage inbound capacity and resources. A consumer who calls the inbound phone number shown on the website only to be put on hold for 10 minutes will almost certainly become quickly dissatisfied.

Compare this to a consumer who can’t see the phone number and is instead pushed to an intelligent FAQ to self-serve, Live Chat, or is able to go about their business while they wait for a call back from an agent.

An effective website changes and adapts to the peaks and troughs in activity at the contact centre and its traffic. If the contact centre is busy, the website should display the phone number only to the most needy of online visitors. If the contact centre is quiet, the phone number should be offered more prominently to a higher share of web visitors if and when needed.

3. Understanding your visitors?

The old saying ‘knowledge is power’ is certainly true when it comes to aligning online and offline teams. The better you understand how your customers are likely to behave, the better your chances of delighting them with the exact service they need at the time they need it!

Using analytics to examine what customers have done in the past can help, but it is nowhere near as effective as providing real-time insight into visitor behaviour, so the relevant contact channel and personalisation is provided to the customer exactly when they need it. Real-time insight into

“the other channel” is what breaks down silos and enables a dramatic increase in conversion and customer satisfaction.

Get in touch to find out how you can help your organisation bridge the gap between online and offline channels, shatter those silos and create a powerful omni-channel environment.

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