Within many organizations, barriers to both resources and information
exist. Unfortunately, when it comes to the contact center, these walls not
only impede the progress of team members but also limit the customer
experience. Sometimes there is vital information hidden behind a curtain
that only a select few can access. Some departments,
unknowingly, operate within their own silos, withholding critical information
and resources from others who may benefit from it. If these walls between
departments and those supporting customers were to come down, there would be
a positive effect on the organization and the customer. This would increase in customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and
In this article, we will explore proven ways that those in the contact
center can help break down these walls and silos in their organization.
Silos and walls exist when there is a lack of both information and
resources shared between teams or departments within an organization.
Goals, priorities, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) may not be widely
known amongst all groups. In an organization where teams operate
independently of each other, there may be walls, sometimes both literally
and figuratively, put up to keep others out, negatively impacting
collaboration. As such, employee engagement suffers as many people are not
as effective or successful as they could or want to be. Interactions
between members of the different departments can also be strained if
efforts are not made to improve the culture and flow of work. In the end,
walls and silos primarily exist because of communication problems within an
Align Your Team Around a Theme
Data: Create a Need to Share Culture to Drive Continuous Improvement
Syncs: Eliminate the Disconnect
o Find out what’s on their plate? Share what’s on yours too.
o What are their challenges or pain points?
o How can you help each other?
o Ultimately, you need to use these sessions to build a win/win culture
between your teams where each of you come away with something eventually
down the road.
Recognition: Applies to Everyone
Use Talent Wisely: Have Allies Everywhere
As you start breaking down walls and silos across your organization,
collaborating more with other teams, how will you know if you are
successful? In my experience as part of the contact center, there are two
key numbers that I closely monitor to gauge success with breaking down
walls and silos: Volume & Customer Satisfaction.
o If overall interaction volume dips year-over-year despite the company
posting higher revenues and increases, then you were successful. If your
contact center interactions are trending down, it's a good sign that you
are effectively working well across department lines, with key groups like
IT, Product and Marketing on deflection efforts. A reduction in interaction
volume can also be attributed to things like product quality or information
improvements that were highlighted and shared through customer data.
o If interaction volumes continue to rise with repeat situations not
addressed, it shows that a culture of continuous improvement and sharing
data cross-functionally isn't happening enough.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
o Those providing support may be the only people that a customer contacts
at an organization. As such, they represent customer satisfaction for the
organization. If CSAT is going up, it's because the organization is better
aligned around the customer experience.
o The goal should always be to provide a simple, efficient and effective
customer experience. If your organization has a consistently high CSAT
score or an improved one year-over-year, it shows that progress is being
made across the entire business.
Breaking down walls and silos won’t be easy. It takes hard work and
patience to make a breakthrough sometimes. More than likely, you will
encounter some pockets of resistance, but the more you can persevere, the
better positioned for success you will be. In my experience, building a
culture of alignment and collaboration throughout the entire organization
could take months or even years, but the long wait and effort are worth it.
As you become more successful in building bridges across teams, momentum
will kick in, unlocking tons of potential for you and the rest of the
Remember, breaking down walls and silos takes a coordinated effort and
The more effective communication is throughout the business, the more
likely walls and silos across the organization can come down.
Chris Hanna was a
2018 ICMI Mover & Shaker
in the category of Workforce Manager. As a contact center leader with
StarTech.com, he manages a team of 40+ technology experts providing 24x5
global product support to customers over the phone, chat, email and online
reviews. He also manages the Workforce Management & Analytics team.
With over 15 years of building and leading teams across various industries,
Chris is passionate about developing high-potential talent and driving
continuous improvement to enhance the customer experience. He also provides
resources and solutions at Evolving Management, which
aims to help leaders with ways to become better at balancing innovation and
employee engagement while strengthening a culture of ongoing coaching and
development. Follow Chris on LinkedIn
and Twitter or connect with
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