The digital customer service world is constantly evolving. It’s no surprise that contact centres are now investing in supporting digital channels for an omnichannel customer experience.
Next generation digital channels including social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as advanced messaging apps like WhatsApp, are now well on their way to becoming mainstream contact centre channels.
If the predictions hold true, 89% of contact centres are planning to support messaging and mobile self-service apps within two years. And adoption for social media (92%) and web chat (93%) is expected to be even higher.
However, supporting next generation digital channels is different in many ways from what companies are used to. Supporting an omnichannel contact centre will affect many aspects of the contact centre including your forecasting and scheduling as well as your routing and interaction handling.
Ensuring an omnichannel customer experience within a multi-channel contact centre can be tricky to get right.
Here are 5 tips to ensure your contact centre evolves to support a truly integrated digital-first omnichannel customer experience:
1. Manage Digital Channels within the Contact Centre
Today, many organisations providing next generation digital channel support do so via siloed agents, which frequently reside outside of the contact centre (often within Marketing). When using this approach, customers are usually redirected to teams to help with their query until they eventually end up with customer service. This increases interaction volumes and repeat contacts, creating more cost for the company.
Since many customer issues are complex and inconsistent, staff assigned to monitor these channels are not appropriately trained nor do they have the access to the tools required to provide a timely resolution.
However, if Customer Service were responsible for monitoring and engaging with consumers via digital channels, customer issues would be appropriately addressed. They would be able to manage digital and voice interactions, whilst providing feedback to Sales and Marketing to ensure organisational silos do not exist.
2. Look out for Consistent Support for Omnichannel Interactions
Supporting digital channels can be technically difficult. Contact centres will need a solution that makes it easy to support all channels natively and bi-directionally, including voice, digital and next generation digital channels.
This integration needs to be simple for contact centres enabling them to activate new channels via pre-integrated capabilities. It also needs to be cost effective to enable all agents to manage blended multi-channel interactions.
3. Provide a Unified Agent Experience
To manage all interactions (including digital and voice), agents need a unified and consistent workspace for all channels. The benefits of a unified inbox include:
- Single contact centre Interface – Employees work from a single, consolidated interface with a common view of operational performance and each customer’s journey. This includes one inbox for all interactions, regardless of channel, which reduces training needs and speeds up the onboarding of new agents.
- Dynamically prioritise work – With one unified inbox for all interaction channels, agents can also ‘pull’ their work from a queue that provides them with digital interactions that are dynamically prioritised (based on work that is the most time-sensitive or real-time interactions according to service levels).
- Break silos between voice and digital channels – With one single interface, contact centres can easily encourage blended omnichannel agents which improves operational efficiencies and empowers agents to create a better customer experience instead of being ‘locked’ into a particular channel for the duration of the customer interaction.
4. Look out for Cross-Channel Customer Context
For agents to handle interactions better, contact centres should consider gaining access to customer context. Customer context includes information such as access to customer history and previous contact across channels. This will help agents understand the current customer mood and sentiment.
Many CCaaS (cloud contact centre as a service) solutions, offer the capability to store a certain level of customer interaction history and full context across channels and the complete customer journey. These solutions can also leverage CRM data to help agents better handle interactions across channels and can be enriched with context from customer interactions in the contact centre.
5. Ensure a Seamless Move across Channels
When supporting true omnichannel interactions, customers will expect to move seamlessly across any channel. Research shows that consumers want the flexibility to interact with businesses via the channels of their choice. However, they also expect companies to direct them to the most efficient way to address their question. This will inevitably involve contact centres having to involve multiple channels and an expectation for a seamless journey in between this.
The digital revolution is in full swing. For contact centres to keep up with customers’ growing needs and demands, they will need a powerful cloud, omnichannel contact centre solution and a well-thought-out business strategy addressing the omnichannel customer journey.
If your organisation would like to find out more, contact our team. We have over 30 years’ experience in Workforce Optimisation, where we are passionate about helping organisations boost productivity, customer experience and reducing costs. We also work closely with our customers to recommend and implement the best fit Cloud Communication solutions for their needs, with our cloud contact centre technologies deployed across some of the largest contact centres globally.