Customers demand a consistent contact centre experience from start to finish. But this rarely happens. Instead, they might be transferred from agent to agent, repeating their query or information each time. It’s repetitive. It’s a chore. It’s sometimes a good enough reason for customers to lose faith in a company and go somewhere else to do business. In fact, PWC research indicated that 32% would stop doing business with a brand they love after just one poor experience.
The customer journey is one of the most important aspects of your business. In our technologically advancing world, customers now expect an experience that caters to their every need. A fully optimised omnichannel contact centre ensures that you can communicate with customers easily and efficiently by connecting everything from calls, live chats to social media, and SMS to your CRM system. Thus, creating a seamless customer experience.
We’ll be exploring multiple ways in which you can leverage an omnichannel strategy in the contact centre.
Improved Customer Journey
Omnichannel is a cross-channel strategy that organisations use to streamline their services and create a better customer journey. Rather than merely working in parallel, communication channels and their supporting resources work together.
A customer’s journey can often progress through multiple channels. Communication will travel across webchat, email, phone call or SMS. An omnichannel contact centre is always prepared to manage and sustain such customer journeys.
Communication between departments is critical for ensuring a positive customer experience. After all, it can be frustrating for customers when being asked to repeat themselves. So, one simple way to avoid this is to always keep your customers’ profiles on hand. Although, because customer needs are constantly changing, your customer profiles should be updated as well. This is where omnichannel customer experience strategies can assist businesses in providing personalised service.
For example, if a customer complains about delayed delivery via a chatbot, that information must be available across all channel dashboards. As a result, if the same customer then contacts via phone or another channel, the agent will not require the customer to repeat their information. The agent will be aware of the issue and will only engage in offering a solution.
Reduce Customer Friction
An omnichannel solution for a contact centre is so much more than just a tool that eases communication, it also reduces friction with your customers.
Some customers no longer want to make the effort to go to a website and search for ways to contact a business. Instead, they demand that businesses meet them on their chosen channel such as on chat apps like WhatsApp where they may already be messaging their friends.
No one enjoys being left ‘on hold’ when your contact centre has high demand. However, if they’re able to communicate with you via live chat, WhatsApp, or social media, this eliminates waiting times.
They may also become frustrated if required to repeat their problem several times to different agents. When an omnichannel solution is in place, your customer service agents have more information readily available and should not need to ask so many repetitive questions.
Enhanced Agent Efficiency
Encourage your agents to work smarter, not harder. You wouldn’t want your agents to find themselves overwhelmed because of the constant streams of communications coming in from various channels. When your agents are unable to perform to the levels your business requires, the ones to suffer will be your customers.
It is crucial to adopt CRM systems and centralised dashboards that unify various communication channels. This allows customer service agents to toggle between channels with little fuss, and less time spent fulfilling customer requests. Tasks can also be passed between agents (or even departments) without unnecessary scrambling or delayed procedures.
But what makes the greatest difference is adopting an omnichannel platform where your agents can easily log information, such as internal notes and customer contact details, all in one place.
Modern contact centres recognize that customers are no longer reliant on voice channels. Customers are likely to use an app, social media, or a website if the company has them. With an increase in the use of digital channels, there is also an increase in automation.
Omnichannel platforms include powerful automations that enable businesses to move efficiently between channels. From simple admin tasks to more complex processes, automation allows your team to work smarter & faster whilst improving efficiency & eliminating mistakes.
Chatbots are being used to create immediate responses to most tickets while offering an option to call the agent in case the issues aren’t resolved.
You can also create templates of pre-configured responses for customer support, sales & marketing to reply faster & boost customer satisfaction.
For frequently asked questions you can automatically send powerful knowledge-based articles to allow your customers to get answers to their questions quickly.
While this article is focusing on contact centres, omnichannel is also regularly used in e-commerce.
When it comes to e-commerce, you can also develop an omnichannel strategy. This gives your customers the option to contact you using their preferred method. Regardless of the channel or the agent working with the customer, all previous interactions and notes are visible because customer data is synced across channels in real time.
An omnichannel contact centre allows you to integrate with third-party services your business may rely on such as CRMs, e-commerce platforms such as EKM & Shopify and marketing platforms.
So, you can have your CRM containing your customer’s order and shipping information, full history of all the marketing emails they’ve received from Mailchimp and any calls, emails, or other messages they’ve exchanged with your contact centre.
Now, when they call about an order, you know where and when the order was placed, the status of said order, whether they received any promotional offers pertaining to that order, and if they have contacted you about that order before.
Omnichannel communication speeds up the buying timeline and resolution rates while taking the headache out of customer support from every side.