Omnichannel Contact Center: Your Ultimate Guide for 2021
According to a recent study conducted by V12, contact centers that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t. However, not every company has an omnichannel strategy in place. In case you are considering the possibility of providing an omnichannel experience, or feel like it’s time you need to get familiar with it, this guide is for you!
What is omnichannel?
When your contact center uses omnichannel communication, it means that all your communication channels are aligned. Depending on your customer’s preferences, they can easily communicate with your agents on their preferred channels, seamlessly wherever and whenever they prefer.
By synchronizing all your channels, your agents will be able to instantly identify the customer they are handling, regardless of when and where previous remote agents talked to them. Something that the customer said on social media, phone, or email, will be available on a single platform, for the agent to see the next time that she is communicating with a client.
Why is it necessary?
By leveraging the full potential of an omnichannel contact center, you can expect considerably higher customer engagement compared to a traditional call center. This can easily be seen in the most recent customer trends. According to a recent survey, “90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels”, while “98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day”. Additionally, “89% of customers get frustrated having to repeat their issues to multiple representatives” according to Accenture.
With these stats in mind, it is clear that 2021 is about the demand for a seamless omnichannel experience. Still, a shocking 55% of surveyed companies still don’t have an omnichannel strategy.
How to provide an excellent omnichannel experience?
When thinking about implementing an omnichannel solution in your contact center, there are a few key elements that you need to keep in mind. This way, you can make sure that you are able to fully leverage the benefits of an omnichannel experience. The most important features to keep in mind when choosing and setting up an omnichannel solution include the seamless integration of your channels and applications, intelligent routing, and continuously reevaluating your customer journey.
1. Seamless Integration
Step zero when providing an omnichannel experience is making sure that all your chosen channels are seamlessly integrated. In other words, your customers have no issue communicating through your various channels, and switching from the phone, various social media applications, SMS, or email, with up-to-date data on all these platforms. Therefore, agents need to be able to rely on an all-in-one solution that is able to integrate all the channels you use, as well as display comprehensive customer information, on the same platform. The solution offered by VCC Live®, for example, not only allows you to integrate your channels and social media platforms but also displays all your customer information on the same platform, helping your agents fully understand your customer interactions.
2. Intelligent Routing
In order to route your customers to the most suitable agent, it is essential to keep call routing in mind when setting up your omnichannel platforms. If a client sends a message to WhatsApp for example, they will be routed to the next available agent specialized to handle their query. With the right omnichannel solution, the agent will then automatically see your customer’s messages on their dashboard without having to navigate away to WhatsApp itself for example.
Having a good routing system in place is an essential accessory to your omnichannel platform, as it ensures that your calls are handled in the most effective way possible, without call waiting. As we have previously written, skills- based routing can be a good option for some!
3. Understanding Your Customer Journey
In order to provide a seamless customer experience, you need to focus on…your customers, of course! Make sure to understand what their preferred channels and social media platforms are and provide it to them. Based on your customer data and feedback, regularly evaluate the strong and weak points of each of your channels and continue improving it, whether it’s an integration issue or a question of human resources. Additionally, make sure to evaluate their preferred channel for each customer service scenario. This will enable you to form your channels according to various customer profiles.
With most business interactions having gone fully online over the past year, 2021 is all about the ability to provide a seamless customer experience on all your digital platforms. Recent trends show that customers overwhelmingly expect an omnichannel experience. It is essential for any contact center to start planning accordingly. If you or your company is still thinking about implementing an omnichannel platform, make sure to choose a provider that can guarantee seamless integration across all your chosen channels. Once you have full integration, devise a routing strategy that works for your business. In most cases, skills-based routing is a good option. Finally, make sure to understand your customer journey by understanding your client’s needs and build your channels accordingly.