Transforming from multichannel to omnichannel
We are often asked what steps are needed to turn a multichannel contact centre into an omnichannel contact centre. In fact, this very question was also posed in ContactBabel's latest report "The Inner Circle Guide to Omnichannel Customer Contact".
It's a question that many enterprises face when they realise that customers don't think of the experience with their brand as several interactions via different channels, but instead they think of the interactions as part of one single journey.
It is therefore important to firstly understand the difference between the terms “multichannel” and “omnichannel” as they have been used somewhat interchangeably in recent years.
Essentially, in today’s multichannel contact centre environment, teams deal with consumer interactions via “multiple” channels – such as phone, email, web and even the traditional postal letter method. There is a level of expectation that each interaction stays on the specific channel. As consumers become more demanding, more channels, such as social media, are also added to the mix. However, the channels have been added in a siloed fashion – effectively, from the consumer’s perspective, independent of each other.
An omni-channel contact centre on the other hand, allows consumers to interact via multiple channels throughout the “one journey” – meaning that multiple channels are accessible to the consumer via every device (PC, tablet, smartphone) and with the ability to switch seamlessly between them.
Moving from multichannel to an omnichannel environment means looking at your current contact centre from three different perspectives:
How do they want to interact with you? How do you compare to the competition in their eyes? What channels are they using? Do they jump from one channel to another when they are on the move or when experience isn’t satisfactory? It is imperative to educate visitors and promote your brand’s various customer service options as well as to enable an effortless CX when customers move between the channels.
What skills do you currently have within the contact center? Working with traditional channels such as phone and email is at times quite different from working via digital and social channels. Regular skills training would be imperative for agents to work with the concept of one continuous customer journey, rather than several individual conversations – even if they aren’t the only agent for the customer. It is important that the agent digital workspace allows them to see the 360-degree view of the customer. For example, they should see the history of the customer conversations across the channels and the CRM record of the customer they are talking to.
This is not just about looking at the technology you have in place to support your transition from multi- to omnichannel, but looking at the internal infrastructure of the organisation – adopting a true omnichannel approach will require commitment from the entire organisation. This will shift the focus in what you do for the customer, aligning everyone toward the same goal.
Customers are seeing the value in omnichannel services, and providing an excellent cross-channel customer experience is critical for every business to grow and sustain.
You can download a copy of the ContactBabel report, here: http://www.touchcommerce.com/our-resources/whitepapers/inner-circle-report
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