The omnichannel contact center is a must-have investment for any business hoping to deliver exceptional customer experience. When the “call center” first began, the methods available for communicating with companies was limited. Clients would have a handful of options to choose from, such as phone, fax, or email. The customer journey was much simpler, yet far less convenient.
Today, digital transformation has opened a new range of avenues for consumers in search of effective ways to communicate with brands. Companies like Salesforce indicate the average customer uses around 10 different channels on average to communicate with a brand.
Not only do your customers expect you to be available on all the channels they already use, but they also want a consistent, seamless experience from one platform to the next. That’s where the omnichannel contact center comes in.
What is an Omnichannel Contact Center?
The omnichannel contact center represents a new generation of seamless, cross-channel communication between companies and their customers. With a fully optimized omnichannel contact center, companies can enable, track, and manage conversations on multiple platforms in one location. Your agents can handle everything from live chat to social media interactions and calls using the same software and intuitive dashboard.
These flexible environments ensure the context behind a conversation can pass painlessly from one environment to the next, meaning your customers don’t have to repeat themselves as often. At the same time, an omnichannel environment makes managing the modern digital contact center easier, by ensuring agents don’t have to jump between applications to access different conversations.
With an omnichannel contact center, companies unify context, customer data, and communication on an aligned platform, allowing for better management of the entire customer journey. Many of the leading tools in this arena even offer integrations with other essential software, like CRM systems, collaboration tools, and even UCaaS technology
The Benefits of the Omnichannel Contact Center
Omnichannel contact centers give today’s customers the power they need to access help, guidance, and sales support on their preferred channel, without compromising on simplicity. The most significant benefits of the omnichannel contact center today include:
Improved access to customer data:
Around 84% of service professionals say unified views of customer information is crucial to providing an excellent customer experience. Omnichannel contact centers don’t just bring platforms for customer communication together, they also align data from multiple environments into a single space. This makes it much easier for businesses to see a consolidated view of the customer journey.
An omnichannel contact center, combined with AI tools and analytics can offer valuable insights into the trends and needs of your target audience. Companies can even use dashboards to motivate employees with real-time insights into customer satisfaction and productivity rates.
Enhanced agent productivity
Having all of the tools required to communicate with a customer in one place means agents can spend less time searching for the information they need, and more time delivering amazing experiences. The omnichannel contact center can bring conversations with clients from multiple platforms together into a single inbox, for a more connected and contextualized view.
This comprehensive contact center means employees get all the information they need to deliver personalized service, without having to log into different tools and tabs multiple times per day. Because agents will have more access to information in real-time, they can also go above and beyond to deliver more meaningful experiences to customers, leading to higher average lifetime value.
Simplify contact center management
As customer journeys grow more complex, the strategies required to manage and track those journeys grow more difficult too. As we move into a world of hybrid workers and remote employees, it’s more important than ever for companies to have a simple way of tracking and managing customer service. An all-in-one omnichannel environment gives your IT and security teams one environment to monitor.
Supervisors and managers can also build dedicated dashboards within the omnichannel environment, to help them track performance across multiple channels in one location. This makes it easier to determine where additional training is needed, and which employees need the most help.
Improved contact center costs
An aligned contact center environment is more cost-effective than purchasing multiple different tools for customer service. You can save on the stress of having to combine multiple different tools from different providers and reduce the need for complex developer integrations and maintenance schedules. Omnichannel contact centers can also help you reduce costs in other ways.
For instance, when you have a complete view of the customer journey and employee performance, you can more easily see bottlenecks, issues, and opportunities for saving money.
Finally, better data management and insights across an aligned contact center don’t just give you access to a stronger understanding of your target audience. This technology can also help to make you more compliant, by ensuring there are no gaps in your data management strategy. You can track customer data from end to end and implement strategies to keep information safe.
With only one environment to track for all customer conversations, there’s less risk of information going missing, and fewer points of entry to protect.
How Do you Create an Omnichannel Strategy?
An omnichannel contact center strategy starts with a comprehensive map of your customer’s journey. This is something you’ll be able to add to overtime, as you learn more about your customers and their preferences. Once you know which channels your customers use, you can think about things like:
What do you want your omnichannel environment to look like?
An omnichannel contact center is a flexible environment, capable of adapting to suit different kinds of companies. Some brands will want to build a CCaaS solution that’s entirely based in the cloud, while others will need a hybrid solution that includes on-premises technology.
Think about the exact needs of your company before you begin looking for your contact center solution and ask yourself what kind of channels you want to be able to implement. When considering your channel options, remember to address your needs now, and your potential requirements in the future. An omnichannel contact center needs to be able to scale.
Which parts of your technology stack need to work together?
The best omnichannel contact center will align with your existing technology, from your Unified Communication tools to the systems you use for back-end collaboration among teams. The Microsoft Teams Contact Center is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many brands in search of a reliable way to combine front-end and back-end communication.
With a certified Microsoft Teams Contact center provider, you can build a flexible environment around the Teams platform, which enables collaboration for your team, while giving you access to all the omnichannel customer service strategies you need.
Which company will be the right partner for your transition?
Consider which companies can help you make the transition into the omnichannel environment. Do you have special requests, like a need for compliant recording as part of your contact center strategy? Does your industry have specific requirements to consider when it comes to things like data sovereignty and protection?
Taking your time to find a vendor you can trust is crucial. You need your contact center partner to understand your business, and the needs of your end customer, so you can create a CX strategy that not only delivers results now but continues to drive positive outcomes in the years to come.
What will your adoption plan look like?
Omnichannel contact centers work best when they’re implemented with the right strategy for change management. Think about what kind of training you might need to have in place to prepare your employees. If you’re embedding contact center functionality into a tool like Microsoft Teams, your staff might already be familiar with many of the features.
With any significant change in a business, it’s important to have the right plan in place to encourage consistent adoption. You may need to consider choosing early adopters for your migration project who can offer guidance to people who need more support moving into a new contact center space.
How will you track your success?
An omnichannel contact center should be something you’re constantly optimizing and improving. Think about how you can build a strategy for tracking the results of your efforts. Which metrics do you need to track to see if your contact center strategy is really working?
An effective omnichannel contact center will often come with a range of tools and analytics to help you gain insight into your new strategy, and how well it’s working for your team. Don’t forget to collect direct feedback from employees on what they like and dislike about the system too.
Embracing the Omnichannel Contact Center
The future of customer experience is one built on multiple channels.
As customers become more digitally savvy and empowered, they want to work with businesses that can not only meet them on every channel but offer a consistently excellent experience from one platform to the next. Reach out to Geomant today to find out how we can help you build the ultimate omnichannel contact center.