Over the past year, omnichannel has become the buzzword in the contact center industry. Yet, there are still call centers who have not evolved and continue to resist integrating new technology to step up their customer experience.
There are many reasons for this lack of adoption. Most call centers are still unsure how to get onboard the omnichannel revolution and feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of digital options available.
If that sounds like you, read on. We have compiled a list of steps to take out the guesswork and help you decide which channels to implement without sacrificing stellar customer service support.
What is an omnichannel customer support experience?
Omnichannel customer support has appeared with the rise of customers expecting to receive service from call centers on their channel of choice. This might be voice, email, SMS, online chat, mobile or social media. As companies are beginning to provide these services, they too often exist in silos. This is where omnichannel customer support comes in. It takes the customer service experience to the next level by integrating all the different channels to create a consistent customer experience.
1. To support or not to support
The number one and most important thing to consider when evolving your contact center into an omnichannel demi-god is whether or not that channel will bring value to your customers and your business. As we are living in the era of the customer, it is more important than ever to make sure that we have the resources to meet their quality expectations.
"If we ignore what the customer wants, they will move to a competitor that provides the method they want"
Justin Robbins, Content Director of HDI & ICMI.
- DON'T try to be everywhere at once or stick to what works well internally. This inward approach will be determental to your business as your customers are left unsatisfied with their interaction.
- DO implement what channels that your customers are naturally engaging on and interact in the same manner they would on these platforms.
2. Investing in digital channels
According to a recent survey by ICMI, 53% of consumers say that they prefer online chat before calling a company on the phone. “It’s the first year that a digital channel has surpassed telephonic support,” Justin Robbins explains. This statistic shows just how important technology has become to deliver on expectations.
However, don't let this trend scare you.
Voice and phone are still fundamental to what we do, and it is what call centers do best. We just need to evolve to meet our customers demands and become a more valuable point of contact.
To make the most out of digital channels:
- DO leverage cloud and digital trends to stay competitive and relevant. Research and find out which digital channels will work best for your contact center and customers.
- DON'T freak out that voice is changing. It will remain an integral part of customer support, needing more skilled and specialized agents to assist more technical issues.
3. How to decide which digital channels are best for you
To discover which digital channels will be beneficial to your customers as well as your business, you need to put time aside to do a little research.
“The first thing you need to do is look at your demographics,” says Justin Robbins . In a recent call center webinar he asks contact center owners to ask themselves the following questions about their consumer base:
- Who are my customers?
- What do they want to achieve?
- What's the best channel that will meet their needs?
Next, map and analyze the customer journey to pinpoint what leads them to pick up their phone. Once you have a clear understanding of their thought process, the third and final step is to find data on what channel they prefer and map out what needs to be put in place to meet that need.
4. Finding the balance in your omnichannel customer support
Once you have a clear idea of your customer's needs and how to meet them, your contact center should assess how well it can respond to their expectations. From here, you'll need to find a balance between being where your customers are and what makes sense for you.
Call centers are turning into interaction centers. We need not fear this trend, but rather embrace it and use it as an opportunity to improve our customer support and offer exceptional voice and digital support.
By being present on the same platforms and interacting in the same natural way customers would, we can demonstrate that our contact center understands them and are in line with who they are. And this, in turn, will strengthen trust, loyalty, and set us apart from competitors...for now!