Omnichannel. The word is quickly creeping its way into our call center vocabulary. We are just beginning to understand it and use it right.
Yet, for many contact centers, this may seem like a scary and unnecessary step. After all, why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
But the value of omnichannel in the call center goes beyond ‘just’ adding another channel for our consumers.
Omnichannel for call centers means moving beyond the voice channel into new territory. It's all about taking the client conversation to where they feel the most comfortable and engaging with them there. It’s about providing a seamless customer experience from one channel to the next to help the client move along their customer journey.
Below we’ll walk you through why you should consider omnichannel in your call center and how you can benefit from it.
Why you need to consider omnichannel customer service in your call center
Let’s say you have not yet adopted another channel apart from your phone lines. Today, it might work and customers might be okay with it, but with ever-changing customer needs, phone support will not be enough to attend to your customers five years from now.
In a recent ICMI survey, 53% of clients said they preferred live chat over phone service. This means that if your product is a good fit for live chat and you are not using it, you are not meeting more than half of your clients’ expectations in terms of customer service.
Live chat is just one example.
Other popular channels include:
- Social media
Benefits of omnichannel customer service in the contact center
1. Gain greater customer insights
Omnichannel such as chat, social media, forums and even webinars, leave a recorded written customer trace. Depending on what you do with this data, accumulating customer information in its context can give you a wider scope into how your clients interact with your brand and their different needs across the various channels.
Such information can allow you to tweak and improve your customer service to better cater to your clients.
2. Maximize agent productivity
An agent can only attend to one customer at a time when on the phone. While other channels such as this listed above can serve anywhere from a couple of customers (chat) to hundreds and even thousands at a time (webinars and videos).
This frees agents’ time so they can focus on handling more complex issues and bring real added value to the call center.
3. Bring out the best in your agents
As agents are able to quickly respond to clients queries, this means more time can be spent training agents for more challenging situations.
They can go beyond assisting the standard operational day to day calls and handle more elaborate cases.
Not only is this a bonus for your call center, but agents will feel more empowered and gain a greater sense of responsibility, making them more likely to feel fulfilled and stay within your organization.
4. Avoid attrition
In line with the point above, another benefit of omnichannel is the challenge it presents for agents. The challenge of having to handle more complex cases, needing more in-depth training and the added value they bring, all contribute to an increase in employee satisfaction.
This directly contributes to their wellbeing within the organization and could potentially help decrease attrition.
5. Save on call center costs
Although omnichannel sounds like more time and money, it’s actually more cost-effective than dedicating all your agent potential to phone channels. Popular channels today are more of the 'self-help' kind as many clients prefer to search for the answer themselves before turning to an agent.
These self-help channels take a huge operational bulk off your agents shoulders, helping you save on staff hiring and letting technology do the heavy lifting.
Omnichannel is the future of customer service. To stay top of mind and in our customers’ hearts, we must learn to adapt and improve so we can keep on surprising and delighting our customers.