The crucial steps for migrating to omni-channel
Omni-channel represents the future of excellent customer service and engagement.
At a time when experience stands out as the only reliable way for a business to differentiate from its competition, omni-channel solutions ensure that you can connect with clients where they are. Remember, around 98% of Americans switch between devices various times per day.
Businesses capable of adopting omni-channel strategies can achieve up to 91% greater year-over-year retention rates for their customers. Any business that stays glued to a single-channel contact centre environment today could be missing out on incredible interactions with customers.
So, how do you migrate to a more comprehensive CX strategy?
First, it’s important to understand what omni-channel customer experience means. Going omni-channel doesn’t mean that you just add extra avenues for customer conversations to your technology stack. Bolting SMS and web-based messaging onto your contact centre strategy is great, but it doesn’t provide your customers with a seamless experience.
Unlike multi-channel environments, where businesses use various separate tools to connect with clients on different platforms, omni-channel is all about an aligned journey. Remember, 35% of customers already expect to be able to contact the same customer service rep on any channel they choose. For your contact centre to be truly omni-channel, every part of the journey should be connected.
Your omni-channel environment needs a backend environment for employees where they can track customer journeys and gather information about a client to deliver a more relevant and personalised experience. When 89% of customers get frustrated repeating their issues to multiple agents, context is crucial.
Not so long ago, there were only a handful of brand and consumer touchpoints that would affect the customer journey. Today, most customers use an average of around 6 touchpoints when purchasing from a company. More than 50% of customers say they extensively use more than 4 channels.
Creating a seamless customer experience through omni-channel means knowing which touchpoints your clients are most likely to use. You should be able to get an idea of which communication channels your customers prefer with client surveys, polls, and conversations with your marketing and sales team.
As you implement these new communication channels, pay close attention to any metrics that might help you to progress in the future. For instance, what’s the CSAT score of a customer completing a conversation through web chat, compared to their satisfaction on the phone?
Pay attention to friction points in the customer journey too. For instance, can you use virtual assistants and intelligent routing to send a customer to the right agent first-time, and reduce the number of jumps between employees?
An effective omni-channel contact centre needs to be connected throughout the whole company. A comprehensive back-end environment that gives your agents a single pane of glass for dealing with all client concerns and queries is essential. That environment should be easy to use, brimming with useful reporting features, and capable of valuable integrations.
The option to add new channels for customer service to your contact centre strategy at the touch of a button or link in CRM and ticketing services is essential to building a comprehensive journey. Now that 64% of customers expect to receive real-time assistance on any channel, you may even consider using chatbots and self-service solutions too.
Your aligned back-end environment should be easy to use, flexible, and scalable, with lots of useful insights for business leaders and managers that need to track team performance. Crucially, this omni-channel environment also needs to be available from anywhere. Having the right solution in the cloud ensures that your agents can stay productive when working remotely too.
Once you have an idea of which touchpoints you need to be active on, and what your back-end environment should look like, you can begin looking for the perfect vendor. A CCaaS provider that offers contact centre solutions over the cloud is likely to be one of the most appealing options these days. Many providers of contact centre technology as a service can adapt to suit the individual needs of each customer.
It’s worth looking for a vendor that can give you the complete flexibility that you need. This means ensuring that you can integrate with the software and tools your employees already use. However, it also means being able to consider your unique requirements for compliance and privacy carefully. There are some contact centres that may need extra levels of security in place. You may even need to ensure your data is stored in a specific location.
The best omni-channel platform will be the one that can adapt to suit you. A great solution will provide the flexible performance you need, without compromising on security, privacy, or compliance. Don’t forget to check the SLA and uptime promises that your vendor can make too. Reliability is still key in an omni-channel environment.
Finally, no matter how impressive your contact centre technology is, the results of your customer engagement and support strategies will hinge on the ability of the employee to offer excellent service. Your team members are the face and heart of your company, making direct connections with customers. Scheduling regular training sessions will make it easier for teams to adapt to new technology.
Before you simply introduce a host of new channels and features to your team members, assess your staff and consider which people may need additional help. Do you need to create some new policies on how employees should handle customer conversations? How should your team members decide when they should escalate a conversation to a group video call or conference?
Using analytics and reporting features within your contact centre environment, make sure you keep track of your business outcomes and focus on responding to any issues fast.
The move to omni-channel isn’t an option for today’s businesses – it’s a must-have.
Don’t be left behind.