housePeople love their home improvement shows. Especially the ones where an expert tells the home owner how to use a modest fix—like painting the front door—to completely transform a home’s curb appeal. If you think about it, the same principle applies as you look to improve the customer experience. When you integrate your communication channels and deploy a new omnichannel experience, you can unlock significant business value.

Ready for the Big Reveal?

You know your contact center agent desktop—the key tool for your employees, who are the front door to your business—has room for improvement when agents have to toggle between an uninviting collection of tacked-on support solutions. Instead, the agent desktop should unite multiple channels and applications, enabling agents to optimally serve your customers via any channel they choose. That’s what an omnichannel agent desktop looks like, and it really is the best on the block.

Remember, Customers Vote with Their Feet

In her blog article, Forrester analyst Kate Leggett noted that “77% of adults say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.” Customers expect—and demand—quick and seamless service regardless of how they reach out to you. If you can’t provide it, they’ll knock on your competitor’s door!

Out with the Old Multi-Channel, in with the New Omnichannel

Most companies support multi-channel customer interactions including voice, email, and chat. Problem is, stand-alone multi-channel solutions don’t support the kind of personalized and context-appropriate experience that appeal to today’s digitally driven customers. Your agents don’t have immediate access to the context of previous interactions.

On the flipside, it’s easy to look good when you adopt an omnichannel agent desktop. It’s the best way to manage multiple channels without switching between systems or screens. Agents can respond to emails, chats, co-browse with customers on the web, and handle phone or video calls. They can loop in supervisory expertise or access the knowledge base—all from the same screen. And your back-office workers can use the same omnichannel desktop, giving them access to the full context of previous customer interactions as they do the behind-the-scene work.

Appeals to Agents, Customers, and Your Bottom Line

In an industry rife with turnover, empowered agents are happy agents. They instantly understand more about the customer, they can hone their customer service skills, and can strive to advance their careers.

From a customer standpoint, the journey is easier. They don’t waste time waiting while an agent searches for supporting information. They feel like agents better understand their plight, and they appreciate a faster time-to-resolution.

From a contact center business perspective, you can ditch the expense of cobbling together disjointed solutions. And shorter handle times can add up to significant cost savings.

What Makes a Solid Omnichannel Agent Desktop?

As you explore available options, here are five important features you need to look for:

  1. A single desktop for all channels. When customers can choose how they communicate with you—social media, phone, email, video, text, fax, you name it—it’s easy to engage with your brand. And whatever channel they chose, the interaction shows up in one consolidated agent interface.
  1. The entire customer journey is mapped and you can see the details of every step. Be sure your solution offers a snapshot of everything your customers have experienced to date. That way, it’s easier for agents to fully understand and empathize with a customer’s particular situation.
  1. A 360-degree view of website engagement history, chat transcripts, and all interactions. With complete contextual data right before your agent’s eyes, problems are solved faster, and the interaction is more personal.
  1. Instant, easy access to information and collaboration. With a true omnichannel agent desktop, access to supervisors, knowledgebase assets, and subject-matter experts is just a keystroke away.
  1. Flexible tools to track and enhance agent performance. Agents are responsible for their own metrics and service goals, so look for a solution that gives them—and their managers—the ability to see their metrics and make performance improvements on-the-fly.

Omnichannel in Action

It’s easy for us to tell you what you need. It’s another thing to show you. One example is how the Australia Post dramatically improved its overall customer support function with an omnichannel agent desktop.

Prior to deploying a unified desktop at the Australia Post, customer issues required agents to use multiple, separate systems supporting all facets of the business—parcels, letters, lockers, digital applications, support teams, and more. Over time, it became increasingly difficult for agents to navigate the disjointed systems. Customer service suffered. When the Australia Post turned to the Genesys omnichannel agent desktop, the results were dramatic. For example, average handle time dipped by 10%.

See more of Australia Post’s success story in our interview with Brady Jacobsen, General Manager of Customer Sales and Service below.

Do Your Research

We’ve developed several resources to help you, including how to calculate the cost savings you can expect from an omnichannel agent desktop. You can discover even more benefits by downloading the eBook, How an Omnichannel Agent Desktop Helps Your Employees Personalize Customer Service. And be sure to contact us if you have any questions.