Successfully transforming your contact center into an omnichannel engagement center requires the right technologies to proactively and consistently manage customer interactions and journeys across all channels. Yet, it also means making a company-wide culture shift to support an omnichannel approach. In other words, there must be a unifying goal directed from the highest levels of management to make the customer experience (CX) easier for the customer.
With contact centers now averaging nine different contact channels, embracing a top-down directive to support omnichannel engagement across every department is a timely and impactful decision. It builds alignment around a common CX goal. Just how important is CX when it comes to the overall success of a company? According to the 2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data, 82.5% of companies recognize CX as a competitive differentiator, with 77.5% identifying CX as its most important strategic performance measure.
The Challenge of Digital
When it comes to supporting an omnichannel approach, digital engagement is a fundamental concern. Digital interactions account for more than 40% of all customer interactions, and mobile apps have become a top channel choice for customer service. Effectively managing today’s complex, multi-channel customer journeys means evolving to an omnichannel approach.
A successful shift to support any new CX strategy includes a careful review to identify and correct any processes or systems that don’t support new goals and objectives. This begins with a close look at contact center operations. However, because there are interrelationships between nearly every department, take a step back and look at the big picture of your entire organization to find potential roadblocks that could prevent making the transition to omnichannel engagement.
Break Down Silos
One of the biggest challenges contact centers face today is siloed channels. Disconnected channels and touchpoints not only negatively affect CX, they also reduce agent efficiency and hinder the ability to access the data and insights necessary to make strategic business decisions. A primary goal for any organization shifting to an omnichannel engagement center is to proactively break down all communication and organizational silos that prevent omnichannel engagement.
To maximize the effectiveness of an omnichannel engagement center solution, it’s important to evaluate all processes that impact service. This begins with the processes that agents use while providing service to customers. However, it also requires taking a closer look at interdepartmental processes such as those between the contact center and marketing, product development, quality assurance, shipping, and other departments. For example, marketing should be aligned with the contact center to ensure agents have the most up-to-date information on promotions and sales. This not only ensures that agents can provide answers to customers’ questions, it also gives them the opportunity to effectively upsell and cross-sell products and services.
Ensure Employee Success
With customer interactions taking place across multiple channels, agents need a wider variety of skills and tools, including a unified desktop, to provide omnichannel CX. Interestingly, nearly 70% of agents are still dedicated to the phone, according to the latest Dimension Data report. As customer preferences continue to evolve, and as the culture shifts to supporting omnichannel journeys, agents need training on how to use new tools that automate content and context from multiple channels. They also need greater authority to deliver customer-centric service. Yes, this requires executives and management to be truly aligned with customer objectives.
Self-service is a key part of meeting today’s customers’ expectations. Phone interactions are continuing to drop as customers increasingly prefer the speed and efficiency of IVR and other self-service channels. To successfully support self-service interactions, it’s important to understand how and why customers are using self-service to develop strategies that support their expectations. A full view into the integration between self-service and assisted-service channels is important so context can be carried from one channel to another to facilitate seamless, end-to-end customer journeys.
Learn How One Company Has Made the Shift from Multichannel to Omnichannel
Learn how TELUS, Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, successfully transformed their contact center into an omnichannel engagement center on our on-demand webinar, 4 Key Ingredients to Transform Your Contact Center into an Omnichannel Engagement Center.