Contact centers operated entirely on voice calls, in the beginning, relying on dedicated phone lines. Then came the internet and brought with it VoIP communications as well as the ability to send and receive a fax, SMS, voice mail, chat, and video calling. This led to the rise of multi-channel communications. Contact centers started multi-channel communication operations and did experience gains by way of customer service but multi-channel does pose issues. This led to the integration of all these channels, including social media, into omnichannel contact center software.
Multi-channel is not omnichannel
Legacy contact center software does not have an omnichannel feature. It may not even have multi-channel integrated into the call center software. Contact centers and businesses operated communications in the multi-channel model. The problem is that all channels operate independently of each other with no common “meeting ground” or dashboard. This means if a customer chooses to send email, fax, SMS, and make a phone call or contact through mobile phone, all communications remain separate. An agent may respond to a phone call but may not be aware of an email from the client and the quality of service suffers. Omnichannel contact center software is different and miles ahead.
Omnichannel contact centers deliver a much better customer experience. The reason is simple. The omnichannel contact center software ties together all communication channels seamlessly into a single dashboard. For example, if a customer phones then the dashboard displays the customer data as well as previous records of communication through email or chat or Whatsapp or even interaction on the website. The agent knows the topic matter in detail and can address customer concerns effectively, competently, and satisfactorily. It is no surprise that omnichannel experience leads to 91% customer retention. Customers may choose to engage through one channel such as Facebook or Whatsapp or texting. Agents can comply and respond through the same channel in real-time instead of advising the customer to switch to another mode. All the while the screen in front becomes the control center to show records of activities on various channels and what the customer currently is engaged in.
How does omnichannel deliver a superior customer experience?
- Time: It takes time for agents to contact a customer through their preferred channel. With omnichannel contact center software and its unified dashboard, the matter is as simple as clicking on the appropriate icon.
- All information in one place: The unified dashboard also accesses the CRM apart from displaying present and past interactions. An agent gets off to a running start by knowing what the interaction is about and he does not waste the customer’s time by repeated questioning. Instead, the issue can be tackled quickly and satisfactorily.
- The most skilled agent gets the call: The latest omnichannel contact center solutions feature smart and intelligent routing to match the caller with a specific issue to the skill set of a particular agent, often leading to first call resolution.
- Use various channels effortlessly: The interaction may start with a phone call. The agent can seamlessly transition the caller to a video chat to better explain the matter and then, if necessary, turn it into a video conference.
- Proactive: By helping agents to keep track of social media activities the omnichannel contact center agent can jump into a Facebook conversation, respond to a tweet not directly addressed to him, or activate Whatsapp and go proactive. This can be done, for instance, when users are talking about a product to buy or about how to handle a problem with a product. In either case, you get to deliver a superior customer experience.
Should you switch to omnichannel?
The answer, definitely, is Yes. However, it is not necessary to throw out existing legacy solutions and buy a new one. You can get developers of omnichannel contact center software to nicely integrate all channels and CRM through API integration and achieve the desired outcome at minimum cost and minimum disruption to the existing solution and you get this done speedily too. It is worth the effort. You become more customer-centric and that yields 60% more profit as a Deloitte and Touche report shows. The right time to go omnichannel is now, either for a brand new system or an API Integrated one that will improve metrics and your bottom line.