Omnichannel Contact Centres – A Solution to Siloed Customer Communication

May 9, 2019

With technology growing at a rapid pace, customers expect to have an instantaneous communication experience when they research on buying a product. The five major ways a customer can make a connection with a brand could be over call/SMS, E-mail, app, in-person at the store and social media.

Each of these interactions is riddled with data – data that can be used to better the customer experience, data that can be used for informed decision making for strategic growth. But this data is currently scattered at different places. Even if a business wanted to assimilate and leverage it, they wouldn’t be able to because of how disorganized it is.

This is where omnichannel contact centres come into play

An omnichannel contact centre is a one-stop solution for both the customer and the business to have and maintain conversations.

Businesses have been constantly misled about multi and omnichannel communication. A business consists of multiple touchpoints like call, SMS, e-mail, social media, etc. However, more often than not this experience is not consistent.

The inconsistency in the customer experience is caused by the lack of integration of data over multiple channels. For instance, an agent speaking with a customer on the phone may not have any information about the customer’s previous interactions on chat. Siloed communication is a drawback of multichannel contact centres.

Omnichannel contact centres work on integrating all the customer data and their researches and providing them better communication at multiple touchpoints.

For example, a customer on your company’s website might fill an e-mail enquiry form. They would have received a call from the sales team. Days later, they might come back to the website and select the click-to-call option to connect with the sales agent. When the call is connected, the agent will be able to see the log of the customer’s previous conversation along with their previous history of contact across touchpoints.

What this means for the customer is that they do not have to get the agent up to speed again, which is one of the major frustrations of anyone reaching out to a contact centre.

Problems in current communication methods

  • Conversational data is split between multiple touchpoints which affects the overall operational efficiency and customer experience.
  • These touchpoints are not integrated, so customers are required to reintroduce themselves and their queries on each channel.
  • Current infrastructure has a lengthy and tedious integration process that doesn’t allow to keep up with the changing customer behavior.

Why you must consider an omnichannel contact centre for your business

In a survey conducted by Statista revealed that 80.63% of the world population own smartphones, which is 6.37 billion smartphone users worldwide. Amazing, right? To add to this, 94% of 18-29-year-olds have a smartphone, whereas only 46% of the 65+ age group has adopted it. (Source: pewresearch )

What these stats imply is that customer choices vary with their age. Say, the youth prefer text assistance over calls whereas the older population might prefer a call. Given smartphones have various means by which customers can be reached out, especially when it comes to texting. Instead of expecting the customers to use a communication method that is favourable for the business, the omnichannel contact centre aims to approach them in their comfort zone.

On the whole, an Omnichannel contact centre paves way for

1. Reducing agent effort and improving morale

When customers’ needs are met effectively, it invariably leads to happier agents. With an omnichannel contact centre in place, agents can seamlessly understand the customers and their journey all under one roof. Such an efficient customer management platform helps lower customer frustration and scale CSAT levels, which helps agents handle customers at ease.

2. Track and evaluate evolving customer preferences

With the boom in personalisation, customers are well accustomed to businesses reaching out to them at their preferred channel, time and day of the week, etc. One such example is the emergence of chatbots, which help in effectively handling customer queries quickly. However, this also acts as a filter before routing the conversation to an actual agent. This way, agent efficiency is improved and customer satisfaction is also met.

To add to this, in this day and age customers are also looking to solve their issues by themselves. By equipping customers with video tutorials, FAQ portals, downloadable eBooks and catalogues, customers can easily resolve their issues by themselves. 

3. Unifying CX strategies

Without an omnichannel contact centre in place, unifying customer-facing operations can be disorganised and inconsistent.

  • Make sure all of your teams keep up the customer strategies in common, this is to avoid discrepancies where the marketing team might have promised something whereas the service agent might say another thing.
  • Have a clear vision in terms of upsells, response times, retention, etc and the basis on which teams measure these goals. This ensures uniformity and transparency across teams to analyse and evaluate individual performance as well as the performance of the whole unit.
  • Segregating response strategies:
    • Response in accordance with the customer’s journey and previous connect
    • Predefined escalation strategies to have structured and healthy responses
    • Responses where a specific type of customers are allotted to a specific team

For instance, Starbucks, the famous coffeehouse uses the omnichannel contact experience in the most efficient manner. They offer a reward card to the customers who sign up for the loyalty programme. They then integrated all the channels— call, SMS, mobile app or in-store— to help the customer check the status of the reward card or the accumulated points.

For instance, Starbucks, the famous coffeehouse uses omnichannel contact experience in the most efficient manner. They offer a reward card to the customers who sign up for the loyalty programme. They then integrated all the channels— call, SMS, mobile app or in-store— to help the customer check the status of the reward card or the accumulated points.

At the end of the day, it’s all about giving the customers what they want. Businesses that integrate their calls, SMS, and all other customer communication touchpoints have greater visibility into the entire customer journey. They can then use this data to analyze which communication method works best for them and invest in it.

Written By
Swathi is a content marketer at Exotel. She is passionately establishing Exotel's voice in the form of content. She is also a self-proclaimed champion of Oxford comma.

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