Contact centers are customer support hubs where businesses provide assistance, information, and solutions to customers’ inquiries. They substantially influence how a brand is perceived, as they are the primary point of contact for customers. Modern businesses, thus, are striving to improve contact center performance to stand out from competitors.

One of the strategies they are employing is combining other communication channels like email, SMS, social media, chatbots, etc., with contact centers for a more seamless customer journey. Maintaining a presence on multiple channels increases the number of avenues through which businesses and customers can connect with each other.

However, if these channels exist in silos, businesses can lose out on the opportunity to offer a cohesive CX. This paves the way for an omnichannel approach. The following sections will discuss how businesses can implement an effective omnichannel contact center strategy and supercharge their CX efforts.

Key Takeaways:

→ Businesses are combining various communication channels like email, SMS, social media, and chatbots with contact centers. This broadens avenues for customer-business interaction.

→ In contrast to a siloed multichannel approach, an omnichannel strategy integrates all channels to provide a frictionless CX. This approach ensures quick issue resolution, consistent brand image, improved agent productivity, cost savings, and data-driven decision-making.

→ To improve the success rates of omnichannel contact centers, businesses must prioritize customer preferences, select relevant channels, train agents, collect feedback, ensure scalability, maintain data privacy, and foster cross-functional collaboration.

The choice of a contact center solution provider is also critical for customer satisfaction. Features, capabilities, and compatibility with business goals should guide this choice. Exotel offers Ameyo XTRM, a cloud-based contact center solution trusted by numerous global businesses, that facilitates the transition to an omnichannel approach.

The Imperative of a Seamless Omnichannel Experience

As customers have become more informed, their customer journeys have also become more complex, and expectations have evolved. In line with these expectations, 85% of companies are increasing the use of digital channels, like social media and live chat, to meet customers on their preferred channels.

No doubt, the use of multiple channels is set to increase the speed and efficiency of issue resolution, something that 90% of customers appreciate. However, it can also lead to challenges related to maintaining context and consistency across interactions. 

To deal with this, businesses must aim to adopt a unified vision of CX. Omnichannel contact centers have thus become the need of the hour. While multichannel approaches involve utilizing multiple independent channels, an omnichannel approach integrates these channels to provide an effortless and personalized CX.

Omnichannel strategies focus on maintaining context, sharing data, and offering a frictionless approach to enhance customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Given that 38% of consumers expect agents to have the context of their queries, there is no denying the fact that the time for omnichannel CX has come. Businesses must, therefore, modify their contact center operations in line with this approach.

Benefits of Omnichannel Contact Centers

The following advantages of omnichannel contact centers help businesses deliver a seamless CX:

» Efficient Issue Resolution

83% of customers expect their issues to be solved on the first try. Failing to do so can be perceived as poor customer service and can result in 48% of customers switching brands. Omnichannel contact center solutions help avoid this problem. As agents have a comprehensive view of customer interactions, they can address issues quickly and accurately. Moreover, complex problems can be transferred to the right channel, leading to more empathetic resolutions.

» Consistent Messaging

The use of multiple communication channels increases brand visibility, but that’s not enough to convert leads. The target audience must also be able to recall the brand, which is possible only with consistent messaging. With omnichannel contact center solutions, businesses can maintain a predetermined brand image across all channels. Customers receive uniform information regardless of the channel they use, fostering trust and reliability.

» Increased Agent Productivity

53% of CX leaders say their top challenge is recruiting and retaining talent. This is not surprising as agents are handling 41 conversations per day on average, leading to a high work burden. Omnichannel contact centers can help overcome this challenge by incorporating AI chatbots. Such bots can handle repetitive queries and optimize agents’ workload. Assisted with bots, agents can manage multiple interactions simultaneously and minimize idle time. This, along with the use of templates, helps increase productivity.

» Data-Driven Insights

77% of customers are willing to share personal data in exchange for a superior buyer experience. This is good news for businesses as data holds the key to higher customer satisfaction. Centralized data collection, facilitated by omnichannel centers, allows businesses to analyze customer behavior and preferences across channels. The resultant insights help refine strategies, optimize processes, and customize offerings to meet customer demands effectively.

» Cost Efficiency

54% of contact center executives consider rising operational costs as their top challenge. Omnichannel contact centers can help overcome this concern by reducing the need for separate tools and systems. Omnichannel platforms also streamline operations and minimize software costs. Moreover, the benefits discussed above, such as increased productivity, data-driven insights, and quicker issue resolution, also lead to cost savings. For instance, cross-channel interactions often lead to quicker issue resolution, lowering overall support costs.

Developing an Effective Omnichannel Contact Center Strategy

Businesses must take note of the below-mentioned points to increase the productivity and service efficiency of omnichannel contact centers:

» Customer-Centric Approach

The main goal of omnichannel centers is to satisfy customer needs. Such centers must, therefore, be designed according to customer preferences. A customer-centric approach involves putting oneself in customers’ shoes and predicting the challenges they may encounter in their journey. The CX strategy must then be modified to ensure that customers can receive support at each stage and are not left stranded. 

» Channel Selection

Multiple platforms can drive customer-business interactions. Ideally, all such platforms must be a part of the omnichannel centers. However, additional cost has to be incurred to include every extra channel. A more prudent approach is to first evaluate customer behavior on different platforms and identify the most relevant channels for your target audience. For instance, if the target audience comprises mainly senior citizens, social media can be given the least priority. 

» Training and Skill Development

No doubt combining different channels sets a framework for customer communication. But, the vitality of customer interactions truly depends on the support agents. It is, therefore, crucial to train agents to be proficient in handling omnichannel interactions. Skills related to context-switching, maintaining empathy, and addressing channel-specific challenges must be imparted. 

» Scalability and Adaptability

As a business expands, so do its customer support needs. It’s not surprising that about 60% of companies expect a growth in call volume. Before implementing an omnichannel strategy, businesses must reflect on whether the increasing demands will be adequately met or not. The focus must be on building a flexible infrastructure that can accommodate new channels and technology advancements.

» Data Privacy

As discussed above, omnichannel centers provide a unified view of customer interactions and offer valuable data. This data must be handled with transparency and in consideration of customers’ well-being. 79% of customers want details about what data is being collected, how it will be used, and who it will be shared with. By providing information regarding all such questions, businesses can establish trust.

» Cross-Functional Collaboration

In addition to integrating different communication channels, businesses must also establish synergy between the different functional departments. 72% of CX leaders believe that consolidating teams for better CX can lead to greater operational efficiency. Further, 64% of the surveyed leaders already have plans to foster collaboration between departments like marketing, sales, and customer support. By sharing insights and aligning strategies among departments, businesses can create a holistic CX.

Wrapping Up

In addition to the above points, the choice of a contact center solution provider is a crucial factor in implementing a successful omnichannel approach. The provider’s capabilities, features, and compatibility with your business goals can significantly impact the effectiveness of your strategy. 

Exotel is a leading CX solution provider that is trusted by 7,000+ businesses around the globe. Our omnichannel contact center software, helps businesses to shift from multichannel customer engagement to omnichannel one. All customer conversations can be managed from a single interface, providing a consistent experience across voice, SMS, video, social media, email, chatbots, and more. Learn more about our solutions here.

Shambhavi Sinha

Shambhavi Sinha is an SEO expert at Exotel with a passion for writing about technology. With a keen interest in the latest trends in contact centers and artificial intelligence, Shambhavi aims to empower users by sharing insightful and up-to-date knowledge. Her expertise in SEO and her dedication to educating her audience make her a valuable resource for anyone looking to stay informed about the evolving landscape of tech in customer service and beyond.

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