Technology & Roadmap

Omnichannel Contact Center: A Guide for 2023

omnichannel contact center
  • May 31, 2023
  • 5 mins read

The evolution of both consumer behavior and technology has made us all stand on the verge of not choosing one over the other. Most organizations now look for external contact center assistance to manage customer interactions. It can be because exceptional customer experience lies at the foundation of every business.

“More than 66% of customers expect businesses to understand their needs and accommodate their preferences through their offerings” (Source)

For those running a contact center, what matters to their clients matters to them. Businesses that focus on delivering exceptional customer experience would want the hired contact center to foster long-term customer relationships to thrive through any crisis. This is where having an omnichannel contact center strategy comes into the picture to seize every possible opportunity. 

How exactly can you benefit from an omnichannel contact center that keeps customers coming back for more? Let’s find out.

What is an Omnichannel Contact Center?

An omnichannel contact center unifies various communication channels and allows the end customers to communicate with the brand the way they prefer – be it by phone, social media, email, or live chat. It can also be regarded as a powerful communication tool that offers more than just one customer communication channel to strengthen brand loyalty and ensure a delightful customer experience.

In other words, your target customers can ask for help or raise queries whenever they want and through the communication channel of their choice. An integrated omnichannel contact center strategy can provide organizations with a way to beat the competition and stay ahead.

Why do Businesses Prefer Omnichannel Contact Centers?

Most omnichannel contact centers are cloud-based and help simplify complex interactions using various customer service tools. Here’s why many of your clients are looking for omnichannel contact center support:

Omnichannel Contact Center

1. Availability of Customer Data to Live Agents

It helps your team of live agents to move between channels effortlessly while also maintaining the context of a customer call and interaction history. The unified interface of a contact center platform can provide real-time data to each agent.

2. Easy to Integrate Multiple Channels

An omnichannel contact center platform is agile and scalable enough to integrate with multiple channels without changing workflows or resulting in downtime. You can integrate it with email, SMS, social media, chatbot, and various other channels.

3. Customer Insights for Customized Experience

It also provides easy access to customer insights to allow the agents to deliver a highly personalized experience. Irrespective of how unique a customer’s query is, your team will be well-equipped with the right information to handle requests with ease.

4. Intelligent Call Routing

You will also benefit from intelligent call routing of inbound requests – a feature you might be looking for to enhance the First Call Resolution (FCR) rate.

5 Steps to Implement an Omnichannel Contact Center Strategy

Omnichannel Contact Center

While the benefits of an omnichannel contact center are quite clear, contact center leaders must follow the steps given below to implement an omnichannel strategy:

1. Assess the Current Contact Center Processes

You do not need to rebuild or reimagine the entire infrastructure to deliver an omnichannel customer experience. The first and foremost step is to analyze the current contact center strategy being followed in your organization. For example, you may be using only a single communication channel, say email, to interact with customers. Think about:

  • What will be the requirements for expanding to multiple channels?
  • What kind of contact center platform will you need to improve the customer experience?
  • What kind of features should an omnichannel contact center possess?
  • Which communication channels are preferred by your target customers?

Before you plan to move to a cloud-based contact center platform, you should know the reasons why it makes sense. Once you have switched to the right platform, you can manage data from all devices and channels and make it accessible to your agents. You can even scale cloud contact centers to handle large volumes of customer support queries.

2. Set the Right Goals and Objectives

You cannot implement an omnichannel contact center strategy in a silo, while working with sales and marketing teams. But how will you track what has improved and what hasn’t while using a cloud contact center solution?

This is where the goal and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) setting comes into the picture. You need to include specific, time-bound KPIs like net retention, response times per channel, etc., that you can track to check the overall performance of your contact center. 

For instance, if you switch to Exotel’s cloud contact center solution for enterprises, your agents can have a 360-degree view of customer insights. In this particular aspect, you can benefit from call reporting to track the performance of both outgoing and incoming communications. Similarly, you can track the most preferred sales channel where you need to line up more agents to resolve customer queries.

3. Select Customer Communication Channels Carefully

No matter how capable your team of live agents is, they won’t be able to deliver excellent customer service if they are not using the right channels. Here, the term ‘right channels’ refers to the ones preferred by your target customers. As the face of a brand that relies on your services, your team will be in direct communication with customers, which is where understanding customer behavior and preference per channel is quite important.

For example, your agents might be tasked with responding to social media posts shared by potential or existing customers. Suppose the brand’s marketing team also does that. In that case, your omnichannel contact center strategy should cover who will handle which channel, how to minimize the response time, and how to take the feedback constructively.

4. Integrate Multiple Channels for a Coherent Omnichannel Experience

You do not want the customer support team to emphasize something that exists beyond a brand’s values and mission. While considering the messaging and voice of a brand are crucial while delivering customer support, it can be a tough nut to crack in terms of implementation. However, this can be simplified a bit by ensuring consistent voice across multiple channels integrated through a unified contact center solution. 

Moreover, you also need to provide agent training to help your team navigate through multiple channels through the newly adopted solution. This will help them better understand the nuances of omnichannel communication and teach them how to best serve the customers.

5. Track the Performance of Your Omnichannel Contact Center

Technology, the use of channels, and customer preferences can change rapidly. This is why an effective omnichannel strategy takes into account the overall performance of an omnichannel contact center to stay competitive. When you add a new communication channel, others may become less useful or obsolete with time and can be removed from the list of integrated channels. Such collective performance tracking will not only save agent’s time but also improve customer service efficiency. 

Also, as you add new communication channels, you need to consider how they can work together and affect customer preferences. Then, based on customer feedback, you can keep on improving the strategy and deliver the best results.

Step into the Future of Omnichannel Contact Centers with Exotel

Implementing a carefully-devised omnichannel strategy is worth the effort to capture clear and quick benefits. You can simply switch to Exotel’s omnichannel contact center solution to benefit from integrating multiple channels to CRM/helpdesk software, better agent productivity, advanced customer analytics, and more.

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