On today’s blog we will be explaining how to get omnichannel right in your contact center.
While multichannel refers to servicing customers over multiple channels, omnichannel offers a seamless customer experience by adopting a single view of the customer and allowing them to pivot to their channel of choice.
Omnichannel is a more customer-centric approach to running a contact center, with the end goal of improving your CX throughout the organization.
The Customer Journey
Before you can adopt an omnichannel approach, you need to understand your customer journey – all the collected experiences your customer has had with your company, from the first moment they discovered your brand, until they reach the end of the sales funnel.
By looking at the customer journey you will be able to map out how often your customer interacts with your business, which channels they use, and other useful information, such as what time of day they prefer to interact.
Studying this data allows you to identify what channels your customers use the most, where there is some room for improvement, and what other channels should be implemented.
For example, if your customer discovered your brand on social media and went to look for further information, then social media, website self-service and webchat are all channels that formed part of their customer journey before that customer moved down the sales funnel.
Adapting learnings from customer journey mapping allows you to take a more customer-centric focus to forward-planning and is the first step to getting omnichannel right.
The Customer Interaction Cube
The Customer Interaction Cube is used to categorize the types of interactions coming into your contact center, ranging from complexity, emotional input and urgency.
It is a handy tool to determine which channel is best suited for different types of interactions.
For example, online product research is uncomplex, not very urgent and doesn’t have any emotional attachment for the customer. The channels best suited for this sort of interaction are those that can be used in that customer’s own time, such as self-service and webchat.
On the other hand, a technical query or question that cannot be answered via self-service might not have a lot of emotion or urgency attached to it, but can be quite complex, and would need a human agent to assist. Therefore, the best channels would be email or phone.
More urgent queries like insurance claims, time-sensitive travel queries and follow-ups about a delivery, would best be handled telephonically.
According to ContactBabel, customers are most emotional when they call in or email and least emotional when using self-service and webchat. When a query is urgent, a customer will most likely visit the company website first and then call the contact center. For more complex queries, customers are more likely to visit a store or office first before calling the contact center or visiting the company website.
While understanding how customers communicate is important, knowing how they would like to communicate and what they expect is just as crucial.
It is also important to remember that just because you are introducing a host of different ways to communicate with your business, it does not mean you should neglect your traditional channels in the process. According to Contact Babel, 70% of inbound interactions are still done by phone. So, while your customers may find interacting via webchat more convenient, your call center is still the channel your customers are using most.
According to research by ORC International, the most important factors for consumers when contacting an organization are first contact resolution, 24/7 availability and friendly staff.
By pivoting your contact center operations to ensure your agents are skilled, motivated and available to help, you have already taken a positive step to improving your customer’s experience with that channel.
Remember, omnichannel is not about how many channels you offer, it is about creating a seamless experience for your customers at every step of their journey with you.
Read more on this topic at Why Customer Delight Is Key To Any Successful CX Strategy.