Since interaction channels are multiplying and the borders which separate them are disappearing, the customer experience must be viewed in an omnichannel manner. The objective? To respond more quickly and with more relevance to customer requests. According to McKinsey, 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels he is being treated. It is therefore crucial that customer service be present at the right time with the right response to the customer’s expectations. But such a task is demanding, and according to Gartner, between now and 2022, 50% of large companies will have still failed to unify engagement channels engagement channels with their customers.
Customer journeys are becoming more and more digital. This phenomenon has been especially highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis. The customer uses and masters all channels indifferently, including chat, instant messaging, and social media channels. A Deloitte study further reveals that 60% of customers interact with a company through different communication channels and expect a consistent user experience, regardless of the time, the place, the device, or the medium used. And according to the customer profile, or the problem encountered, the channels differ. A Facebook IQ study reveals that more than 76% of customers send messages to companies through Facebook Messenger, to receive customer support linked to a product or service. As for social media, they are the preferred customer support channels for those under age 25, with 32% of this demographic naming these channels as their first choice. To respond efficiently to all specific cases, the contact center must be able to handle the management of all customer experience channels in a neutral manner.
The time when companies questioned the idea of multichannel customer service is over. But be careful, as multichannel does not necessarily mean omnichannel. Contact centers must be equipped with an omnichannel solution that allows not only moving from one channel to another within a single interface, but above all to do so without having to ask the customer for information he has already provided during previous interactions with the company. The main customer expectations are essentially consistency and simplicity when they move from one communication channel to another. A UC Today study shows that 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods. The challenge of top priority : to have a 360° view of customer data and a complete history of his conversations, and to have a consolidated view of data that allows an agent to pick up the conversation where it was left off with the previous agent. This customer knowledge can be enriched with the integration of the contact center solution with CRM software or industry applications in order to provide personalized and contextualized answers under all circumstances.
According to Gartner, offering quick and relevant self-service increases customer satisfaction by 12%. Whether it means providing a list of frequently asked questions or integrating a self-service IVR or chatbot-type conversational interface into your service portfolio, the challenge is increasing customers’ satisfaction by allowing them to find the answers to their questions at any time. This approach works for simple or recurring questions but does not allow you to answer all requests, especially when the questions are complex or emotionally charged (insatisfaction, anger…). A Forrester study thus states that 63% of consumers are satisfied getting service from a chatbot, as long as they have the option to move the conversation to a human if needed. It is therefore important to clearly define your customer journeys and equip your contact center with an omnichannel solution that allows quick and contextualized switches from one channel to another.
If one considers that the time it takes to resolve a problem impacts the cost of handling a request, it is crucial to be able to point the customer toward the right channel for the right request. A recent Forrester study brings to light how, in the case of handling a request via email, it takes on average 2 to 3 days for a complete resolution to the problem, compared to 6 to 10 minutes by phone. With an omnichannel contact center solution, it is possible to find the best cost/satisfaction ratio. A customer request communicated by email or through social media can be handled with an agent callback in order to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. A request made by phone can be resolved by a follow-up email according to the urgency level of the request and the time needed to answer it properly. An omnichannel contact center offers customers as well as agents the opportunity to use the most efficient, least expensive, and most relevant communication channel!
Contact center agents are at the heart of your omnichannel strategy. While going omnichannel is an essential means of improving customer satisfaction, the increase in the number of interaction channels serves as a stress factor for 67% of agents questioned. The quality, intuitiveness, and user-friendliness of the omnichannel solution deployed within the contact center plays a determining role in the reduction of this stress. To subscribe your contact center to an omnichannel setup, you must also be able to invest in the talents and wishes of each agent, in order to deliver the best service to the customer. Data sharing, access to a 360° view of the customer’s history with the brand, and the richness of the « agent » view in the contact center solution are all elements which:
When customer service agents feel that their systems and tools improve their ability to manage customer problems and simplify their daily work, their productivity can increase by up to 20%, which contributes to increasing customer satisfaction by 11% according to Gartner. The well-being of contact center agents is a determining element of the quality of the experience delivered to the customer. It is an efficient way to fight agent turnover within the contact center which, for the record, varies between 30 and 45% according to a Daily Pay study, or close to twice the average of all jobs in the United States.
Going omnichannel in the contact center is a is a promise of customer experience optimization. Nothing surprising as customers have adopted this approach quickly and 91% of them expect an omnichannel experience, according to an Aberdeen study.
The recent crisis linked to COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of the continuity of the bond between brands and their customers. A bond of which contact center agents are the cement. By offering them intuitive and user-friendly solutions in order to accomplish their assignments, and by recentering them on value-added tasks, going omnichannel becomes an opportunity. Consequently, close to 6 out of 10 agents (54% according to Aberdeen) consider the increase in the number of channels within the contact center as a positive change in their careers.
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