In our modern world, omnichannel is the path to delivering great customer experiences and keeping customers satisfied. An Aberdeen Group study found that brands with strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for brands with weak omnichannel engagement. Such statistics shed light on the fact that brands need to keep up more than ever with the preferences of their customers, as even a single poor experience can lead to churn. Here are five key ingredients for transforming your contact center into a modern omnichannel engagement center.
Creating an omnichannel engagement center begins with devising a strategy and building a culture that follows it. Map out your customer journey and determine exactly what goals you aim to reach as a company. Once the goals are defined, assign employees to the positions that best match their skills and motivation. Contact center employees should then receive thorough and ongoing training and feedback to improve individual practices, emphasizing a culture of providing quality and real-time service on all channels at all times.
Successful modern contact centers are driven by sophisticated technologies and engaged employees who master these tools. CRM software is essential to creating a centralized database from which agents may monitor all customer interactions seamlessly. Other tools such as visual IVR empower customers through self-service, cater to mobile customers on the go, and save them time while driving agent productivity through faster connections and accurate routing to the most qualified agents. Prioritized callbacks further save customers time and drive agent efficiency by eliminating hold times and giving the customers the option of a callback when their position arrives at the front of a queue. Lastly, the current trend of conversational commerce should not be overlooked, as messaging apps and SMS are steadily growing in popularity for customer service. Today, more than ever, an omnichannel engagement center is key to delivering customer satisfaction.
There are numerous KPIs to measure in the contact center that reflect the quality of your customer service. Paying close attention to metrics such as average handling time (AHT) and first contact resolution (FCR) are essential to knowing how productive and skilled your agents are, as well as how efficiently contact center practices are working. If customers are being re-routed too frequently, agents may need to be matched more appropriately to the correct positions or departments. Other metrics such as hold times and abandonment rates are critical to understanding customer satisfaction and churn levels. However, as you develop a global view of these metrics, refine practices to tailor to what your customers truly need. For example, sometimes AHT needs to be longer in order to achieve FCR, which in turn increases customer satisfaction. So pay attention to metrics, but see the overall picture as well.
An essential aspect of running a successful omnichannel engagement center is listening to your customers. Take their feedback seriously, whether it is gleaned from social media through listening tools or through traditional surveys, and always reach out to those with low satisfaction scores. Make an effort to contact customers on their preferred channels for both marketing and customer service. It’s also critical to analyze their behaviors to determine which channels need the most attention. Webpages of the brand website that attract the most attention might be optimized to feature live chat pop-ups more quickly than on other pages, and popular channels can be staffed more efficiently to meet high demand. The more you strive to improve, the greater the customer experience you will offer.
Last but not least, remember that the difference between multichannel and omnichannel lies in optimization. If your brand is merely present on multiple channels but lacking in service quality due to understaffing, less than optimal technology, or inconsistent practices, your customers will never benefit from a truly omnichannel experience. Be consistent in quality, and optimize across all channels at all times to deliver on your promise of quality service. Transforming your contact center into a true omnichannel engagement center is a team effort. With the aid of modern technologies, contact center staff may deliver optimized customer experiences that will satisfy customers no matter what their channel of preference.
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