5 min read
What is an Omnichannel Contact Center?
Nowadays, customers don’t only want to contact businesses using phones or email. They want access to information and want their problems solved across several platforms, including social media, live chat, knowledge bases, and more.
This means that to serve your customers best, you’ll need to implement a communications solution that incorporates all these channels. It’s here where omnichannel contact centers are invaluable. In this post, we’ll look at these contact centers in more detail.
What is an Omnichannel Contact Center?
An omnichannel contact center is a contact center that allows your customers to contact you and you to respond to them through a variety of channels. So, omnichannel contact centers allow communication across channels like phone calls, social media, messaging, live chat, mobile apps, and more.
But omnichannel contact centers go further than this. Although, like multichannel contact centers, omnichannel contact centers allow you to communicate with your customers through multiple channels, what really sets omnichannel contact centers apart is the fact that they allow you to move from channel to channel seamlessly.
In other words, every new customer interaction feels like an extension of past interactions.
Benefits of Omnichannel Contact Centers
Now that we’ve recapped what omnichannel contact centers are, let’s look at some of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you implement one for your business.
Customer Journey Mapping
Because omnichannel contact centers store all customer interaction data in one place, it allows you to map your customers’ journey. This journey sets out every step a customer will take as they communicate with your business, no matter what the channel or touchpoint.
When you map the journey, you’ll be able to optimize it and with the data you gather, you’ll be able to make your customer journey as seamless and efficient as possible. As a result, you’ll be able to solve your customers’ and answer their questions quicker.
Nowadays, customers increasingly expect personalized experiences when they interact with businesses, whether it’s in the marketing materials they receive or when contacting the business’s customer service department. Here, an omnichannel platform lets you inject personalization into your communication processes.
They’re able to do this because they gather a wealth of information during every customer interaction. As a result, agents have a full history of every customer, which prepares them better for every call and allows them to serve customers better.
Better Customer Support
Apart from allowing customer support agents to serve customers better, omnichannel contact centers also make it possible that a customer’s problem or issue will be solved the first time the customer contacts the business. This is simply because there are a variety of channels available and customers can be routed to the channel, and the agent, with the appropriate skills to solve their problem.
As a result, when using an omnichannel platform, you’ll be able to improve your customer support significantly.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
When you’re able to provide personalized customer experiences, and you improve your customer support process substantially, you’ll increase customer satisfaction. This, in turn, increases customer retention rates, which allow you to retain your existing customers. But because you provide stellar customer experiences, you’ll also be able to attract new customers. Ultimately, you’ll be able to generate more revenue and grow your business.
Key Features of Omnichannel Contact Centers
Considering the benefits that omnichannel contact centers offer, you’re probably convinced that you should implement one in your business. When you do, it’s crucial that you implement the right tool. So, the immediate question is: What features should an omnichannel platform have?
Obviously, the omnichannel contact center solution should allow you to efficiently and effectively communicate with your customers through a variety of channels. This is the core functionality of these solutions.
As mentioned earlier, omnichannel contact centers should allow customer interactions to seamlessly move from channel to channel. To be able to do this, the system needs to be cloud-based.
One of the reasons for this is that a cloud-based solution allows you to have all customer data available in a central place. In addition, when this data is stored in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere, ideally through an easy-to-use interface.
When data is available in the cloud, the system will also be able to provide one of the main benefits of omnichannel contact centers. That is, the ability to seamlessly switch between channels while still allowing to provide personalized experiences.
Cloud systems, also allow you to integrate customer data across your entire business. This means that you’ll be able to access this data in all the other systems and platforms you use, provided, of course, that it offers integration features. If it does, you’ll be able to gather valuable customer insights and serve your customers better by offering them what they want and expect.
As a result, your chosen solution should integrate with your existing software like, for instance, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Microsoft, Zoom, Trello, and more.
Analytics and Reporting
Gathering data in a central location goes further than providing better customer experiences, though. It also allows you to analyze this data and get valuable insights into your customers’ needs and expectations. In other words, you’ll know who your customers are, what their problems and challenges are, and how you can solve them.
With these insights, you’ll be able to tailor your offering to better meet your customers’ needs and expectations.
To be most effective, it’s crucial that your omnichannel contact center solution enable you to route incoming calls to the right agents. If it does, you can set up routing based on, for example, channels, agents’ skills, workload, or other criteria that will improve your agents’ productivity. Ultimately, when using routing, you’ll be able to solve your customers’ problems as quickly as possible.
Apart from being able to serve your customers better, routing also allows you to manage your team’s workload. But for this, it needs workforce management features that will enable you to increase the productivity of your team. Some of these features include forecasting, scheduling, availability tracking, and more.
Security and Reliability
It’s vital that your omnichannel contact center solution is reliable. If not, your customer will be unable to contact you, with the result that your customer service will suffer. In addition, the solution needs to be secure in order to protect customer data, especially if you’re working with data protected by privacy laws and regulations.
What’s the Difference Between Multichannel and Omnichannel Contact Centers?
As mentioned earlier, both multichannel and omnichannel contact centers allow you to communicate with your customers through various channels. The difference, as mentioned, is that multichannel contact centers don’t provide the same level of seamless communication that omnichannel contact centers do. As a result, they also forego many of the benefits that omnichannel contact centers provide.
Omnichannel Strategies to Create Better Customer Experience
Here are some strategies you can use to create a better customer experience when implementing an omnichannel contact center:
- Use the right channels. To ensure that your customers engage you across several channels, you’ll need to identify the channels your customers use.
- Introduce or improve self-service channels. To optimize your resources and provide your customers with service options at all times of the day, you should implement self-service options.
- Personalize more. The trend towards personalization will only increase, so you should implement strategies to inject even more personalization into your customer interactions.
- Still have agents available. Despite providing various channels where your customers can contact your business, you should still have human agents available that customers can talk to.
- Consistently gather and analyze data. To ensure that you keep delivering stellar customer experiences, you should consistently gather and analyze data that will allow you to spot trends, patterns, and issues early on. When you do, you’ll be able to solve them quickly and make improvements to your processes where necessary.
When you want to take your customer support to the next level and deliver stellar customer experiences that will make your customers come back for more, you should consider implementing an omnichannel contact center in your business. Hopefully, this post helped illustrate some of the benefits of these contact centers and what features you’ll need to consider when you do.
When looking for a contact center solution, get in touch with ULTATEL. Our cloud contact center solutions have all the features you need to keep up with the surging demand in communications across several channels. So, request a demo today.
Greg is the product marketer for ULTATEL. He develops and markets products that help people do their best work, and enables the businesses they work for grow their revenue.