Omnichannel Contact Centre

Omnichannel Customer Experience is now the standard in marketing, retail, and customer service. In 2023, 75% of consumers expect a consistent Omnichannel Experience, with 73% willing to switch brands if not met.

 

This article explores the significance of Omnichannel and why it’s crucial for staying competitive in the modern business world.

What is an Omnichannel Contact Centre?

Over the last few years, Omnichannel Contact Centre Software has become increasingly common in customer engagement across industries. Customer service, particularly within the contact centre and BPO space, has been one of the areas in which the spread of Omnichannel Contact Centre software has had the most impact.

 

An omnichannel contact center is a customer service hub that integrates multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, chat, social media, and SMS, into a unified platform. It enables seamless interactions across channels, allowing customers to engage with the business through their preferred method while maintaining continuity and consistency in communication. This approach enhances customer experience by providing personalized and efficient support across various touchpoints.

 

In this article, we’ll provide you with all the essentials you need to know if you want to leverage Omnichannel Software to reach new heights of productivity, efficiency, and capacity. We’ll also explain why Omnichannel is so important for the modern contact centre.

 

But first, let’s start with the basics: what makes an Omnichannel Contact Centre Solution?

 

What is an Omnichannel Contact Centre Solution?

As you may know, the concept of Omnichannel is not unique to the contact centre space or the customer service industry: it’s an approach to Customer Experience that can inform decisions concerning marketing, retail, or customer service operations, among others.

 

In our page dedicated to the general concept of Omnichannel, we have defined it like this:

 

“First and foremost, Omnichannel is a method for improving Customer Experience. In a nutshell, its purpose is to provide customers with a unified, cohesive brand experience regardless of how they engage with or interact with the brand. Interactions can occur in person at physical stores, online, or through other means, such as calling customer service representatives.

 

The ideal Omnichannel Customer Experience will encompass all experiences taking place across channels and coordinate them with each other. In this way, an omnichannel strategy will allow customers to engage with a brand through their preferred channels, thus giving a personalised experience to every customer, all while retaining and conveying a cohesive, unified brand experience.”

 

However, when it comes to customer service and contact centres in particular, the definition of Omnichannel is more specific. In an Omnichannel Contact Centre, “Omnichannel” refers to the seamless integration of all communication channels, in most cases through the use of an Omnichannel Contact Centre Software platform.

 

The goal is to make it as easy and smooth as possible for the customer to have a conversation with a customer service representative on any channel of their choice, with the possibility of switching channels during the course of the same interaction with no wait times or disjointed moments.

 

To understand this concept a little more clearly, let’s try to picture a hypothetical situation: 

  • A client receives a parcel from his favourite brand. After unboxing it, they find that the instruction booklet is not clear enough and they’re not sure about how to start using the product. 
  • The customer decides to send the company a private message on Twitter. They state their order reference number provided in the email confirmation order, their name, and the issue they’re having.
  • A customer service representative immediately responds through an Omnichannel Software platform. They ask the customer if they could send some pictures of the product on WhatsApp to assess if there’s a piece missing or any different issue.
  • The customer agrees. They get sent a phone number, and they message with the order reference number and some pictures and videos of the product.
  • The same representative the customer talked to on Twitter responds. Upon examining the pictures and videos and contrasting it with the ordered product, they ask the customer to double check inside the product’s box for a piece they might have forgotten to add when assembling the product. The customer finds it. 
  • Having solved their problem, the customer thanks the representative. The latter asks if the customer would like to be contacted by WhatsApp in the future for curated offers or promotions. The customer agrees.
  • After the interaction ends, the customer receives an automated message asking the customer to rate their experience with customer service. They give the highest rating and go on to enjoy their product.

 

In this hypothetical example of an Omnichannel customer service interaction, the Customer Experience is seamless, integrated, and there is cohesion between all its touchpoints. No information is “lost in translation” when switching channels: the customer uses the reference number they received on their order confirmation email to talk to an agent on social media and WhatsApp, and they talk to the same agent in both channels, on one single interface thanks to an Omnichannel Contact Centre software platform, with no wait times.

 

The result: the customer gets to have an informative, agile, and personalised exchange with the customer service department, and the brand achieves a more harmonious, helpful, and closer presence in its customers’ daily life.

 

This interaction is possible thanks to an Omnichannel Contact Centre Solution. The agent of our hypothetical contact centre has access to all communication channels to interact with customers, they can switch between them at will and with no wait times to serve them best, and they can use the information from previous interactions such as the order confirmation number sent on email. This degree of cohesion in the integration between different channels is what defines an Omnichannel Contact Centre Solution.

 

Why the Omnichannel Contact Centre is becoming the new norm

There are multiple reasons why Omnichannel Contact Centre software is so popular within the retail, marketing, and customer service spaces. In our article about Omnichannel, we have pointed out the two most important factors: 

 

  1. An increase in Customer Experience standards; now, customers value the experience provided by a brand as much as its products, if not more.
  2. An increasing number of communication channels used by customers in their daily lives and, by extension, a matching increase of the available options for engaging with brands. This results in a variety of preferences among different customer demographics, but also in a proclivity towards the use of different channels.

 

When it comes to customer service and the contact centre space in particular, there are multiple statistics that can illustrate why more and more contact centres are adopting Omnichannel Contact Centre solutions:

 

  • A survey by Harvard Business Review found that more than 70% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels. 
  • A study by Salesforce found that 75% of consumers expect a consistent experience across multiple communication channels. But that isn’t all: 73% say that they will switch brands if they don’t get it.
  • A study by Omnisend shows that marketers using three or more channels in any one campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single-channel campaign.
  • Another study by Adobe showed that brands investing in omnichannel customer engagement saw a 10% increase in growth rate.
  • Data from Google shows that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who use no more than one channel; this means that they generate more revenue. 
  • Other studies prove that customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel campaigns than those focusing on single-channel marketing.
  • A study by Customerthink shows that 9 out of 10 customers won’t purchase again from a company after three or even less poor customer service interactions. It usually costs between 5-30 times more to get new customers than retain the ones you already have (Finextra), so it’s no wonder why so many businesses are choosing Omnichannel to serve their customers.

 

As you can see, Omnichannel customer engagement is becoming not only a way to increase customer satisfaction, but also an essential for businesses to stay competitive. In the next section, we’ll go through the 3 main benefits an Omnichannel Contact Centre solution can bring to agents, managers and owners.

 

Benefits of Omnichannel Contact Centre Software

 

1. Faster, better interaction handling

For contact centres and BPOs, Omnichannel Contact Centre solutions translate in more queries addressed satisfactorily in less time, which results in more positive outcomes for more customers. Essentially, Omnichannel Contact Centre software enables businesses to solve customer issues much faster all the while catering to the modern customer’s communication preferences.

 

This results in a higher number of customers you can serve, higher customer loyalty and satisfaction rates, and, ultimately, increased revenue.

 

2. More visibility for managers

Omnichannel also benefits contact centre managers; some Omnichannel Contact Centre Solutions, like Connex, will provide managers with general, comprehensive visibility over all interactions across channels, enabling them to gain a wider perspective of the customer journey, what are the strengths and pain points in the contact centre’s strategy in general and in their agents’ performance in particular. 

 

Connex’s intuitive dashboard takes that aspect of the Omnichannel Contact Centre to the next level: its Assessment Centre feature presents managers with a complete view of a variety of performance metrics, both collective and individual. 

3. Less stressed agents, reduced churn rate

Lastly, an Omnichannel Contact Centre solution can also be a great way to tackle one of contact centres’ biggest enemies: churn rate. An ICMI survey showed that 87% of call centre representatives experience moderate to high levels of stress throughout their workday; 71% of them said the main culprit for that stress are system and tool inefficiencies.

 

In the same survey, 100% of the decision-makers and managers agreed that agent morale and satisfaction have a direct impact on the customer experience. However, most former call agents cite stress, the main cause of which is inefficient tools, as the main reason they left their jobs.

 

Many companies are using Omnichannel Contact Centre software to tackle these problems and enhance the agent experience, since it frees agents from the burden of tedious, time-consuming, and tedious activities, and allows them to focus on forging connections with clients without the danger of burnout.

 

Now that we understand better why Omnichannel Contact Centre solutions are spearheading the evolution of customer service in general and the contact centre space in particular, let’s move on to more practical stuff: what are the best practices for an Omnichannel Contact Centre?

Omnichannel Contact Centre Best Practices

 

Integrate with existing software

For a contact centre, integrating an Omnichannel Contact Centre solution with existing call centre software tools is a must. It consolidates customer data, providing a comprehensive view of interactions in context and enabling agents to access real-time information and offer personalised support.

 

With over 40 integrations, Connex offers the combined strength of Omnichannel, AI analytics, workflow automation, and the world’s leading CRM software platforms.

 

Map the customer journey

A customer journey map is a visual depiction of every stage in a customer’s journey. It encompasses the entire process from the initial awareness of your brand to the final purchase decision. This includes the customer’s research, comparisons with competitors, and all the experiences leading up to the purchase, as well as what channels they prefer to use at each touchpoint of their journey. In other articles, we explain everything you need to know about customer journey mapping. But that’s not all.

 

You can leverage customer service automation to implement and refine customer journeys effectively. Our Flow feature is designed to entirely automate customer journeys: with its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, you will have full control over each step in the customer journey, retaining a comprehensive overview of all touchpoints. Thanks to workflow automation, you can agilise the sorting and routing of interactions, saving your business valuable time and resources. You can read more about our customer service automation software tools here.

Throw AI in the mix

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence has the potential to be a gamechanger in many different industries, and customer service is one of the fields where this is most true. From Conversational Bots to AI Analytics or ASR IVRs, the possibilities AI represents for customer service are endless. We have explored them further in this blog.

 

Our Omnichannel Contact Centre solution, for example, comes with multiple AI functionalities designed to take your contact centre’s productivity to new heights. Our Athena AI Conversational Bot is specially designed to handle customer service queries with exceptional precision; it has the ability to continuously learn from various data sources such as FAQs, email archives, previous chat transcripts, and your website. 

 

Other AI tools like Keyphrase Analysis and Entity Recognition tools can help you find common utterances and mentions of specific products or prices in your agents’ conversations with customers, allowing you to recognise emerging trends on the spot. Finally, AI Scorecards and Sentiment Analysis will automatically mark interactions by outcome and customer satisfaction, giving you incredibly useful insights to train your staff on best practices.

 

If you enjoyed reading this, you might also be interested in…

Omnichannel

Omnichannel Customer Experience

Call Centre Software

Omnichannel vs Multichannel

Call Centre Phone System

Customer Interaction Management

Customer Interaction Management System