Many dynamic organisations are moving beyond the voice channel into new territory so as to communicate with their clients where they feel the most comfortable. Omni-channel is the future of customer service. To stay top of mind and in our customers’ hearts, we must learn to adapt and improve so we can keep on providing excellent service to our customers.
The definition of Omni-channel for the contact center is a cross-channel content strategy that organizations use to improve their user experience. Rather than working in parallel, communication channels and their supporting resources are designed and orchestrated to cooperate. Omni-channel self-service empowers the customer to start a customer support activity in one channel, and seamlessly transition to another. These channels constitute voice, email, SMS/text, web, mobile or social media.
For many contact centers, this may seem like a scary and unnecessary transition or step to take. But the value of omni-channel in the call center goes beyond ‘just’ adding another channel for our consumers. Let’s see the invaluable benefits of implementing an Omni-channel:
- Improved service level
Omni-channel self-service empowers the customer to start a customer support activity in one channel, and seamlessly transition to another. A conversation that begins on Facebook can be continued via text message or phone call with all of the relevant context preserved across channels. Omni-channel solutions don’t require implementing every possible channel – for example, after a survey of customer preferences, a business may choose to offer voice, SMS and social media as service channels – but an omni-channel solution ensures the service level, responsiveness, and quality of service received on individual channels and across channels would be equally high.
- Client retention
Businesses that adopt an omni-channel strategy, reportedly achieve a 90% higher year‑over‑year increase in customer retention on average compared to organizations that do not according research. Omni-channel solutions are allowing organisations to meet constantly changing customer demands, by empowering agents to provide exceptional service throughout the entire customer journey. Omni-channel is no longer a “nice to have”, it’s quickly becoming a necessity to retain customers and remain competitive.
- Connect with the Millennials
Most large organisations have changed their brands to evolve with millennials needs. In the omni-channel game, the strategies for millennials as this group now has over $200 million in annual buying power. Millennials are expectant and always looking for ways that are easier and better for them. Amongst other things, excellent customer service by agents, enabled by technology is one thing they are after. Businesses can also use analytics to recommend offers and products and customise promotions to millennials.
4. Grow sales
Your inbound Omni-channel contact centers can maximize and grow your sales. More people become enabled to reach you easily. Omni-channel contact centers can also collect customer data by tracking their interactions across channels. Analytics give meaningful insights on customer buying patterns, channel preferences and behaviors.
- Maximize agent productivity
An agent can only attend to one customer at a time when on the phone. While other channels such as chat, email, sms can serve anywhere from a couple of customers (chat) to hundreds and even thousands at a time (webinars and videos). This frees agents’ time so they can focus on handling more complex issues and bring real added value to the call center.
In the follow up article you can learn how to make an informed decision about which Omni-channel software works best for your organisation.