Customers have a fractured journey through contact centers – but it needs to be seamless. This means implementing the right tools for multi-channel. That was the overarching message from guest speaker Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research during the inContact-sponsored 1to1 Media webinar “Reimagining the Contact Center: A New Vision for Customer Experience Excellence.”
A growing number of people are using multiple channels to interact with businesses, which includes email and instant messaging in addition to channels that didn’t exist three years ago like click-to-call and sending a mobile/SMS message to a company. The increasing number of channels means more options for customers, and their expectations are higher than ever. A person wants to have a cohesive conversation starting in one channel such as chat and be able to continue that interaction via phone. The multi-channel contact center needs to operate seamlessly, and Leggett discussed ways to make that happen:
Know Your Customer
Understand how your customer wants to communicate with your business. Different demographics will use different touch points. It is imperative to know where the conversation starts and finishes so you have a clear picture of the end-to-end service experience. A strong understanding of the customer journey will help serve your customers through the channel they need, and identify gaps that need to be addressed.
Get the Right Tools
Agents should have a tool that gives them a single view of the customer. If a customer has started a conversation via social media, that information should be available to an agent if or when that same customer reaches out to your contact center through a phone call.
Using multiple products to manage a multi-channel contact center can overwhelm an agent and cause delays, which is a huge detriment to any contact center since the cornerstone of customer service is respect for time. Leggett reported that 71% of customers say, “Valuing my time is the most important thing a company can do to provide me with good customer service.”
Consider the Cloud
The flexibility of the cloud allows for your contact center to add channels as needed in a quick and easy fashion. This demonstrates value for the customers’ time through immediacy. Additional benefits are explained in a Forrsights Software Survey, Q4 2012 where it was found the following benefits were important in a firm’s decision to use SaaS:
- Improved business agility
- Allows us to focus resources on more important projects
- Speed of implementation and deployment
- Faster delivery of new features and functions from SaaS providers
- Lower overall costs
All of these strategies should be implemented with one specific goal in mind: provide effortless support to your contact center customers. View the multi-channel experience as an opportunity to transform your contact center into what Leggett calls a “hub for superior customer experiences.”
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