Many people use multiple applications daily. In one day, you likely check your email, instant messaging apps, social media, etc. As we use these platforms in our personal and professional lives, we also expect companies to provide customer support across these platforms.
Offering a customer experience (CX) across multiple platforms often creates more work for contact centre agents as they juggle numerous applications while searching for customer data and resolving queries promptly.
The solution: agents need a single platform for handling customer interactions across phone calls, emails, SMS, web chat and direct social messaging apps.
Multichannel contact centre vs an omnichannel contact centre
It is easy to confuse the idea of multichannel and omnichannel solutions. They both focus on delivering CX through many touchpoints, so what is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel contact centres?
A multichannel contact centre leverages multiple communication channels with customers. The goal is to provide convenient CX by allowing customers to reach out via the channel of their choice, however, multichannel contact centres often operate in silos, making it more difficult for agents to deliver excellent customer service. Agents interacting with customers in one channel have no contextual awareness of agents interacting with the same customer in other channels.
On the other hand, omnichannel platforms provide a seamless experience for customers and agents by bringing contact centre operations into a single communication platform and allowing customers and agents to pivot to an alternative interaction channel with context.
For example, if a customer on web chat decides that they want to switch to a call, the agent can move the customer to the call without ending communication. The customer will continue the interaction by speaking with the same agent rather than being redirected to someone else. If the customer needs to speak with another agent or subject matter expert, the customer’s information and contact history is easily accessible. This means that the customer can move between channels and agents without having to start the conversation from scratch.
What are the benefits of an omnichannel contact centre?
An omnichannel contact centre delivers benefits for agents, customers and the business overall. With one platform for handling all queries, you can make customer service available without compromising CX. A few of the core benefits include:
Leveraging one communication platform for all interactions reduces contact centre costs in several ways. To begin with, you avoid utilising multiple platforms for handling customer interactions, which reduces the costs associated with obtaining, deploying and maintaining each of them. You also reduce costs by purchasing from one vendor rather than using several tools from different vendors.
Streamlining your technology leads to increased efficiencies and reduces agents’ time switching between platforms. They also have access to customer data from previous interactions, so they do not waste time asking for information a customer has already provided. This way, they can save themselves and the business valuable time, meaning you get more from your investment.
Fewer systems also provide opportunities to save on IT support costs if you encounter problems. For example, if you process voice and email on separate platforms and they both go down, that can represent two lots of maintenance costs. When you have a single platform, your vendor only needs to provide support for one application.
Tools and information in one place
You can improve agent productivity and satisfaction by leveraging a single communication platform. Agents have access to the tools and data they need in one place and do not have to switch between applications to find the required information.
For example, when an agent takes a call from a customer that has contacted the company before, the application will display the customer’s details, and information about their previous contact. Agents can easily deliver personalised customer service and smoothen the customer experience. Agents have the customer contact points accessible in one place, so if they need to follow up via email or text, they can do it from the same application they took the call.
The agent can provide a more efficient and accurate service, while the customer can answer their questions more quickly. In addition, a single communication platform helps to create a consistent experience across all channels.
Combine reporting from all channels
Reporting capabilities in an omnichannel contact centre bring together data from customer interactions. With data on voice calls, SMS, emails and chat you can analyse trends that will help you reduce average handle time, improve first call resolution rates and recognise peaks and troughs in demand.
The customer data collected in reports can also support you with improving CX. You can customise reporting to track agents metrics and contact centre KPIs to identify areas that need improvement and provide agents with feedback and training.
Scale to meet demand
A single communication platform supports you in scaling your operations to meet increased demand. When you hire new agents, you only have to induct them into one platform instead of multiple systems. You can also streamline workflows to ensure you do not miss an email or take too long to connect with a customer via web chat.
For example, we have worked with clients that managed their email in a separate application from their contact centre software, with no way to accurately and efficiently know which emails had been answered or assigned to an agent. A single communication platform enables you to queue, prioritise and assign emails to the right agents or to the agent that last addressed their query.
Web chat is another area where you will need tools to scale as demand increases. Agents can ensure they deliver consistent and timely responses with automated greetings and templated responses that they can manage within one place to handle several customers simultaneously.
Voice and SMS capabilities can work in sync when demand creates long call queues. You can text callers self-service links, encouraging them to problem solve themselves.
Your omnichannel contact centre with Premier Contact Point
Getting customer experience right or wrong is the difference between someone broadcasting their dissatisfaction or becoming a repeat and loyal customer. Your customers expect instantaneous service on the platform of their choice and they expect your agents to have all of the information needed, without repeating themselves.
Our cloud contact centre solution delivers solutions that support your customers and agents. We provide affordable, innovative features, such as visual IVR, CRM integration, Microsoft Teams integration, self-service options and omnichannel capabilities.
You can get in touch with us to book a demo of our cloud contact centre solution.