5 Ways to Ensure Contact Centers are Omni-Channel Ready

5 Omnichannel Transition Readiness Indicators for Contact Centers
5 Omnichannel Transition Readiness Indicators for Contact Centers

The Internet is perhaps the only thing omnipresent in today’s world. And companies that seek perfection in customer service are increasingly planning to go omnichannel to reach out to the customer before the competition does. This usually means more manpower and allocation of more resources to the customer service department to help the company diversify from a voice-based call center to an omnichannel contact center making use of e-mail, online chat, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the website as well as having a presence on social media platforms, and into developing mobile apps for customers.

With the rapid evolution of the Internet, customer touch points have exploded in the last few years. This has led to more and more companies attempting to interact with customers through as many touchpoints as possible in order to improve customer journey and experience. From call centers to social media and Online Reputation Management (ORM) handlers, companies are often seen adding more and more channels on their “Contact us” page. However, the process is not as simple as it seems and is fraught with dangers. It is therefore imperative for companies to gauge the challenges before plunging into the vast world of omnichannel. Leaning upon a trusted and reliable call center outsourcing service provider will help you in this.

One of the main challenges in going omnichannel is having a “proactive and vibrant presence” in all the channels, and not mere “presence”. This is because the lack of timely and effective response can irk customers and prove a disaster for the company. In this highly connected world, it takes a moment for a company’s bad or lack of response to go viral, even for companies that have qualified and dedicated teams to handle social media and ORM.

So while making the leap to omnichannel presence is desirable, it is equally important for companies to build a strategy based on competencies, capabilities, and resources at the company’s behest. The first step in this strategy is to find out whether the company is prepared and has the wherewithal to diversify. There are several indicators that can help business understand this, and here are the top five:

  1. Is the self-service segment on your website updated and does it address new requirements? 

    Some customers get a sense of achievement in solving their problems on their own. It is estimated that almost three out of five customers try to find out solutions through available resources before calling the call center. Therefore, it is important to update and explain in lucid words the various potential problems and suggested fixes on the FAQs page of your website. This will help reduce customer complaints and improve efficiency of your customer service agents by helping them concentrate on serious complaints that require personalized service.

    Similarly, keeping customers informed about changes in products or services through your website, emails, and other touch points will help reduce queries. It will also help your agents in various channels to use the FAQ page and similar communication as a backdrop for interaction with customers.

  2. Do you have a centralized and streamlined customer service and communications strategy? 

    Going omnichannel means opening several communication channels with customers. It is vital that the tone, information, and professionalism of the company percolate to all channels in a uniform manner. In case of personalized service, having a set of protocols for all channels not only helps in improving customer experience but also reduces the time and effort required to train agents or to move agents laterally if required.

  3. Do you have a social media strategy? 

    For most companies, going omnichannel means opening doors to the flood of social media channels that are around. However, while covering the entire gamut of social media channels sucks up considerable efforts and resources, an analysis of your customer behavior will show that downsizing the list to the most popular social media sites is a wise thing to do.

    The first step in developing a social media strategy could be to identify your customer groups and their preferences. For example, customers of some companies might be using your YouTube channel more while for other customers it could be Facebook or Twitter. It is important to track customer behavior on various channels for around a month and analyze the importance of such channels and develop a communication strategy based on customer behavior.

    Companies like Blendtec have used their YouTube channel to both inform and entertain customers and some videos on product functioning have gone viral, helping the company win customers as well.

  4. How prepared are you to handle a spike in traffic and customer complaints? 

    Diversification into more and more channels results in more traffic to your website and greater popularity of your brand, but at the same time, it also means a spike in customer complaints that require immediate attention.

    Hiring more managers and agents may seem the obvious answer, but having a centralized system where all agents have equal access to customer complaints and the resolutions is more important. It is also important to avoid duplicate resolutions or gaps in interaction with customers, which are the two main challenges in going omnichannel.

    To ensure a smooth and hassle-free customer service, companies must move away from MS Office and Excel Sheets to one of the several Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. However, some customers prefer interacting with companies through phone or a video chat. Companies must be prepared to handle spikes in call and video chats before going omnichannel. Making use of high quality end to end call center services for customer care is a sure-fire way to manage these spikes.

  5. How prepared are you for a dilution in customer service? 

    While going omnichannel may reflect a company’s seriousness in delighting their customers, there is a risk that more and more customers will feel left behind or unimportant as agents move from one customer to another in the lonely world of social media and the Internet.

    To ensure that these slippages don’t happen, resort to the old fashioned tele-calling and postal mail to be in touch with your important or hurt customers and seek feedback. Moreover, companies should use all channels to actively seek feedback. For example, while apps can provide you with a lot of useful data about your customers, the purpose of going omnichannel is not to bury your customers service teams in gigabytes of data, but use such channels to seek feedback for improvement.

It is clear that going omnichannel is both a necessity and a challenge. However, as the above points show, it would be a better strategy for a company to tread the omnichannel waters carefully and expand after getting complete control of existing channels and only if further diversification is justified.

Read Also Related Articles:

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1 8 Effective Ways to Handle Multi channel Conduit Challenges
2 7 Must Omni-Channel Customer Service Delivery Methods
3 8 Best Practices of Customer Experience Management

For more information on how Invensis Technologies will effectively manage your Omnichannel Transition  through our  Call Center Outsourcing Services, please contact our team on US +1-302-261-9036; UK +44-203-411-0183; AUS +61-3-8820-5183; IND +91-80-4115-5233; or write to us at sales {at} invensis {dot} net

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