Today’s businesses rely on healthy customer engagement initiatives for profitability and long-term customer loyalty. Being present at all customer touchpoints with personalized, relevant communications is not only a customer expectation, it’s critical for a brand’s survival. Consistency of messaging is crucial at each step, all the way from marketing programs to the contact center, both having direct contact with prospects and customers.
Until recently, contact centers weren’t considered strategic; they were not seen as strong representatives of the brand, but rather in a purely operational role of customer service. Today, however, the contact center is a critical component of customer engagement, and brands rely on contact centers for their place in the customer journey and their ability to secure customer engagement and loyalty for the long term.
Customers are not one-dimensional, so it makes sense that your customer engagement strategy shouldn’t be either. Today’s customers use an average of six touchpoints when connecting with companies, and they expect consistent interactions across every channel.
Your call center must deliver a unified and comprehensive customer experience across every channel your customers use to communicate. It’s the key to high levels of customer satisfaction and customer engagement.
That’s what omnichannel call center management is all about. It allows your customers to communicate with you in whichever way they feel most comfortable while receiving the same support. Sounds simple right?
So how do you get started?
What is an Omnichannel Call Center Strategy?
An omnichannel call center strategy leverages cross-channel communication to deliver personalized interactions and increase customer engagement. It breaks down typical department, channel, and system silos to unify the customer experience.
In its simplest form, an omnichannel engagement strategy creates a near-seamless transition between channels by uniting them all under one umbrella. It does this by collecting, analyzing, and sharing real-time customer support activity from every channel.
Why Does Your Call Center Need One?
When done well, an omnichannel engagement strategy helps improve data exchange, reduce flawed assumptions, and increase consistency while creating common standards of customer engagement. Omnichannel engagement isn’t the wave of the future; it’s happening right now.
That’s why the benefits of implementing an omnichannel engagement strategy in your call center cannot be overstated.
- Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel.
- Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel, and the average order value is 13% more per order.
- For every additional channel customers use, they spend more money.
If your call center wants to offer successful customer support that leads to profitability and long-term customer loyalty, then an omnichannel engagement strategy is critical to your survival.
4 Ways to Implement an Omnichannel Engagement Strategy
So what does it take to implement an omnichannel engagement strategy in your call center?
1. Use Call Center Technology to Facilitate Consistency
To adapt to an omnichannel engagement strategy, your call center needs technology. You need tools that not only protect your customers’ time but also provide a seamless experience across channels. The technology must serve the new omnichannel customer profile.
There are a lot of options when it comes to technology that breaks down silos. A few of the most important features include:
- A CRM software that makes customer data accessible in real-time.
- A quality assurance solution that aggregates customer satisfaction and experience data from every channel.
- A self-service technology that allows customers to solve basic issues through a self-service website or app, especially since 60% of Americans prefer this over chatting with a call center agent for minor issues.
Implementing technology and tools that bring together fragmented customer data makes it easier for your agents to delight your customers and build long-term brand loyalty.
2. Empower Agents to be Authentic and Relevant Across Channels
Proper training is critical if you want your agents to deliver consistent messaging across channels. They need to understand how to use an authentic and helpful tone that conveys empathy and a willingness to listen. Soft skills training is essential.
Schedule regular training to help your agents:
- Navigate software and technology use,
- Understand the nuances of omnichannel interactions.
- Stage role-playing scenarios for the best customer service.
Beyond agent training, you should also involve your agents in the development of your omnichannel engagement strategy. Solicit feedback about call center operations and methodologies. The more your agents feel like they are at the heart of customer engagement, the more successful your initiative will be.
3. Utilize Planning and Routing Strategies
Unlike multi-channel support, omnichannel customer support must deliver a seamless and personalized customer engagement no matter the channel. It shouldn’t make a difference whether a customer contacts you via phone, email, or live chat. Your call center must be fully capable of handling every situation flawlessly.
As part of this, your customers should be directed to the right agent in a timely and effective manner. This requires a thorough planning and routing strategy. The goal should be to dynamically match customers from any touchpoint, over any channel, to the customer support agent with the optimal insight, skillset, and proficiency to help.
This requires a deep understanding of the customer journey—the collection of touchpoints and interactions a customer goes through during their experience with your business. For example, you’ll need to identify which communication channels your customers prefer for particular issues, how channels overlap when automated solutions can help, and the best use for each agent.
4. Perform Regular QA Across Channels and for All Agents
Omnichannel call center engagement requires an unrelenting focus on the customer. Anything else will result in failure, so it’s essential to dedicate resources and time to making the omnichannel customer experience as seamless as possible.
Remember: what is unknown cannot be measured and therefore cannot be improved. Quality assurance allows you to review available data to monitor gaps, delays, and other issues. The goal should be to generate reports in real-time based on customer and agent feedback, so you can step back and see how your omnichannel engagement strategy is performing.
The key to successful QA across channels and for all agents includes:
- The ability to recognize and reward employees who perform above expectations,
- Free and open communication between all staff and management,
- A single dashboard that contains all essential information about the customer experience.
Creating an Outstanding Omnichannel Call Center
Introducing an omnichannel engagement strategy in your call center is well worth the effort. It is undoubtedly responsible for delivering exceptional customer experiences that drive customer loyalty, generate higher lifetime values, increase revenue, and decrease costs. And the good news is that it’s never too late to make the change.
The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Effective Omnichannel Customer Experience can equip you with the tools and strategies you need to create an exceptional customer experience across every touchpoint.