The rise of the internet, the decline of the telephone, the age of the customer. These three phenomena all contributed to the evolution of the call centre. Long gone are the days where customers could only reach you over the phone.
The heyday of the traditional call centre is over. Contact centres with a multichannel offering have taken their place. With more contact options than ever, customers have more freedom to access service in a way that suits them. But increasingly, just having a wide choice of channels isn’t enough.
Now, contact centres need to blur the barriers between their contact channels. It’s time to embrace the omnichannel contact centre.
What is the omnichannel contact centre?
Instead of only offering phone support, contact centres offer a host of different customer contact channels. The issue is that having a wide choice of channels creates friction when customers want to swap.
For a customer seeking a resolution, it’s frustrating and tedious to change contact channel midway through the journey. Every channel swap sees a certain level of reintroduction and reexplanation. The worst-case scenario sees the customer having to start from scratch when they try to pick up the problem from say, a live chat session to a telephone call.
Omnichannel contact centres are the answer to these disjointed communications.
An omnichannel contact centre is, unsurprisingly, a contact centre capable of omnichannel service. They go beyond simply offering a host of different contact options. Rather, those contact channels converge in an integrated ecosystem.
So, a customer can fluidly swap from email, to phone, to chat, without restarting their conversation each time.
The benefits of the omnichannel contact centre
Embracing the omnichannel contact centre brings with it a host of benefits. These benefits encompass both the customer experience and your agent morale.
• Customer experience
An omnichannel contact centre can offer a better, more flexible customer experience. This comes from the capacity to have a single view of the customer and their journey. With that single view, you can talk to the customer with a full insight of all available information.
The single view translates to both competence and credit from a customer perspective. When customers swap channels without repeating themselves, you show that you know, recognise and listen to them. You know what they need and what they’ve said.
So, firstly, you evoke a sense of proficiency. But on a personal level, you also create a closer, more customer-centric approach to your customer service. In turn, this boosts customer satisfaction.
Plus, the flexibility of your contact options increases service accessibility. For example, busy customers can start their service experience with a chat and move seamlessly to a phone call if they don’t have their hands free to type.
• Benefitting agents
Blurring the barriers between contact channels requires system integration. Those channels must integrate with your central database and with each other.
This means that in an omnichannel contact centre, agents aren’t stuck wrestling with uncooperative systems. The information they need is where they need it, when they need it. So, they can focus on helping the customer.
The ease of channel swapping also means that agents can use the best channel for each customer and query. This presents fewer hurdles to delivering solutions. If the agent needs to escalate a support ticket to a live chat conversation with remote desktop control, they can. If they need to progress from an SMS to a call, they can. If they need to reply to a chat conversation with a formal email, they can. It’s all connected, all converged.
Plus, embracing the omnichannel contact centre means embracing new and value-added technology. For example, omnichannel service involves automated channels such as chatbots. So, this powers an efficient partnership in which human agents tag-team with chatbots for faster handling times.
WhosOn and the omnichannel contact centre
Live chat is a core element of an omnichannel contact centre. That’s why WhosOn comes with features and integrations that make omnichannel customer service achievable.
• Omnichannel calling
With a rich Twilio integration, WhosOn offers a handy omnichannel calling feature. This means that agents and customers can switch from chat, to call and back again, all from within the chat client.
• Knowing your customers
WhosOn live chat can integrate with your CRM systems to make knowing your customers easier than ever. It can add chat transcripts, call-back requests, and even sentiment scores to a customer’s CRM profile.
This ensures a rich picture of the relationship the customer has with your business. Plus, with reverse IP lookup, WhosOn can help you identify unknown website visitors, too.
• Email integration
Customer service agents can swap from chat to email with ease. For example, you can reply to missed chats from inside the WhosOn client, or provide chat links in emails. Or, you can pick live chat conversations back up from inside Office Outlook 365, via a useful integration.
So, it’s easy to re-engage with customers and continue conversations cross-platform.
• Tag teaming with bots
WhosOn is also able to support chatbot operators. So, customers can smoothly swap between speedy automated help and personable human support. (As and when the need arises.) Agents can tag-team with bots, taking over tricky chats, and letting the bot ease the load during busy periods.
• Supporting your self-service
Omnichannel service means letting customers swap effortlessly between all their options. Including, that is, between self-service and agent help. To that end, you can add WhosOn to your customer self-service portal, and use chat invites to aid your FAQ.
Embrace the omnichannel contact centre
Where we once had very few options for connecting with customers, we now have a plethora of apps, functions and tools for conversation.
Technology is already pushing the boundaries of customer contact. But we can do more. By embracing the omnichannel contact centre, we can eliminate those channel borders altogether.
Boost your omnichannel offering today, with a free trial of WhosOn.