There is no end to the surge of Contact Center tools and technology in the market. Thought leaders who evaluate technologies to invest in omnichannel support operations can spend massive amounts of time sorting through handfuls of vendor options. Often, these leaders are left drowning in information but searching for the answers.
Let’s go back to the basics. To streamline, collapse and simplify a more elegant customer experience, we must create a satisfying work environment for agents and managers. We must also build platforms for engagement that have distinct components for operational engagement success:
- A Central Hub for routed and prioritized interactions
- Contextual support for all channels
- Critical recording, reporting and analytical insights
Prioritize these three components first to build a strong foundational platform to build from. Here is what you need to know:
A Central Hub
The central hub for engagement – what we referred to as the ACD in contact center days-past – remains the core foundation for omnichannel interactions.
Essentially, think of a single engine that receives and routes calls, chats, SMS, and Email. Also core to this central hub, is simplified logic for omnichannel prioritization and journey flows across all channels. This centralized strategy removes the common fragmentation challenges contact centers face. The tectonic shifts we have seen in the cloud computing space have vaulted the abilities of the current Cloud Contact Center. We can expect more.
Virtualization of resources, scalability, security and the power of programmability with APIs have completely changed the game here. The convergence of new channels – and making those channels live together and work together in a single platform – is priority number one.
We seek to be known in the Customer Engagement sphere with the vendors we engage. If I am on-trip with a major airline, I expect this contextual information to build personalized detail for my inbound call prior to the Agent’s answer.
Customer data in CRM’s such as Salesforce, Zendesk, or even Homegrown applications amass customer information and leverage this data upon any form of Omnichannel engagement within the Contact Center. This data identifies highly valued customers, and provides us the opportunity to target, segment, and prioritize our customers for a white glove experience. The marriage of a central omnichannel platform (the Hub) to these critical data sources has powerful agent engagement, efficiency, and customer loyalty benefits. It can often reduce the cognitive load on agents who are often required to scan several data sources across many screens and systems to find the specific information they require to serve the customer and resolve an interaction swiftly.
Personalized service allows your customers to feel valued, but also helps you to identify products and services to best suit their needs.
The Sword of Great Data
Call recording captures the voice of the customer for evaluating performance, ensuring regulatory compliance, and assisting with agent training. The most effective practice is to record every channel transfer and transition as a centralized experience.
When we design a truly omnichannel hub for communications, the data becomes beautifully distilled and clean in a single repository. Fragmented channels often leave data inaccessible – or even “dark data” which has no accessibility for business access or improvements. Business leaders expect to have a clear, deep, and real-time understanding of how the Contact Center is performing. The surge of channels our customers seek to engage in has challenged this area, especially to track critical KPIs across all engagement types.
Freedom and flexibility in accessing and sharing this beautiful centralized data is key. Business leaders need reports and dashboards that they can customize, share and manipulate with ease. Freedom to export these dashboards to Excel, PDF, or PNG format is key, as well as the freedom to load complex interaction data into your data warehouse via an export API for further business analysis. The age of static, stale, canned reports in a single channel are behind us. The rich ways we engage in a true omnichannel strategy also levels-up the way we expect to consume and engage with the data.
Exceptional customer engagement can be reached when we begin with priorities that most strongly impact Service and Support for our customers. A centralized hub for all omnichannel interactions is critical and when uniquely personalized - a delight for your customers to engage with you. By using the Sword of Great Data, you gain visibility to look back and retrace, refine and polish the rough areas. With these three priorities you become poised to foundationally build even deeper optimizations and continual iterations from this centralized hub. We will explore the next level of Customer Engagement optimizations in a future installment.
If you wish to start your project today, we would love to hear from you!
Marnie Skehan is a 23-year Contact Center Engagement professional. She consults with companies around the world to help them transform how they interact with their customers, deliver a branded customer experience, and achieve measurable performance improvements.