Four Omnichannel Tips to Optimize Your Contact Center

With digital communication constantly at consumers' fingertips, customer service expectations have shifted. Today, customers are requesting 24/7 service on-demand and expect service providers to contact them on their preferred channels of communication (email, text, call, social media, etc.). For companies to reach their customers where they want to be met, it's crucial they integrate omnichannel solutions into their business strategy.

Below are four tips for optimizing contact centers using omnichannel solutions:

Prioritize Mobile-Optimization.

As many know, mobile technologies have been growing rapidly across the globe. In fact, a recent 2017 "Internet Stats & Facts" report found that there are more mobile internet users globally than desktop users. To further enhance the customer experience, contact centers should offer mobile-friendly channel opportunities, configuring web pages for mobile devices and opening new lines of communication, including email and text in addition to calls, for customers. Offering mobile omnichannel features will equip and empower both agents and consumers to seamlessly connect.

Engage, But Don't Intrude.

With the ability to connect with customers at every moment, contact centers should be conscious of overwhelming their customers. Contact centers should consider implementing technology that enables customers to engage with businesses at their leisure. Some examples include short message services (SMS), voicemail-drop, and email. These features allow contact centers to connect with customers in a non-invasive manner, allowing customers to decide when/if they want to engage. Another way to communicate with customers without being too direct is through online customer chat, enabling consumers to connect with an agent via instant message to answer quick questions without having to commit to a long conversation.

Automate When Possible.

As automated technology continues to advance, businesses will save both time and money on manual calls. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions will be done without human-to-human communication. By deploying the right technology, companies can address common customer service questions or concerns via pre-scheduled automated phone calls, text messages, and emails, freeing time for human agents to handle some of the more challenging issues.

Automation is not only beneficial to companies, it's advantageous to customers as well. Integrating an intelligent interactive voice response (IVR) queue hold system into your contact center allows incoming callers to hang up, keeping their spots in the queue, and receive a call back when their turn to speak to an agent comes. Automated technology can save customers time by eliminating countless hours on hold or being transferred from department to department to find the right agent to address their inquiries.

Integration Is Expected.

Offering various omnichannel inbound and outbound features means nothing if they aren't integrated. All call center channels (website, phone, text, email, social media, etc.) need to work together to provide consistent and seamless experiences for customers. Oftentimes, consumers feel their time is being wasted when they have to provide the same basic information over and over on each communication channel they use. Contact centers should invest in some form of customer relationship management (CRM) technology that can help identify and manage customers' profiles and preferences.

Overall, incorporating omnichannel solutions into your contact center will enhance and optimize your business and workforce while providing an elevated experience to customers. With consumers' on-the-go mentality and the accelerated use of mobile devices, contact centers need to adapt to the growing expectations of mobile and multichannel support to continue conducting effective outreach and increasing customer engagement and retention.

Mckay Bird is chief marketing officer at TCN, a provider of cloud-based call center technology for enterprises, contact centers, business process outsourcers, and collection agencies worldwide.