A Look Into the Contact Center of the Future

The events of 2020 effectively shifted consumer communication preferences to align with the digital-only landscape of today. To meet the wants and needs of customers, call centers must now coordinate communication through various digital communication methods.

This year, live chat and text messaging were among the most popular forms of communication for consumers. In fact, G2 reported that 66 percent of consumers would like to receive service notifications via text. But, options for communication include more than texting, live chatting, and phone calls; consumers widely use social media, form submits, emails and messaging apps. So how can contact centers keep up with these communication touchpoints while ensuring efficiency, quality, and satisfaction?

The contact center of the future has a capability available that can unify and connect all of these platforms into one cohesive portal, but it can also share customer insights and data that allows callers to be automatically directed to the representative best trained and prepared to address their specific needs. Omnichannel communication technology allows for automated, seamless, and unified communication across various communication methods designed to streamline customer service and ensure high-quality support and service is given to consumers at whichever communication touchpoints they prefer.

With stay-at-home orders and limited capacity at public locations, consumers are leaning on call centers as the new storefront. Here's how omnichannel communication can benefit call centers as they take on this crucial responsibility:

Unified Customer Data

Call center customer service is notorious for being unsatisfactory. According to a Playvox survey, insufficient assistance, length of time to resolve issues, and delayed responses were among the top 10 biggest complaints for customers needing support.

Omnichannel effectively corrects the issues that lead to a negative experience. By integrating omnichannel communication strategies, call centers can easily and instantly view clients' service journeys with every communication method they have used. For example, if a consumer previously contacted customer service through a phone call but uses live chat the next time, the call center agent has automatic access to that information along with details of the experience, such as the assistance required and which agent was involved. Having access to customers' service journeys on hand during the call allows for more personalized and beneficial experiences; their experience is unique to their needs and they feel they are talking to an agent who knows who they are and what assistance they require without effort.

Additionally, omnichannel capabilities can link customer data with personal consumer information from any method linked to the company. Customer relationship management capabilities can be integrated into the call center's omnichannel strategy, allowing unified data to provide insight into the service needs and automatically route customers to professionals who can assist them.

Unified data connects all touchpoints, helps agents provide the level of support necessary with minimal effort from either the customer or the agent, and encourages a positive experience.

Improved Customer Experience

A positive customer experience leads to success in the market. In fact, 84 percent of businesses that work to improve customer experience report an increase in revenue. Customer experience is based on customers' holistic perception of the company based on interaction, website, online platforms, and the products or services the company provides. An omnichannel contact center platform has information, technology, and automation available to improve quality and performance during customer interactions. High quality and performance require deep insights and efficiency; the technology behind omnichannel communication technology puts those capabilities into the hands of contact centers, enabling agents to do their jobs better, faster, and more efficiently.

Additionally, incorporating an omnichannel strategy ensures that messaging, branding, and information are aligned throughout the company's platforms and messaging channels. If a customer seeks assistance through live chat, but calls the customer service number later, omnichannel capabilities not only ensure that the assistance is aligned, but it also provides the contact center agents with customer insights that allow for a genuine and personalized experience.

Let's say a customer calls for assistance and speaks with an agent named John. John resolved the issue and the customer continues on with her day. Three weeks later, the same customer is experiencing yet another technological issue with the product, and she texts the customer support number. That customer can get automatically connected back with John, the agent who helped her before. Because of omnichannel communication technology, her personal data and customer service history is analyzed to minimize the effort and personalize the experience. This also helps to build a personalized relationship between the customer and the agents, which can be a strong factor in brand satisfaction and brand loyalty.

As consumers require better experiences and support with less effort, call centers need omnichannel communication technology to keep up. Implementing an omnichannel communications strategy for your business is an investment of time, resources, and energy, but it will pay off when your organization begins to reap the benefits of customer satisfaction and the boundless opportunities that unified data offers to not only contact center staff, but for employees in every area of the business.

Omnichannel strategies assist in better insights, better experiences, and less effort for contact center agents. So ask yourself: what's holding you back from integrating omnichannel communication technology within your call center?

Todd Fisher is co-founder and CEO of CallTrackingMetrics.