Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Transforming a Multichannel Contact Center into an Omnichannel Powerhouse

May 01, 2017

By Verena Wissel, Product Manager, ASC Technologies AG


Contact centers have evolved from neutral communications centers, offering an excellent product at an affordable price, into major drivers of company sales through superior customer service. As customers avail themselves of various channels due to their own personal preferences, many contact centers have developed customer services for these channels, including email, video, chat and social media.

However, the growth has frequently occurred on an ad hoc basis, and overall customer service has been impeded as a result. Customers must frequently interact with different agents for each channel, describing their situation from scratch again and again. This process frequently results in a loss of information and increases customer frustration.

Multichannel Confusion

With the advent of mobile technologies and social networks, today’s customers are more flexible, better informed and more demanding than ever. With intense global competition, the quality of a contact center’s customer service has become a differentiation point impacting company sales.

In this type of environment, customers expect comparable service regardless of the channel they select, and they will frequently switch access methods during the purchasing process, choosing one channel for information and another when they are ready to purchase. They quickly become impatient if they are forced to express their needs from scratch on each channel and will transfer their loyalty to an organization with a more integrated approach.

Organizational Imperatives

Regulatory mandates such as MiFID II in Europe and the Dodd-Frank Act are increasing the internal strains on companies by requiring the preservation of every interaction leading to a transaction. However, when customers switch between various channels, they complicate the search-and-retrieval process and impede compliance with these stringent regulations.

Thus, an integrated approach becomes more imperative than ever before. An omnichannel contact center does not make any distinction among the channels; they are linked with no distinction among each one. Instead of customers reaching a different uninformed contact person for each channel, a customer’s entire history is preserved for easy review. Thus, the customer avoids any disadvantage when changing channels, and the agent can proceed efficiently with each case.

The Omnichannel Approach

The omnichannel model affects the entire enterprise. Adopting an integrated approach to customer service and a customer-centric emphasis means listening to each customer more carefully. Doing so transforms a static call-by-call method in favor of more holistic service.  

Sometimes, feedback from one channel can affect operations on another, and an omnichannel approach immediately recognizes valuable input from the customer regardless of the source. A more attentive enterprise is better able to service the customers’ needs, both now and in the future. Agents, executive decision-makers and product developers all excel, and the customers’ needs are more quickly satisfied as a result.

  Conclusion

Transforming a multichannel contact center into an omnichannel one integrates and improves customer service. It increases compliance with regulatory mandates and preserves the customer history regardless of the channel. Most important, it improves the quality of the customer experience and thus increases long-term brand loyalty in a highly competitive environment.

About the Author

 In 2011, Verena Wissel joined ASC as a Product Manager to identify and analyze customer needs for quality management software and speech analytics. She holds a Masters degree in Information Science and Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany.

ASC Technologies AG is a leading global provider of innovative solutions to record, analyze and evaluate multimedia-based communications. ASC’s solutions reveal vital information, enabling companies and organizations to considerably improve their value creation: contact centers enhance customer service, efficiently deploy staff and increase productivity. For more information, visit www.asc.de; call 917-475-9200; email us@asctechnologies.com; or write ASC Americas L.P., 69 Charlton Street, New York, NY 10014.



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