Wynand Smit is CEO of INOVO, a contact centre business solutions provide.
Despite 80 percent of companies recognising that Customer Experience should be prioritised, few are tackling the challenge, especially when it comes to integrating channels. A multi-channel approach is a manageable one that thrives on the same principles of seamlessness and efficiency, delivering omni-channel excellence as a company evolves its communications strategy. There’s a tangible link between connecting channels and enhanced Customer Experience.
According to the 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report, disparate channel management is a threat to CX strategies: 58 percent of companies polled said channels are managed in silos, 36 percent are inconsistent in their approach to channel configuration and 44 percent state that connecting channels is “just too difficult”.
It’s essential that your company takes a broad look at how you’re conducting business with customers, examining how you reach them and how they reach you, and how to optimise those points of contact in ways that form building blocks of customer relationships and business intelligence. Central to those goals is centralising the channels of communication.
What that means is that despite different departments having different kinds of interactions with information, databases and customers via an array of channel options, having everything centralised allows for faster resolution of interactions and fewer chances that information is not updated or incorrectly routed.
With the increasing popularity of more channels, it’s tempting to add all channel options at once. Unless it is tested to see how they’ll all be integrated, it’s best to add channels gradually so that how their performance can be monitored and improved. While there is a need to implement channel solutions, it should not be rushed into without considering your company’s specific requirements, as this could negatively impact CX.
What seems simple to the end-user customer takes a complex process-management system that must take into account which individuals in which departments must have access to what information and how that information is accessed, whether the system routes the information or contacts to agents or if the agent must be able to access elements such as authorization, identity verification, product information and so on. The information shared during interactions must be updated in as close to real-time as possible so that the customer information is maintained in case of the need for subsequent contacts.
Multi-channel communication operates from databases, streamlining how stored information is used and facilitating record keeping.
Imagine that this centralization tool is connected to the databases and campaigns so that it is able to route calls at various points, manage emails and handle SMSes, each viewed as new tasks that trigger different workflows, but in ways that ensure that the service provided is personalized. It’s this personalisation that drives the best in Customer Experience.
Your customer may be on the phone, or typing out emails, but they’ll have the perception that your company knows their needs, understands how to deliver service in ways that suit them and that the relationship is an ongoing one – that’s only possible with a solution that delivers as close to omni-channel communication as you can get.
By Wynand Smit is CEO of INOVO
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