Bringing Omnichannel Into the Contact Center

It should come as no surprise that omnichannel is now viewed as a necessity in the contact center. Customers in both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business space expect to reach sales or support through email and via the phone over other communication methods like live chat and social media.

The good news for businesses is that investing in an omnichannel strategy has a positive effect on the customer experience and on longer-term customer retention. Sixty-nine percent of customers view multiple transfers as a top sign of poor customer service, while 56% are annoyed by inconsistent communication across channels and employees, according to CCWDigital. Giving every agent access to prior customer history and adding new information to that same database can solve these problems.

As with any systems decision, there are many factors to consider with an omnichannel solution. Keep these concepts in mind.

Evaluate Channel Options

Despite the increase of digital channels and artificial intelligence (AI) bots, voice is still, and will continue to be, the most prominent channel in the contact center. However, that’s not to say that digital channels are unimportant. Many smaller questions can be easily answered through live chat, freeing up phone lines for tougher questions.

As consumers become more digital, adding chat support is a logical next step. Already, 64% of contact center teams believe customers should always have access to a live agent, shows a CCW Market study. If agents are fielding unique, personalized questions, this is likely a good option. However, if most of the questions are more routine, using a chatbot could be a more viable option. Despite industry trends, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to customer service.

Use a Central Database

The most important part of an omnichannel strategy is having shared data between each medium.

According to Bright Pattern, “Silos are the single biggest impediment to a great customer experience and companies that operate from technology that is siloed will not win.” Conversely, voice and digital channels that pull from, and add to, a common database create a seamless customer experience.

A CRM system, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce or ServiceNow, makes it easy to achieve this goal by creating a searchable database of all existing customer information. Adding voice into the CRM product through a computer telephony integration (CTI) solution ensures that contact centers can truly operate in an omnichannel capacity — bridging all gaps between communication methods.

Improve the Agent Experience

When working to improve customer service, it can be easy to forget that the agent experience is just as important. The contact center team is vital to providing a good customer experience. But they can hardly be expected to do a good job when they’re struggling with inefficiencies.

A CTI solution not only brings phone and CRM data together, it also makes it easier for agents to do their jobs. By bringing phone controls and features like screen pops, automated call logging and more into the CRM window, there’s no need to switch between applications or fumble when trying to pull up the correct customer information.

Integrating the existing IVR system, call queues and omnichannel routing lessens the learning curve and allows for easier user adoption and time savings. This lets agents operate more efficiently and provide stellar customer service.

Learn more about the InGenius integration for the Genesys® PureEngageTM and PureEngage Cloud applications with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce and ServiceNow, by watching the webinar  or you may visit their listing in the AppFoundry Markteplace.

This blog post was co-authored by Katherine Burnett. She is a Marketing Specialist at InGenius Software focused on content writing, social media strategy, email automation and event management. Katherine graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) with a Marketing specialization. She has also held marketing roles at QNX Software Systems and Tech Data.