Spring Metamorphosis: eir’s Head of Omnichannel Talks Personalized Self-Service

Just as a caterpillar is slow to make the complete transformation into a butterfly, so, too, are legacy contact centers in transforming to omnichannel engagement centers. However, similar to the caterpillar’s metamorphosis, we are seeing the contact center slowly transition its customer interactions into multimodal, omnichannel journeys.

If you’re a contact center professional, during the past decade you’ve witnessed this transformation firsthand. You’ve seen the consumer trend toward personalized self-service over various digital channels. Plus, you’ve probably observed the sky-rocketing customer demand for personalized options.

A real-world example of someone who has gone through this transition is John Lush, Head of Omnichannel at eir (formally known as Eircom), a leading telecommunications provider in Ireland. Lush fulfills a role which did not exist just a short time ago. On a daily basis, Lush and his team specifically address customer communication challenges that were not present in contact centers until recently.

Previously, John served as eir’s IVR Manager, and he was one of the adopters of Genesys personalization solutions. Lush championed the idea of personalized self-service, as the benefits were clear early on: offering customers greater self-service options based on personalization from the customer profile and the context of the call, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach was the future of the contact center.

The eir approach to personalized self-service resulted in customers being twice as likely to choose self-service when offered personalized options. And, since personalization reduces customer effort by giving the customer the most relevant options and reducing the need to repeat information, it should be no surprise that eir experienced a related increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS). Improving eir NPS had a direct correlation to better customer experience.

Today, customers continue to move to digital channels because of familiarity and ease of use. They expect to accomplish tasks with less effort, but can become frustrated if they can’t accomplish their task on chat, web, or mobile devices. The challenge for the omnichannel manager then is to strategically plan how best to deliver great service—wherever and whenever the customers seek it. Automating transactions, personalizing the caller’s experience, and improving assisted service so it’s tightly integrated with the IVR are all key to an optimized solution.

Lessons learned from managing personalized voice self-service can easily be applied to other channels. It all starts with having the right tools for customer journey mapping, which then allows for a more streamlined design and continuous optimization. Once the service process is defined, it can then be used across all channels.

This approach also allows self-service to be managed by one team. Business users can be responsible for the customer experience—whether voice, chat, messaging, social, web, apps or other channels. Integration is important for an omnichannel experience. When self-service for voice and digital channels matures from being managed as separate silos, the customer is able to self-serve for simple transactions and easily transfer to an agent-assisted interaction for more complex issues.

Organizations are realizing the importance of this shift, and the necessity to personalize transactions. A crucial element in delivering a personalized experience is the ability to continuously analyze customer interactions. However, the 2016 Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmark Report shows that 79.4% of organizations still don’t have the big-picture view of interactions across service channels. Incorporating analytics will help fine-tune the experience and create proactive customer engagement.

Delivering a digital experience creates stronger and more loyal customer connections. Companies that establish an omnichannel leader to understand, design, analyze, and manage their omnichannel strategy will master this transformation, be in a better competitive position, and watch their omnichannel strategy emerge in all its color and beauty, like the caterpillar transforming to a butterfly.