Today's contact centres are feeling the pressure! No matter what the channel of access, a positive customer experience is vital. Consistency is key in the way comments, queries or complaints are dealt with.
A properly integrated and sustainable multichannel strategy is becoming more and more crucial for contact centres in helping agents to transform the way customer engagement is handled overall. Below we discuss how you can offer the same standard of service to all customers – across all channels.
Simplify customer interactions
Cohesion is key to a successful approach. The combination of different stand-alone technology applications can add complexity, cost and risk of failure. An integrated contact management solution will really come into its own in helping agents to consistently handle queries and manage peak demand across all channels. Rather than prolonging interactions by asking customers the same questions again and again, integrated technology recognises changing customer contact channels, provides timely information and creates crucial one-to-one touch points with agents wherever they might be located.
Using a unified queue, that automatically prioritises calls and integrates new channels such as web chat and social media within the contact centre, puts agents in a stronger position to achieve positive outcomes, culminating in happier customers. Skills-based algorithms that route the interaction to the most appropriately skilled agent, for example, those agents who are more competent at speaking rather than writing, ensure that customers have the best possible experience.
Ensure appropriate information in the CRM system is presented to agents. To provide a consistent service, agents will need to see all recent interactions from all channels, as well as any transactional history.
Ideally, the interaction can be classified in such a way that agents can easily follow a pre-defined process. In other words, the agent is prompted to ask all the relevant questions without the customer having to repeat information already on the system.
New data should only be entered once. The software should then automatically populate all the associated databases and internal systems. As a consequence, interactions will be handled more efficiently and resolved first time – an experience that will delight customers and increase agent productivity!
Develop agent skills
To use technology to its best effect, develop a flexible pool of multi-skilled agents and schedule their work using an effective workforce management tool that uses historic data to predict peaks in traffic. Successful organisations create a holistic engagement by harnessing the natural aptitude of their agents and empowering them to consistently deliver the right outcomes for every customer.
Contact centres should strive to balance a healthy paranoia about regulatory and standards compliance with agent performance growth, enabling them to be the best that they can be. Consistency depends on teams getting it right each time. Without a comprehensive performance framework combined with suitable task-appropriate training and development, it is easy for poor habits to remain.
Consider developing competency matrixes for each agent position, which explicitly provide agents with expectations. Support agent learning and compliance by providing best practice guides that clearly characterise desired behaviours for each specialist skill and competency, whatever the channel they are focusing on. Identify any high risk actions that might need immediate coaching. If these occur, provide coaching and support at the next available opportunity, allowing agents to get it right!
Allowing customers access to the contact channel they wish to use is important in today's contact centre. Consistency is key, as is arming your agents with the right tools, the right training and monitoring progress.
To find out more about managing conflicting multichannel pressures in your contact centre, please view our infographic here.