It is widely accepted that embracing emerging online channels such as social, web chat and email is vital for UK businesses, but how can you ensure that you are catering for the needs of all your customers or citizens? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently reported that 6.4 million adults in Britain have never been online, either by choice or circumstance, representing 13% of adults and an audience that shouldn't be neglected.
While 63% of customers would happily choose web chat, research by Netcall shows that 45% of customers within the 55+ age group are not prepared to use web chat. It is therefore essential for your business or organisation, to know your audience and their channel preferences. Whether that is groups of people to sell to in the commercial market or citizens to service in the public sector, understanding how best to engage with them is imperative. The key is flexibility.
The internet has changed the way people go about their daily lives. Over three quarters of adults in Great Britain used the internet every day (76%) in 2014 so far, with almost 68% using a smartphone or laptop to access the internet on the go (ONS).
So whilst adopting increasingly popular service channels such as social media and web chat, it is important that the more traditional channels are treated with equal importance and those customers that choose them are treated equally too. However, how can you ensure that you are providing the same level of service to your whole customer base?
Below we outline two key tips for handling interactions across all channels regardless of your customer demographic:
Delivering information that can be accessed from within a single screen and will immediately give your agents an understanding and appreciation of the reason and context leading to the customer contact, is invaluable. Agents can deliver a quicker, more personalised service as they will have access to a unified communication history across all contact channels at their fingertips. Empowering your agents with a customer's interaction history drives a better customer response and transforms the overall engagement experience.
Shifting the focus of your agents from the navigation of operating systems to the needs of your customers not only improves the experience for your customers but dramatically reduces your average handling time (AHT), improves the opportunity for first contact resolution and productivity, leading to cost savings.
Adopt a universal queue
What stage are you at on your multichannel journey? Adding a wider range of channels to traditional voice, email and white mail, means you must consider the impact of dealing with these individually, in a segmented way. What benefits could you achieve from handling all interactions from all channels in one queue?
The Universal Queue is a concept that is gathering pace in the contact centre world, its deployment goes hand in hand with a unified agent desktop. Using skill-based workflows across all inbound channels provides a process for efficient and effective contact handling and ensures there is consistency in resolving every interaction.
This approach allows agents to use the same in-house systems and processes. Agents have a full 360 degree view of the initiator of the interaction, whether it started out as a social media post or moved on to a web chat before appearing as a voice call. The agent will be able to see the customer's transactional record, as well as what information has been captured at each stage of the dialogue to date.
While you plan multichannel improvements in line with your customer's needs, consider the benefits of adopting a platform that allows you to provide a flexible experience for your customers in a more manageable way for Contact Centre Managers and Resource Planners. For more info about how Netcall's Liberty platform can help you achieve this.