Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way customers want to interact with your business and have caused a fundamental shift in customer behavior. You can no longer rely on them to call your customer service department when they have a problem. Now there are hundreds of ways they could contact you and they may very well try several different ways to get the information they want.
Make no mistake though, your customers are not aware that by closing down the webchat session and picking up the phone to call that they are changing channels. They don’t care. They want their query answered in the easiest, quickest way possible.
It is this freedom of movement across channels that makes servicing the modern customer a challenge. Delivering an exceptional customer experience in a multi-channel world takes thoughtful planning, a good understanding of your customers and a commitment to continually assess your performance.
Outlined below are 6 steps to building a smart multi-channel engagement:
1. HAVE A CLEAR STRATEGY
The reason a lot of multi-channel systems struggle at the beginning is they focus too much on the channel rather than the customer journey. Be clear about your choice of channels and why you are using them and think about how they work together, both for you and your customers. Finally, think about the effectiveness of each channel, its availability, its relative costs to service and maintain, and the speed and ease of use for customers and agents.
2. INCLUDE THE WHOLE COMPANY
You will never deliver a cohesive experience across a multi-channel customer contact center unless you are joined up internally.
When you are devising your multichannel strategy, why not gather opinion from other departments? There will no doubt be some challenges or issues you haven’t thought of and you never know, other departments may be able to take some of the strain off your contact center.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHANNELS
Obviously you don’t want to spend time and money implementing a channel that nobody uses. Constructing a customer journey map is a good way to work out which channels are going to be the most effective for your business.
A customer journey map documents the way your customers come into contact with your brand and then what happens as a result. It can be quite revealing when you take a step back and look at all your touch points from a customer’s point of view.
Just remember to focus on your customer’s point of view at this stage and look at the channels they use.
4. HOW TO STAFF THE NEW CHANNELS
Your staff is likely to be familiar with any new contact channel you might be introducing, but not aware of how to manage or prioritize this channel as part of a new customer engagement experience. For this reason you may want to consider not separating your staff according to channel but rather, give them a mix of channels to manage to keep their job varied. Then to help your agents effectively manage each channel, use tools that automatically prioritize your customers to the most appropriate agent regardless of channel. This automation avoids agents “cherry-picking” engagements, keeps your valued customers happy and keeps agents challenged, engaged and interested.
Overall, you will need to implement a strategy to measure your agents’ performance across all channels to audit where you need more coaching. This becomes easier if you measure outcomes rather than process.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY
In order to have a cohesive multichannel offering, it is essential the different channels are integrated at the back-end and you have a single view of each individual customer regardless of their choice of channel.
Make sure the technology you choose is flexible enough to allow you to add or take away channels as required and that it provides a universal queue of all contact channels to ensure you meet your SLAs.
6. ASSESS THE PERFORMANCE
Introduce channels gradually and keep a handle on how it impacts the performance of your contact center. Keep a tight handle on how many customers are using the channels and translate it into cost-to-serve figures.
Continually educate your customers as to the choices open to them by clearly signaling new channels as they become available. This gives your customers choice to find the method of engagement that works best for them.
NewVoiceMedia powers customer connections that transform businesses globally. The leading vendor’s award-winning cloud customer contact platform revolutionizes the way organizations connect with their customers through Salesforce, enabling them to deliver a personalized and unique customer service experience and drive a more effective sales and marketing team. With a true cloud environment and proven 99.999% platform availability, NewVoiceMedia ensures complete flexibility, scalability and reliability.
Spanning 128 countries and six continents, NewVoiceMedia’s 400+ customers include Topcon, PhotoBox, MobileIron, TNT, Lumesse, Qlik, JustGiving, Canadian Cancer Society and Wowcher.
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