How to support your employees in omnichannel customer contact
Omnichannel customer contact, the topic of one of our previous blogs posts. In it, we explained once again that 'omnichannel' is not just about providing multiple contact channels, but about ensuring seamless integration between the different channels and platforms, so one complete dialogue takes place across all channels, whether simultaneous or sequential in time.
Good for customers, because during the conversation with an organisation they can easily switch between, for example, email, chat, social media, video, and telephone, without the interaction being interrupted. And in those cases where agents can be deployed across multiple channels, they can effortlessly switch along with the customer when changing channels.
For example, how about an interaction that starts as a webchat, but it soon turns out that the question is really too complex for this channel and would be handled more conveniently by telephone? The customer continues the conversation with the same agent and doesn’t need to repeat the background of his question. Great for the customer experience, and super-efficient too, because it benefits the First Time Right (FTR).
Mono- or multitasking?
But how is omnichannel customer contact dealt with in your contact centre? Are there different teams for different channels? Do employees work on a single channel per timeslot? Is a distinction made between telephony and digital channels such as email and chat? Or are employees expected to be fully flexible in their deployment, the so-called 'blended' approach?
There is something to be said for all these different ways of working, but what matters, in the end, is that employees can do their work efficiently and that they enjoy doing what they’re doing. Some may function better as 'monotaskers', while others may find this extremely boring and much prefer some variety. And sometimes it's a matter of time in which an employee gradually longs for more – or less! – challenge in their work.
Nature vs. nurture
So always look at the individual’s qualities, preferably right from the application procedure. Ask about their preferences, even when they have been with the company for many years. After all, a team functions best when everyone is in the right place, and this has a direct positive impact on the customer experience. Bonus: employees who feel heard and enjoy their work are less likely to look for another job!
In addition, provide adequate training, especially when channels are added to the contact centre platform over time. For example, don't simply assume that someone can immediately be deployed for chat conversations if they happen to be good at answering emails. Or that they can make video calls just as easily as via phone. Each channel needs a – sometimes subtly – different approach and different skills, for example in terms of response time and 'tone of voice'.
The tools that make a difference
You can also support your employees in omnichannel customer contact by means of technology. For example, make sure that they don’t need to switch between different systems or programs, but can handle all interactions from a single desktop. This ensures the least interruption and is therefore a lot more efficient.
In addition, it’s important to have one central source of structured information for all channels. One that is easily accessible and evolves with the organisation, such as when new products, services or procedures are introduced. A well-functioning knowledge management platform is the ideal solution for this.
Are you curious about how you can get the most out of the omnichannel platform in your contact centre? Let us know! We’ll be happy to help you on your way.
Whitepaper 'From cost centre to centre stage'
In our whitepaper ‘From cost centre to centre stage: the effect of employee satisfaction on the customer experience’ we focus on the employee. We look at factors that have a positive effect on their well-being, and what their impact is on the customer experience and the business results. Twenty pages of useful information that you can apply immediately.
How do you make your contact centre a success for employees, customers and management? In other words, how do you change it from a cost centre to the centre stage of the organisation?
Would you like to find out how to achieve this?
At DDM Consulting we believe that our customers benefit most from tailor-made advice, without preference for a particular product or specific supplier. That is why we offer a wide range of intelligent omnichannel contact centre solutions, delivered by renowned partners who are all specialists in their field.
How we work
Together with the client, we evaluate the current contact centre processes as well as the requirements and preferences for the new platform. We apply our years of experience to find the best match, and provide advice on the potential optimisation and automation of business operations, for example through the use of AI.
We naturally guarantee a successful implementation of the new solution, and ensure that all back-end systems are seamlessly (re)connected. After the deployment, we are at the service of our customers to offer advice and aftercare.
But we go one step further: time and time again, we push the boundaries of the chosen platform, and adapt it to the customer's specific business processes and needs. Our team has the business and technical expertise to achieve the maximum potential, even when it comes to an out-of-the-box solution. This is our way of ensuring that every customer makes optimal use of the capabilities of the chosen platform!
Our clients come from a wide range of sectors, from major financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies, to telecom operators, healthcare institutions, government agencies, retail, and media.
We have grown into a team of about 30 contact centre experts, and are mainly active in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. To be able to guarantee the highest quality, we continuously invest in the knowledge, training and experience of our employees.