In today’s digital world, customers reaching out to companies for advice, support, and sales expect more than basic and slow interactions with IVR systems. The expectations are higher than ever and customers demand fast and personalised interactions on the channel of their choice, including voice, email, chat, social, and other messaging apps.
In a world competing on customer experience, omnichannel is one of the most powerful tools in any contact centre’s toolbox. Organisations from every vertical are discovering that omnichannel may be the only real way to hold onto their market share and deliver the experiences that their customers crave. In fact, the Aberdeen Group suggests that organisations with the best omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain around 89% of clients, compared to only 33% retention for brands with weak omnichannel strategies.
The changing nature of the customer conversation
In recent years, most companies have recognised a change in the interactions they’re having with their target market. Namely, companies are no longer the entities with all the power. Today’s consumers are more informed and more demanding than ever before.
The rise of digital and mobile technologies has changed customer expectations, and your clients now expect you to keep up with them or risk losing their business. Click To Tweet
For years, the critical communication channel for the “call centre” was voice. Now, the call centre has given way to a hub of customer engagement built around not just audio communication but text, email, social media, instant messaging, and video. The contact centre that can explore all of these channels effectively benefits from being able to offer their customers the choice and freedom they need for a convenient service experience. Everyone wants to be able to connect through the channel of their choice, and omnichannel gives companies a way to integrate those avenues together for faster problem resolutions.
Moving beyond voice
According to RingCentral’s most recent research in The State of Omnichannel in UK Contact Centres, voice is still the most supported communications channel in contact centres today, with 96% of companies supporting the standard call. However, other channels are growing at a rapid pace. For instance, web chat is supported by 60% of the respondents in the RingCentral study, and a further 28.5% of participants said they’re looking to support Twitter in the next five years.
It’s not only the arrival of new channels in the contact centre that’s changing the way companies and customers interact. Contact centres are also increasingly moving towards the cloud to achieve the scalability and agility they need to adapt to ever-changing demands. A cloud-based omnichannel contact centre solution can provide today’s businesses with a truly integrated overview of their customer’s journey across multiple channels. This overview makes it easier for modern companies to understand consumer behaviours and deliver the results they need.
Some organisations are even taking the omnichannel experience one step further by integrating the multiple channels they use with their customer engagement tools, like CRMs and help desks. These full end-to-end service solutions allows for more connected data, greater efficiency in the workforce, and consistency for brands.
Customer experience needs the cloud
As the demand for more immersive, personalised, and omnichannel experiences in the contact centre continues to rise, the cloud is the only solution that can provide companies with the agility and flexibility they need.
In a world where experience is the only thing that truly sets any company apart, contact centres that can adapt and pivot according to their customer’s needs at rapid speed will be the ones that stay ahead of the competition.
Originally published Nov 14, 2018, updated Jan 17, 2023