Today’s contact centers have little in common with the call centers of yesterday. Gone are the days when the only channel of communications was the telephone and agents worked in rows upon rows of cubicles in one central location.
New contact center models call for new digital channels
Today’s contact center is likely a hybrid model, with some agents working in a central location and others working remotely. What was once one-channel communication has become omnichannel communication, as customer demands and expectations have moved the needle toward a digital-first customer experience.
The first generation of digital channels is alive and well, with channels such as email and web chat still being favorites among consumers. However, increasingly, a new generation of consumers demand an expanded digital experience, looking for next-generation digital channels including AI-powered self-service, social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp.
How will this enhanced, digital-first omnichannel communication impact today’s contact centers? There are six areas that will require attention as you work to evolve your contact center to an integrated, digital-first omnichannel contact center.
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1. Forecasting and scheduling will change
Forecasting and scheduling models that do not account for communication via multiple digital channels will need to change. Thought must be given to where digital demand will lie and how various channels will impact agent scheduling and forecasting. New forecasting and scheduling models will need to be designed.
2. Accommodations for omnichannel interactions will be necessary
Today’s consumers dictate the channels that your contact center should enable. DIgital-first omnichannel contact centers are squarely focused on providing the channels customers actually prefer for communication. The point of enabling digital, omnichannel communication is to elevate the customer experience with your contact center. Accommodating customer communication preferences can be done by first ensuring you have a presence in their channel of choice. For your digital-first omnichannel strategy to work, you will need to provide the technology and human resources needed to support each communication channel appropriately.
3. Capturing omnichannel interactions and adhering to new regulations will be essential
You will need to design workflows in such a way that agents can work across multiple communication channels easily, providing a seamless customer experience that avoids making the customer repeat any details previously shared via another communication channel. This involves capturing multiple interactions across multiple channels in parallel.
It also involves ensuring that your contact center is communicating in accordance with all federal, state, local, and platform-specific regulations and requirements.
Agent training will be key in this critical area. Agents must be trained to handle multiple channels simultaneously and must be trained for compliant communications for each channel. Supervisors, too, will need additional training to support an omnichannel customer experience through both agent training and agent coaching.
4. New quality standards will need to be considered
As you move to a digital-first contact center, your old quality standards may no longer be applicable. Think carefully about what constitutes quality in an omnichannel environment and adjust your standards and processes to support the omnichannel experience. Be careful to include specific processes for each channel, as there is little to no common standardization among the channels.
5. Performance metrics will change
In a digital-first omnichannel contact center, asynchronous interactions are the rule—not the exception. Response times may be hard to measure. First call resolution may be difficult to pinpoint. So, your performance KPIs will likely need to change to accommodate the new reality.
Make no mistake—you still need performance metrics. You will just need to adjust what and how you measure to gauge performance.
6. Analytics will change as well
With the addition of digital channels such as social media platforms and messaging apps, a huge volume of unstructured data will be coming into your contact center. You will need a way to turn unstructured data into actionable insights to get a holistic view of the customer experience.
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Provide digital-first, omnichannel customer experiences with RingCentral
If all of these impacts seem like too much to handle, there’s no need for you to be concerned. Choosing a cloud-based contact center solution that supports omnichannel communication can help you successfully navigate the move to a digital-first contact center.
RingCentral’s cloud-based, omnichannel contact center solution enables you to support, engage, and build better customer relationships. It gives your agents the ability to manage every digital channel in a single workspace, which helps them stay productive and organized.
RingCentral is purpose-built to help you engage customers across all the channels they love, including email, text, and social media. No matter where customer interactions begin—whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, email, chat, a messaging app, or any other digital channel—your agents can manage their responses in one, user-friendly customer engagement platform.
In addition to providing the quintessential digital-first, omnichannel customer experience, RingCentral’s contact center solution also captures the data you need for analytics and reporting. Monitor your team’s performance across multiple channels with customizable dashboards and slice and dice your data any way you want for actionable business intelligence.
You can build a complete customer experience, including inbound, outbound, and digital, with RIngCentral. Explore RingCentral’s digital capabilities today and learn more about digital-first omnichannel contact centers in the ebook entitled “The Innovator’s Guide to the Digital-First Contact Center.”
Originally published Jan 03, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022