What is an Omni-Channel Contact Center?

If you’ve heard of the term “contact center”, you may have also heard of “multi-channel” or “omni-channel”. But what do these terms mean, and what value can an omni-channel contact center bring to an organization?

Multi-Channel Contact Center

A multi-channel contact center supports multiple channels of communication. These may include phone, email, web chat, or social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. However, these channels are dealt with individually, and are not linked to each other.

One problem with this is that agents are not able to access previous  interactions had with the customer from other channels. This can lead to customers getting frustrated at having to repeat information. Another issue is that if a customer tried to use more than one communication channel to deal with one issue, they would in effect be raising two separate inquiries.

While multi-channel contact centers do allow for customers to choose which channel of communication they use, the multi-channel approach is limited in its ability to connect the customer journey across channels.

Omni-Channel Contact Center

An omni-channel contact center is a progression from the multi-channel model. In an omni-channel contact center, many channels of communication are supported, but are also integrated, meaning a conversation can be maintained across channels.

Agents also have access to the history of interactions with customers. This creates a seamless customer experience where customers can use whichever methods are most suited to their needs, and still receive the standard of customer experience they expect.

Omni-Channel Infographic: Phone; store; web; mobile; social

The Importance of Omni-Channel

Research has shown that organizations with omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average, compared with 33% for companies with weak omni-channel engagement[1].

Multi-channel only goes part of the way to increase flexibility and convenience for the customer. Omni-channel goes the extra step, offering flexibility without limitation, connecting the customer journey across channels. By creating personalized, consistent, and convenient interactions, organizations improve customer satisfaction, build brand loyalty, and ultimately, drive more revenue.

Key Advantages of Omni-Channel

  • Consistency – customers continue the conversation across channels.
  • Personalization – communication tailored to the needs and wants of the customer.
  • Ease – integration of channels makes the customer service experience effortless for both agent and customer.

5 Things You Need from an Omni-Channel Contact Center

  1. Automation
    AI can be utilized to increase efficiency in an omni-channel Contact Center, and ascertain the best channel to deal with each inquiry, without taking up the time of your agents.
  2. Integrations
    Using technology that facilitates unlimited integrations with third-party technology allows you continue to reap all the benefits of your existing software, as well as those of the virtual Contact Center.
  3. Cloud-Based Infrastructure
    Having a cloud-based Contact Center means you are not restricted to a particular location. Furthermore, outsourcing the system to a trusted Contact Center as a Service provider (CCaaS) reduces the burden on your IT team.
  4. Reporting
    Agents and supervisors should be able to access reports to enable them to optimize performance. There should also be the same level of reporting for every communication channel.
  5. Scalability
    Scalability is a must-have feature, enabling you to make sure no call, SMS, or email goes unanswered, even in peak times.

Ready to Find Out More about Omni-Channel?

Allowing customers to access information at any time, through any channel, and from whatever device they prefer, is crucial for maintaining a seamless customer service experience. Providing customers with the option to contact organizations through their preferred channel enhances the experience of both agent and customers.

Content Guru’s Cloud Contact Center solution, storm®, services hundreds of the world’s largest organizations, providing an omni-channel solution with full integration into any third-party platform. storm streamlines customer communications for maximal efficiency, while keeping customer experience and comfort at the core of all decisions and actions.

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