An Omni-Channel Approach to CS

Today’s customer is well-aware of the channels through which he wants to communicate with a business. It can be a traditional phone call but more important are other channels, which are quickly taking over the traditional call center infrastructure.

These channels include mobile apps, email, live chat, and social media platforms. If you offer multi-channel support to your customers, you can clearly improve your service and see a rise in your customer retention.

However, a multi-channel call center has its share of challenges and the foremost is to offer customers a seamless way to interact from multiple platforms.

This is where the importance of an omni-channel call center is recognized. So, let’s find how important an omni-channel call center is to your business and how does it differ from multi-channel support.

Multi-Channel vs Omni-Channel Call Center

Many people use these two terms interchangeably because they both mean literally the same thing. Multi means “more than one” and in both systems, we have multiple ways through which customers can interact with a business.

In multi-channel support, different systems may be managed by different entities and hence may not be connected to one another. As a result, a customer who is not satisfied with using one of the channels may have to start all over again when he decides to switch from one platform to another.

Omni-channel support, on the other hand, is something that is present everywhere. In this type of a model, each channel does not operate in isolation. Instead, a customer is allowed to switch from one channel to another seamlessly and transparently without wasting time and energy.

Challenges Faced By an Omni-Channel Call Center

While omni-channel agents are more knowledgeable and trained, they have to handle complex queries across multiple channels, which may impact their overall productivity.

Digital self-service channels have greatly reduced the number of time agents had to spend answering simple queries. But, at the same time, for complex transactions, about 80% of consumers still rely on a live session with a real human.

Because of this reason, in an omni-channel setup, agents who specialize in phone conversations may not do well when it comes to social media or live chat support.     

So, staffing an omni-channel call center can be an issue for most businesses. If a business already has phone agents, these people may need advanced training to develop problem-solving skills to resolve customer issues effectively.

Benefits of an Omni-Channel Support Setup

If you decide to go for omni-channel support instead of a traditional multi-channel call center, you can integrate digital touchpoints and a retail strategy to improve customer experience across all channels.

Your service agents will be able to see a customer’s interactions across different platforms and provide a more efficient response.

For example, if a customer sends an email, he might expect the business to call directly the next day. And when they receive this call, they expect the agent to be aware of what they wrote earlier in the email. So, this creates a harmonious experience without having to waste time explaining the problem again and again.

Why do you need to switch to an omni-channel call center? Because it’s the future of customer support and the earlier you switch, the more benefits you can realize in the long run.  

Final Words

Communication channels have evolved greatly from simple phone-based call centers to more advanced, multi-channel support setups. They will continue to change as time passes to adapt to the latest technology and the way most consumers would like to interact with a business.

So, if you want to have an omni-channel call center effective, you will have to choose the right contact channels to ensure that your support is always seamless and transparent. Consider it a journey in which your agents grow and become more skilled over time regardless of the number of channels you have.  

And finally, omni-channel support is more cost-effective because it relies on human interactions only when there is a complex transaction. The rest can be handled by technological systems, also known as digital touchpoints, thereby increasing service agents’ job satisfaction and productivity.        

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