Way back in 2019 (it feels like a decade ago, I know), a CCW Market Study found that only 11% of customers felt like brands genuinely cared about improving their experiences. And, a slim 12% of customers felt like brands actually took action to improve their CX.
Those statistics validated what we’ve all suspected for some time now: companies tout customer centricity, but they fail to listen and deliver experiences customers truly want.
Flash forward to this year, and new consumer trends are putting even more pressure on brands to innovate. With physical shops and workplaces shutting down, consumers were forced to turn to digital channels, like chat, self-help knowledge bases and texting, for support.
A new CCW study shows that Covid-19 accelerated digital adoption among a large majority of consumers. Some 82% of consumers are now comfortable using digital channels to solve their problems, at least sometimes.
In turn, those consumers are seeking out omnichannel service more often. And with nearly three-fourths of consumers expecting consistent service across any and every channel, it means your omnichannel software needs to deliver a seamless experience with every interaction.
As you work to keep pace with changing customer demands and new omnichannel expectations, how can you be sure you have software that supports your business needs?
We’re walking through nine non-negotiable features your omnichannel software needs, so you can deliver for your customers.
1. A simplified interface.
More than 80% of companies say their agents have to bounce between more than one system to support their customers.
Not only that but, contact center leaders say the lack of an integrated agent desktop is their leading productivity challenge.
“The top five challenges are all united by a common theme: agent effort.”
– Brian Cantor, CCW April 2020 Market Study
Don’t invest in systems that cause more pain for your agents. When you do, productivity, morale and customer satisfaction suffer.
Find omnichannel software that makes life easier for your team. It should connect context from several platforms into one simple interface. The better your agents are equipped, the more empowered they are to solve real problems, without having to escalate every interaction.
2. Obvious ROI.
Bad service experiences drive up your operational costs. According to CCW’s August 2020 Market Study, 57% of consumers will complain directly to the agent or supervisor after a bad experience, increasing your handle times. And, another 54% will complain to their networks, making it harder to earn new business.
Your omnichannel software should make your business function better. It should drive down key metrics associated with high agent and productivity costs. Streamlining your operations with an intuitive platform will help your agents spend less time on menial tasks and more time problem-solving the tough stuff.
3. In-line coaching and training.
Does your omnichannel software put coaching and training into your daily workflow? Spoiler alert: your life is easier when it does.
As a manager, 70% of your agents’ engagement and experience at work falls on your back. Your agents crave feedback and relevant coaching in-the-moment. They don’t want to repeat mistakes on customer calls because you’re too swamped to review interactions on a regular basis.
Don’t panic – there’s a solution. For you, your agents AND your customers. Inline training stops your agents from putting bad behaviors on repeat, turning them into bad habits.
An omnichannel platform with built-in coaching tools lets you leave feedback on interactions as you review them. Even better, it gives your agents a way to absorb feedback without stepping out of their queue for intensive training sessions.
4. Customizable reporting.
The data flowing into your contact center and customer systems gives you an endless well of information about your customers. But expensive reporting packages tied to typical platforms often leave you without a bucket to lower down and scoop out all the info.
Your contact center’s omnichannel software shouldn’t keep your data under lock and key. The best platforms let your harvest and manipulate your data, regardless of channel. And, they let you report on it all in one place.
Too often, reporting is a major limitation for contact center platforms. It doesn’t have to be. Seek out partners who let you build reports using data from every channel, historically and in real-time. This way, you can spot trends and boost performance, fast.
5. Seamless transitions between channels.
Piecing together dozens of channels isn’t omnichannel. To serve up the customer experience modern customers expect from every brand, your omnichannel software needs to do more than just support multiple channels. It needs to let your customers (and agents) move from place to another, without ending the interaction and losing tons of context.
6. Quality and performance management.
Helping your agents improve should be core to your omnichannel software.
Look to vendor partners who offer up crucial coaching and development tools like scorecards, call recordings and transcriptions, individual agent dashboards and performance tiles.
A complete quality and performance management toolset empowers your team with actionable data and context for every coaching moment. And, it gives your agents (and supervisors) visibility into daily performance. That way when agents log in for the day, they can track progress with every interaction. And by the day’s end, they can know exactly where they stand against your goals and KPIs.
7. Platform integrations.
Disjointed systems plunge your contact center’s revenue-earning potential. Nearly two-thirds of contact center leaders struggle to realize intended ROI from their contact center because they can’t integrate their systems and channels.
Combine the power of your omnichannel contact center software with the other systems you use to support your customers.
Open integrations give you the freedom and flexibility to build custom solutions that meet your unique business needs, so you can streamline your entire customer journey.
8. Cloud architecture.
Six months ago, our industry looked at work-at-home as an outlier. Whether it was cost-prohibitive or thought to be too risky, it just wasn’t the norm. Until it was. Now, 35% of the customer experience workforce is expected to work from home by 2023. That’s up from a slim 5% just three years ago, according to Gartner.
Companies quickly realized the pains of on-premises solutions when they were forced to move agents home. Now that we’ve lived through the panic shift, it’s time to reevaluate based on your needs, wants and preferences. If you’re seeking out new omnichannel software, investing in cloud architecture is the low-risk option. You’ll get more flexibility in your day-to-day environments, and you’ll strategically support your business continuity plan.
9. Routing and automation based on customer needs.
Your customers want to talk to the right agent who can solve their issue, no matter when or how they reach out.
Find omnichannel platforms with intelligent routing and call flows to help your customers get to resolutions faster.
Skills-based routing sends your customers to agents with the skill sets and technical expertise to solve their problems the first time around. And, adding bots into your routing workflow gives your customers a more predictable experience. When they have a simple request, they can resolve it with self-service and bot-directed resources. And when they need extra help, they’ll get routed directly to a friendly human who can solve their problem.