The future is omnichannel in the contact center

The Future is Omnichannel in the Contact Center – Debbie Bicker, SVL Account Manager, discusses the continued rise of omnichannel and how it challenges voice as the user’s channel of choice.

I remember the buzz and trepidation that adding simple chat functions brought to the telecom market just a few years ago.

It was really nice to give customers another way to communicate with businesses, although a digital chat or social media channel wasn’t always considered part of the contact center function when it was first offered, often being seen as part of the core business of IT teams. .

As with everything in the software market, the speed of change has been fierce and what started as a simple add-on has now become a critical link between business and customer…. now threatens voice as the preferred channel for customer interactions.

To put that into context, a Talkdesk survey last year found that digital channels are responsible for more contact center interactions than ever before. The statistics below might surprise you.

– Live chat, 71%

– Virtual chat, 62%

– Asynchronous messaging, 61% (Asynchronous messaging is where participants on both sides of the conversation have the freedom to start, pause, and resume conversational messaging on their own terms, eliminating the need to wait for a direct live connection )

– Social networks, 56%

– Video chat, 42%

However, having a range of channels is not enough, as more than half of respondents felt it was important for the user to easily switch between digital channels during a only interaction with a contact center.

Why did this happen? I think there are several reasons:

1. The ability to shop from home had grown exponentially, but Covid has increased the pressure on retail/banking/hospitality to levels never seen before.

2. Chat offers an access speed that voice channels cannot match.

3. User Behavior – often people would rather message than talk to another human. I’m not going to dig into the psychology of this, but I believe it’s true for many.

4. Instant record – what is communicated is visible and often exportable. Less chance of misinterpreting something that is said.

5. With millennials and Gen Z now representing a much larger share of the business and consumer world, they are sometimes referred to as the post-phone call generations, preferring faster, more direct communications such as text and chat online, with simple results.

So, we know that’s what the customer wants, but what can you do if you still don’t feel like your chat functions are in sync with the main voice channels.

Well, the answer lies in collaboration tools. These tools will allow hhelp your agents deliver more collaborative customer service and a personalized journey to meet each customer’s individual needs. The collaboration will allow various support teams to quickly access real-time help from other agents in their contact center, allowing staff to resolve tricky issues much more smoothly.

The work we are doing with our client Dialect Communications is a good example of a collaborative tool.

With our partner Omningage, we provided Dialect agents (a Fintech Innovator) with a dashboard designed for quick responses, easy navigation and 100% user satisfaction. Agents have full visibility into the customer journey, a useful sentiment score of their last communication, and integration options for all major CRM platforms such as MS Dynamics and Zendesk.

Such success is not limited to the agent/user link, the supervisor is the catalyst for collaboration and benefits from clear management. Reporting tools give supervisors full access to key indicators. This includes agent performance, queue statistics, and customer satisfaction.

For many, this is a crucial step, and it is not as revolutionary as one might think. I’m happy to chat with anyone if you’re in any way stuck or curious about collaboration tools or omnichannel.

Debbie Bicker is Account Manager at SVL

SVL has been based in East Kilbride for over 50 years and is the oldest provider of software and consultancy to the contact center industry.

SVL has more than forty employees.

For more information about SVL, see their company profile