Choose Omni-Channel Over Multi-Channel -- And Earn These 6 Benefits

Contributor: James Wilson
Posted: 08/02/2016
JamesWilson
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The only way to effectively combat your customers’ game of channel pinball is to implement an omni-channel approach.

Such an approach ensures your brand story will unfold the way you truly intended. You can also deploy new services seamlessly – and without headaches.  The best omni-channel solutions are engineered to support innovative technology, enabling you to expand your partner ecosystem and add new revenue streams.  They boast modular APIs, allowing you to integrate solutions with existing systems.  Ultimately, they put your business in position to meet the ever-changing demands of your customers.

When sourcing solutions, it is important to note that not all systems marked as “omni-channel” warrant the label.  We have researched many “omni-channel” solutions, and most of them fall into what we call “multi-channel.”

A true omni-channel solution will enable agent to read the history no matter the channel (Chat, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM and other Social Media). With true omni-channel, there must also be universal intelligence - either workflow systems or AI or analytics for intelligence. Without the integrated intelligence on the back end, the solution is a multi-channel one. Many companies are claiming to offer omni-channel but keep each channel in a silo; these companies are offering multi-channel solutions.

Once you locate a legitimate omni-channel solution – one that allows for seamless sharing of data, singular vantage points, and true connectivity across channels like voice, e-mail, chat, SMS/text, self-service, desktop sharing, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Instagram – you gain access to significant benefits.  Everybody, from your business stakeholders, to your agents, to your customers, ends up a winner.

Key benefits are detailed below.  While some could conceivably exist in a multi-channel environment, you will need an omni-channel environment free of all seams, gaps, and disruption in order to achieve the most optimal flavor of results.

Omni-channel Benefits

Reduce call center traffic

Reduce inbound voice call load into contact centers at peak and off-peak times, by providing alternative channels to voice, to quickly communicate with agents.

Reduce operational costs

Omni-channel is a low-cost option and helps reduce operational costs. The average SMS/Text session is up to 75% cheaper than the average voice call, and Facebook Messenger chat and other Social Media chat are effectively free.

Reduce agent attrition and absence

Agents that use text chat are buffered from angry customer voice calls. Auto-blocking of expletive chat text also gives agents a more pleasant, less stressful experience.

Increase customer satisfaction

Providing a fast, convenient way to reach agents is a great way to improve satisfaction. 64% of consumers would prefer to use SMS instead of voice as a customer service channel.

Increase agent productivity

Agents can manage multiple inbound customer service or sales conversations simultaneously; ensuring voice is used at the right moment to drive the best results.

Increase outbound sales success

Agents can ‘warm up’ prospects before calling, using text chat, to agree the best time to call. This results in a 50–60% increase in call pickup, a faster sales cycle, and conversion.

James is the CEO of CallCenterPros.  Check out the LinkedIn group here.

JamesWilson
Contributor: James Wilson