I recently had the pleasure of speaking at a roundtable event hosted by CRM Magazine on the topic “How To Build A Multichannel Support Environment.” During this time, my fellow participants, Voxeo, Angel, Nuance, and I discussed the need for brands to address their customers across all of their preferred communications channels, as well as what was needed to build a multichannel support environment.
Generation Y is the fastest growing audience and, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive and LiveOps, Gen Y prefers to have multiple avenues available to them to connect with a brand. Although, at present, voice and email are the dominant methods of communication, chat, social media – Facebook and Twitter – and text are quickly gaining momentum. Today, this “trend” is quickly becoming the reality, and brands must comply by integrating multiple channels into their customer service platforms.
While today’s contact centers may claim to be multichannel, they are frequently segmented. Agents must toggle between several screens – five on average, but sometimes upwards of 50 – to find customer information and history, as well as the channel in which to communicate with the customer. Agents estimated they wasted 26 percent of their time searching for relevant data across different systems for each customer. Furthermore, the majority of agents work remotely, which translates to a multiple password nightmare. This work environment quickly becomes hell for an agent – “Alt-Tab Hell,” that is.
The most enthralling part of the webinar for me was when we broached the topic of the integrated agent desktop because this is a must for every brand that wants to do customer service well. This tool rescues agents from “Alt-Tab Hell” and provides them with all of the tools they need to serve customers efficiently and effectively. Agents now have quick and easy access to customer information and history, as well as the ability to pivot seamlessly from one communication channel to the next. An agent can instantly take a conversation offline and out of a public forum, such as Twitter or Facebook, to continue serving the customer on a private channel, such as phone – customers’ #1 preferred channel.
An integrated social, multichannel agent desktop empowers agents, which can lead to an estimated 50 percent increase in productivity, as well as 50 percent improvement in first call resolution and a 10 percent decrease in agent attrition. The result is cost savings for the brand on multiple levels.
In the end, it all comes down to this: A Better Agent Experience = A Better Customer Experience = Better Customer Lifetime Value. This truly is the formula for customer success. All you have to do is say goodbye to Alt-Tab Hell and hello to a social, multichannel solution. How can this be done? Here are five key steps you can take to help build a multichannel support environment for your brand:
- Understand your customers’ journey across multichannel touch points
- Re-align processes and skill sets to optimize customer experience
- Build the business case and strategy roadmap
- Arm agents and managers with the right cloud technology and tools
- Measure. Optimize. Repeat.
– Ann Ruckstuhl, SVP and CMO, LiveOps