Consumer demand for multichannel engagement continues to accelerate and its impact on the bottom line is more substantial than ever. In fact, a recent report from Aberdeen Research* noted that companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies.
Yet, for businesses in heavily regulated industries such as financial services, healthcare, and teleservices, the ability to facilitate an effective multichannel strategy may be impaired by the additional complexity of regulatory requirements. In recent years, several regulations including, CAN-SPAM, CTIA, FDCPA, and others, have attempted to establish rules and guidelines to ensure that businesses do not abuse the use of new channels. However, due to the relatively new nature of these engagement channels, what is acceptable to do, and more importantly what not to do, has largely remained unclear. In this uncertainty, some businesses may be reluctant to fully optimize the use of new channels regardless of their potential.
As regulations continue to mature and bring additional clarity to multichannel engagement, what can businesses do now to prepare?
Understand that the underlying mandate across these regulations is simply to help ensure businesses respect a consumers’ wishes in how and when they want to engage. One of the most significant ways to help navigate this is to build a sound channel preference management strategy. Yet for many, this is easier said than done. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges faced by businesses in managing channel preference and the 3 capabilities that can help solve for them.
One Messy Journey Map
Ensuring channel preferences are met for today’s consumer can be downright confusing. In the two graphs below, a recent study* shows that consumers have different preference channels not just based on service type but also based on age group. Other studies show how consumer income levels can add an additional layer of complexity in determining channel preference. Attempting to create a customer journey based on this complexity can quickly turn into a messy roadmap.
Not to mention, today’s increasingly impatient consumer will likely change their preference from one day to the next, and both the consumer and governing regulatory bodies expect businesses to adapt.
So what can businesses do to help simplify this complexity?
3 Ways to Help Manage Channel Preference
Here are 3 capabilities your contact center should have in order to simplify and better navigate channel preferences:
1. Consent Capture and Revocation – First and foremost, business must be able to document when a channel preference is provided. Every interaction, across every channel, is an opportunity for businesses to ask and capture preference. This is especially true when an agent is speaking directly with a consumer. Overtime, a business will begin to build a wholistic profile of channel preference for each consumer.
Just as important as capturing consumer preference, is documenting when a consumer changes their channel preference or revokes their consent to be contacted on a particular channel. At each interaction, across each channel, a consumer expects to be able to change their channel preference. Businesses should not only provide that opportunity, but also ensure that changes are automatically updated on consumer profiles.
2. Contact Attempt Management – Equally as important as knowing what channel a consumer prefers to engage on, is knowing how many times they have been engaged. This can become very difficult as some consumer requests may be as granular as, “please don’t call me on Tuesdays before 5”. Businesses must therefore also have a robust mechanism for ensuring that consumers are reached at their optimum time and preferred cadence.
3. Consent-filtered Campaign Creation – Knowing how consumers want to engage is only as useful as the ability to adhere to their requests. Businesses must be able to configure customer journey strategies based on consumer channel preference – across all channels. Enabling consent filters across Email, SMS, Phone, and Chat during campaign creation helps empower contact center managers to drive customer-centric workflows even as channel preferences change.
Cloud is Simplifying Channel Management
In order to leverage these 3 capabilities, contact centers must establish deep integrations between a modern CRM and all the channels consumer interactions take place on. These easily multi-million, multi-year upgrade and integration requirements have created a high barrier of entry for many contact centers – leaving many without the ability to effectively manage consumer channel preference.
Cloud is helping solve for these challenges by significantly minimizing integration requirements and enabling modern CRM functionality. LiveVox for example, is a leading customer engagement platform solution provider that has CRM, Channels, and WFO functionality in a single location. This enables all conversations, across all channels, to occur on one platform. This unified approach empowers contact centers to proactively and automatically manage consumer channel preferences and reduce risk exposure.
For more information about LiveVox’s approach to channel preference management, or to see these 3 tools in action, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org today!