How to Close the Voice to Digital Channel Gap
At the 2020 Winter Customer Contact Week in Nashville, over 300+ brand leaders joined together to share, explore, and learn about the latest ideas and innovation helping businesses find solutions to omnichannel challenges.
There for the 2nd year in a row, we got to mingle with some of the brightest minds in the customer service world. Our own Jim Lynch hosted a Think Tank with Jennifer Kuechler, COO of Strategic Link, on how to leverage data to optimize your customer experience.
But we weren’t just there to talk. We were also there to listen to you and learn more about what’s been keeping you up at night. To do just that, we surveyed of booth visitors to help us identify your top challenges for 2020. We learned that many of you still struggle with channel integration and are finding that this is a common theme within the industry.
In theory, the idea of delivering a seamless omnichannel experience is simple — add the digital channels consumers want to engage on and voila! You’re now an omnichannel expert. But, the reality is that often our legacy systems and workflows haven’t yet caught up to our omnichannel aspirations. Incorporating elements of an omnichannel CX strategy without the infrastructure needed to unify and synchronize these pieces can actually derail your efforts.
Even in the golden age of omnichannel, it’s clear gaps still exist between voice and digital. 87% of you indicated that integrating the new with the old remains the biggest challenge to expanding your channel suite.
What’s more, in our recent 2020 Omnichannel Engagement Insights Report, nearly 40% of respondents reported that supporting a seamless multichannel experience is the most challenging aspect to leverage. There is still a high failure rate with new channels because of this.
If you’re still struggling with the basics of voice and call routing, you can’t close the gap in customer expectations.
Hopefully, it’s nice to know that you’re not the only one still grappling with the challenge of getting omnichannel to deliver on its true potential for your business. But, while it might be comforting, you should also see it as a huge opportunity. If you can find a solution, then you’ll have the ability to deliver the kind of delightful customer experiences that will leave your competitors in the shade.
Below, we offer some remedial tips that you can follow to forge better connections between your voice and digital channels and, by extension, forge better relationships with customers.
The Integrated Omnichannel Triad
These are the three main components that underpin a successful voice to digital integration.
UNIFIED CUSTOMER PROFILES – As the ways, a customer engages with brands multiply across voice, email, SMS, website, chatbots and more — so does the volume and location of data that informs brands who a customer is.
Brands, therefore, must make strides to invest and adopt ways to unify these siloed data elements to build a solid foundation for understanding and providing a unified digital engagement strategy.
This is usually achieved by leveraging modern CRMs to capture and manage multichannel interactions — creating universal profiles — that can also be leveraged to configure multichannel strategies.
UNIFIED INSIGHT– One of the biggest oversights that can happen in the push towards omnichannel is leaving behind historical best practices of optimization. Each new channel is essentially the addition of a new workflow– understanding what works, what doesn’t work, why, and how to adjust it – is key to advancing each new channel. Attempting to add all workflows at once and without these best practices leads to confusion, disconnected experiences, and dissatisfaction.
Tools such as analytics, quality management, and workforce management have been leveraged to achieve this. However, these tools have historically been focused on voice activity. Brands must also make investments to evolve and integrate these tools to include new digital channels.
Doing so empowers brand leaders to add and optimize each new channel into their workflows incrementally.
Tools such as analytics, quality management, and workforce management have been leveraged to achieve this. Historically, however, voice activity has been the primary focus of these tools. Brands must also make investments to evolve and integrate these tools.
UNIFIED CONFIGURATIONS– Perhaps the most overlooked yet equally critical element of closing the cross-channel gap is the ability to make changes across the entire customer journey. While simple enough to understand, these changes, in reality, often require substantial IT support and multiple steps to achieve a simple change. This delay often leaves big gaps across each channel interaction. If a change is made in an SMS interaction that is not relayed to the agent during a voice interaction, both the customer and the agent can be left confused and frustrated.
At the heart of these three key points lies one theme – integration. The biggest hurdle to integration is simply the time and cost required to achieve it. That’s why it’s so important to opt for software that was born in the cloud and boasts a native and neutral CRM underneath its layer of channels. With all-in-one offerings, your cost and implementation become far more manageable.
A New Channel = A New Workflow
Adopting an omnichannel strategy is about more than just improving customer experience. Before you try to implement one, you need to be sure you’re thinking about how each of these new pieces will fit together as well as how they’ll merge with existing systems. As you add channels, you’re also adding new workflows. Strong workflows mean strong connections, so consider adopting software that unifies information across channels in real-time. Leverage the cloud for an instant flow of information that’s continuous across channels, departments, and geographies.
For an example of an ideal call flow, check out our latest infographic.
As you add new channels you’re adding new ways for customers to enter your business, so your routing needs to be more intelligent in order to feed that customer demand. Offering a truly omnichannel experience doesn’t mean your interactions are identical from voice to webchat to SMS. Instead, true omnichannel is about understanding each channel’s purpose and your customer behavior on that channel so that your overarching experience is consistent, cooperative, and optimized for the fastest resolution.
The ease of your customer interactions is reflective of your technology stack. Assessing the weak points in your channel architecture will help to smooth over any rough patches in your service experience and bridge the voice to the digital divide for good.
LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.