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Channel Preference: The First Hurdle to Digital Engagement for Contact Centers

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October 24, 2018
By: LiveVox

The demand for customer-centric digital engagement continues to be top of mind across contact center industry leaders. The acceleration of new technologies and their use has evolved what it means to connect with your customer.  Below is a timeline of the evolution of contact center engagement:

                                         *2017 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking by Dimension Data

There is no doubt that customers want more options, but it doesn’t mean they want all of them. As a result, contact centers must effectively match which channel the consumer wants with the service they want it for. The misuse of the desired contact channel can have material impact on performance. A recent Gallup poll shows a significant drop in customer satisfaction when not engaging the consumer on their preferred channel:

            *https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/162107/customers-interact-banks.aspx

Not only does mismanagement of channel preference impact customer satisfaction, but it can also impact a business’ exposure to costly consumer litigation. In fact, regulatory bodies like the CFPB and FCC have already stepped in with legislation, such as the TCPA, that is anticipated to impact the use of other new digital channels.

Therefore, the first challenge of effective digital engagement is not the adoption of digital channels, but the understanding how to manage the channels use in line with how the consumer wants it used.

Below are the 5-key multichannel preference /consent capabilities that should be embedded in a contact center’s digital engagement strategy:

 

Enabling account-level consent flags across channels that can be updated in real-time, at all times, and across all channels help ensure consent to be accurate at each interaction. In doing so, contact centers can create digital strategies that are filtered based on specific consent flags help match channel strategy with channel preference. 

SCENARIO: On Monday, Sally Sue wants to be contacted by email, voice, but not SMS. Each channel at the account level would have a consent flag based on those preferences. The ability for contact center managers to filter base on those consent flags at the account-level when creating a campaign is key.

A consumer is not always going to want to be contacted in the same way. The ability to providing revocation avenues for the consumer is just as important as the ability to capture consent.

SCENARIO: On Tuesday, a contact manager launches an email campaign to Platinum members that includes Sally. The email has a pre-defined opt-out option template.

Enabling revocation capabilities that automatically removes consent from the account-level across any channel can help ensure channel preference is up to date.

SCENARIO: In that email campaign, Sally decides she no longer wants to be contacted by email. When she hits the unsubscribe button on that email, the consent flag on email at the account level is automatically updated.

 

Human error is inevitable in contact center operations, having solutions that help mitigate that risk is key. Having preventative and automatic control mechanisms is, therefore, key to managing consent. The ability to ensure that campaigns are not created if a consent is not present can help achieve that and avoids the need for a manually-intensive process to check consent before creating a multichannel campaign

SCENARIO: On Wednesday, a contact center manager wants to launch an email campaign to all platinum members which includes Sally. The ability to automatically block the contact manager from sending an email to Sally is critical to mitigating human error.

 

Agents play a key role in managing channel preference. When a consumer is speaking with an agent, it presents an opportunity to update a consumer’s channel preference. Enabling the agent to capture the updated channel preference can help reinforce channel preference management.

SCENARIO: On Thursday, Sally speaks with an agent about a late payment. The agent informs Sally that they offer a payment reminder email alert that may help Sally avoid late payments. Sally, who on Tuesday, did not want to receive emails, now wants to receive the email reminder. From the agent desktop, the agent can check the consent flag for Sally in real-time.

 

DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT

The last key capability in managing channel preference is the ability to report on it. Because channel preference can change across multiple channels, contact centers must also have the ability to document channel preference change with screen recordings on the agent desktop, audio recordings from the voice call, and opt-in/opt-out changes across all channels.

As contact centers adapt to these new channels, understanding how these channels should and can be used is of utmost importance, especially as they are subject to change at any time. These 5 capabilities can help not only shed light on how channel preference change but build workflows that match the consumer’s channel of choice. To learn more about multichannel preference management, you can check out our other blogs on multichannel consent management here.

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