One size does not fit all – this phrase is quite apt in the context of consumer engagement channels. It is all the more so in today’s digital age, where consumers have a plethora of communication options and expect contact centers meet them via their channel of choice. In order to offer an optimal customer experience, many contact centers are racing to expand beyond voice. As a result, contact channels such as email and SMS are quickly emerging as the top non-voice channels for consumer engagement.
Multichannel adoption can prove to be a strategic differentiator for organizations facing increasingly stringent regulations while reaching out to the consumers through voice channels. Adding multiple contact channels improves contact rates as consumers have the flexibility to interact through their preferred channels at their convenience.
Today, transitioning your voice-only contact center into a multichannel contact center has become a business decision that is no longer “should we move,” but, “when should we move.” However, this business decision requires strategic planning to identify and adopt the right multichannel approach crucial to driving increased ROI. So what do you look for to make sure you have deployed the right multichannel contact strategy?
In this blog post, we will discuss three signs of an ineffective multichannel approach and walk you through the key components of a successful multichannel contact strategy.
Sign 1: Each Contact Channel has its own Standalone Process
To achieve an enhanced customer engagement in a multichannel environment, all the contact channels should have a consistent communication approach and should work in harmony. In reality, without strategic planning and integration between channel platforms, contact centers end up having a standalone outreach strategy for each channel with each channel being managed by a different team.
Due to the lack of unified view into various channel operations, contact center teams deploy Overlapping Outreach campaigns, where teams keep reaching out to a consumer with over a number of channels until a connection occurs.
This overlapping multichannel contact strategy has many downsides, impacting campaigns’ performance –
- Agents cannot provide optimized consumer experience as each channel team works in a siloed environment without access to consolidated consumer contact history from across channels. In this approach, consumers end up repeating their information to different teams, every time they make contact, leading to consumer discontent.
- Escalation and follow-up service workflows are inefficient. For example, when a consumer escalates his issue from SMS/Email to the voice team, the voice agent is unable to pick up the conversation history from the other channels, resulting in a high-resolution time and a frustrated consumer.
- In the absence of visibility into holistic contact attempts, risk-mitigation is difficult. For example, with the proposed CFPB regulation that would limit the debt collector’s total contact attempts to a consumer, regardless of the channels, contact centers would soon require increased control over cross-channel contact history.
Sign 2: The Multichannel Consent Management Process is More like a Flag and Hand-Off
As you may know, acquiring prior consent to contact consumers via SMS or email is considered a best practice that can significantly impact the success of your outreach campaign. (We have covered ‘why multichannel consent management is important’ in detail in our next blog post.)
One of the signs that your multichannel approach is ineffective is when this integral component of multichannel campaigns, consent management, does not have a robust process. Here are a few red flags:
- You are struggling to create a defined workflow to get confirmed opt-ins for channels such as email and SMS.
- You did not lay out a clear policy around consent storage while onboarding new channels and now realize that building a centralized system of record for consent spanning all channels is not straightforward.
- Campaign teams are unable to track and manage consumers’ consent revocation in real-time to re-engage consumers on other channels with consent. For example, when a consumer revokes consent for a primary channel you lack the capacity to promote a secondary channel as a preferred channel promptly.
Today, at most contact centers, agents seek consumer permission/consent to contact them via SMS or email channels during a phone call. The agents then enter email address/phone number provided by the consumer into a spreadsheet. This manual process, coupled with the fact that most CRM systems are not designed to capture consumer consents and certainly not to capture consumer channel preferences, makes the consent management process very challenging.
Sign 3: Measuring Cross-Channel Performance is Difficult
Your multichannel ROI hinges on how effectively you can measure your cross-channel performance and implement intelligent campaigns based on the findings of cross-channel performance analytics.
Let’s first understand cross-channel performance analytics. It is not just measuring campaign performance for individual channels but understanding how the use of a channel can affect the performance of another channel. For example, if you deploy a text and/or an email campaign to collect outstanding payments and provide a callback number, cross-channel performance analytics is the ability to track and attribute the channel or combination of channels (email or SMS) that drove inbound calls, resulting in payments.
Most multichannel contact centers have no visibility into cross-channel performance analytics as they use standalone application platforms. Each application tracks campaign activity on their siloed channel, limiting performance measurement to a single touchpoint. Gaining cross-channel performance insight requires integrated channels and a centralized performance analytics platform that can transform large data sets into actionable insights.
Are you experiencing any of these signs at your multichannel contact center?
If you look closely at these three signs of ineffective multichannel approach, the underlying problems are common and interrelated. The top three issues are:
- Siloed channel applications
- Dispersed and disconnected data
- Inability to create effective workflows
Cloud Technology Enables ‘Effective Multichannel’ aka ‘Cross-Channel Engagement’ Strategy
Cloud technology is helping contact centers avoid these challenges by establishing a practical path to cross-channel effective contact strategies. Take advantage of the cloud technology to:
Utilize Integrated Channel Applications
Cloud-based multichannel contact center solutions provide integrated channel applications out of the box, avoiding the hassles of integrating standalone application platforms via custom projects. Integrated channels allow cross-channel tracking and centralized workflow management.
Integrate Consent Management into Existing Workflows
Cloud technology makes it easier to integrate consent capture into existing workflows and store consent at a central location. To learn how LiveVox Transactional Email and SMS empower agents to capture consent in the existing workflows, email us at email@example.com.
Move from an Overlapping Workflow to a Cross-Channel Campaign Workflow
Consent management and integrated technologies facilitate a cross-channel workflow helping you create a multi-touch campaign with defined triggers to reach consumers with the right channel at the right time. Here is a sample cross-channel campaign workflow.
To learn more how LiveVox can help you with your cross-channel contact strategy, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.