Written by: Colin Gill, Product Manager at Akixi
What is an omnichannel cloud call centre? In truth, that’s a bit of a trick question. If a call centre employs an omnichannel solution, then by definition, it can’t be an omnichannel call centre. It now becomes an omnichannel contact centre. That, of course, depends on your omnichannel definition.
So, what is omnichannel and what does it mean?
There are many definitions of omnichannel, however, a common thread that runs through most of them regards delivering and managing multiple channels of communications as a single solution, by way of a strategy, technology or both.
What is an omnichannel cloud contact centre?
Simply put, it’s a contact centre that employs cloud-based communication technology as opposed to on-premise communication systems.
In reality, the method of communication delivery or the platform used should not define a call or contact centre. Whether a call or contact centre is omnichannel or uses cloud-based platforms is largely irrelevant. What is important is that the most efficient and effective solutions and platforms are used to deliver the best possible customer service and the key, as always, to delivering good customer service is to constantly measure performance and adjust strategies and working practices accordingly. Basically, a customer doesn’t care if the agent that answers their call or email is using VOIP or the latest omnichannel platform as long as their communication gets answered in good time and they receive good service.
What is omnichannel customer experience?
An omnichannel customer experience is one of those things where the better it’s done, the less a customer will be aware of it. The increasing number of communication channels gives customers an ever-expanding choice of preferred methods to contact companies. As such, customers expect to receive the same level of service when using these different forms of communication as they would if they had called the company on the phone. The most effective omnichannel solutions will be able to meet a customer’s expectations of good service, no matter which form of communication the customer chooses to use.
Why is omnichannel important?
We all know the old adage that says the customer is always right and I’m sure we’ve all had experiences to the contrary. However, it certainly holds true that in order to simply survive in business, never mind thrive, companies must follow where customers lead. This is absolute when it comes to how customers choose to engage with a company. If it’s easier, more convenient and quicker for a customer to contact your competitor to buy a car by using your competitor’s customer interaction channels, why are they going to waste time trying to get hold of you? You may provide the same channels of communication – phone, email, web chat, social media, etc. but if your competitor is more efficient at replying and providing good service by way of their omnichannel customer solutions, it won’t be long before your competitor is the first point of contact every time.
What is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel?
When it comes to the omnichannel vs multichannel contact centre question, just like trying to define omnichannel itself, there can be a number of different answers depending who you ask. For instance, it could be argued that omnichannel is multichannel, though multichannel is not omnichannel. Quite obviously, multichannel means more than one channel, whereas omnichannel implies all or every channel, specifically with regards to channels of communication, bringing them together as a single solution.
What is an omnichannel strategy?
It’s all well and good understanding what is omnichannel and how it can help deliver a better customer experience, but how an omnichannel strategy is implemented and works in unison with all aspects of the customer journey is key. There is no point having an omnichannel strategy that stands apart from other elements of the customer experience. After all, the core premise of the omnichannel concept is to seamlessly bring different elements together to work as one.
Simply implementing an omnichannel strategy alone will not improve the customer experience. Being able to effectively measure and monitor your omnichannel offering with KPIs and SLAs will. An essential aspect to any credible omnichannel platform lies in its reporting capability, allowing for easily-accessible and real-time insights on your performance.