Customers expect businesses to provide a seamless and consistent experience across all channels. But they also expect straightforward, fast service whenever they need live help. For years, it’s been difficult for contact centers to meet both of these expectations at the same time:
- A challenging labor market has increased wait times and made it harder than ever for customers to reach an agent.
- Narrow automation solutions like chatbots and IVRs have added new features to single channels, but created inconsistent, deflection-oriented experiences.
- According to recent research, only 11% of organizations claim to have a sophisticated omnichannel implementation.
In 2023, more businesses are making omnichannel experiences a central part of their Contact Center Automation strategies. With omnichannel automation, businesses can provide a unified and integrated customer experience across all channels, including phone, SMS and chat.
More importantly, they can resolve more requests end-to-end and free up agents to focus on complex and nuanced requests. Here’s how you can build an effective omnichannel automation strategy:
Step 1: Define Your Objective
The first step in nailing omnichannel CX automation is to define your objectives. What do you want to achieve with omnichannel automation? Are you looking to improve customer satisfaction, increase engagement, or reduce costs? Your overarching priorities should be paired with a breakdown of the biggest bottlenecks in your contact center. These may be single flows on a specific channel, like Customer Authentication over the phone. Or, they may be general requests that are high in volume across channels, or even between several. These can range from Account Management requests to multimodal requests like Finding a Location via a text message during a call. Defining your objectives and choosing ideal use cases will help you to create a roadmap for your omnichannel automation strategy.
Step 2: Map Your Customer Journey
Mapping your customer journey involves identifying all the touchpoints that customers have with your business across all channels. By mapping your customer journey, you can identify areas where some level of automation may already be in place, but currently forces customers to use another channel. A common gap is often found in IVRs, where customers are often told they can solve their request online or in an app instead of over the phone. By adding end-to-end automation to common requests within each channel, customers are met where they are. Additionally, mapping the customer journey can reveal touchpoints where phone handle times can be significantly reduced by offering an SMS form or confirmation to collect or send out information.
Step 3: Choose the Right Tools
The third step is to choose the right tools for your omnichannel CX automation strategy. There are many tools available, including chatbots, voice assistants, and AI-powered solutions. It’s important to choose tools that are aligned with your objectives and that can be integrated with your existing systems. If your goals are to lower costs, increase CSAT and reduce demand on agents, Contact Center Automation offers a proven solution for consistent experiences powered by a single automation engine. This means that whether a customer reaches out over SMS, chat, or the phone, they can expect the same experience. These experiences are easy to integrate, can be launched in weeks, and can fully automate millions of calls at a fraction of the cost of temporary agents or BPOs.
“Consistency within the customer experience is an extremely high priority for us at Because. We decided to double down on automation across channels because we know that by leveraging the technology, our customers will always receive the same excellent level of service, regardless of which channel they prefer,” said Replicant customer, Kelsey Holshouser, VP of CX at Because
Step 4: Test and Optimize
Testing and optimizing your omnichannel CX automation strategy involves monitoring the performance of your automation tools and making adjustments as needed. A comprehensive Contact Center Automation solution will give you the ability to A/B test scripts and monitor conversations across channels from a single dashboard. Admins can view customer satisfaction, conversation outcomes, and custom data like inbound volumes per channel or contact driver.
Step 5: Scale You Solution
It bears repeating: Omnichannel automation is all about providing a superior customer experience while also reducing the time it takes to reach an agent. In order to achieve both goals, automation must be focused on fully resolving as many requests as possible so agents have a greater capacity to assist customers. That’s why scaling automation across more channels and use cases is key to unlocking the most business value. Contact centers can use advanced analytics to discover unsupported automation flows, deploy new use cases, and scale their total automated volume. With a sophisticated omnichannel solution, this becomes the sole focus. AI-powered platforms like Contact Center Automation continuously improve and automatically surface insights, meaning contact centers only need to worry about fine-tuning and growing their solution across every channel.