OMNICHANNEL AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE INVESTMENT
Although the availability of budget and resource is often stated by contact centers as being the main reason for sub-optimal systems and processes, digital channels are receiving considerably more investment than the traditional telephony channel, so this concern should less affect those implementing omnichannel.
The chart below shows that smaller businesses are embracing the digital channel as a way to give themselves a level playing field when competing against much larger organizations. Respondents with less than $1 million in revenue state that 80% of their CX investment is going into digital channels, compared to only 42% of organizations with revenues in excess of $1 billion.
It is also noticeable that larger organizations are spending proportionally more on their telephony, as well as alternate channels such as outsourcing.
The following chart shows investment in CX channels segmented by contact center size. Unsurprisingly, those with no contact center spend a very small proportion of their CX investment on the telephony channel, with outsourcers and field service & sales staff receiving considerable amounts of investment.
As might be expected, the proportion of CX investment spent on the telephony channel increases as a contact center size goes up, peaking at 40% in the case of organizations with over 1,000 agent positions.
While these findings can be seen as being generally positive for the future of omnichannel, businesses should remember that telephony accounts for around two-thirds of inbound interactions, and should not be neglected.
The following table gives a close analysis of US contact centers’ IT investment priorities over the past two years.
Omnichannel – which is defined within this part of the survey as getting the various channels to work together – is placed as the top priority in 2016 and 2017. The various supporting applications, such as web chat, self-service, email management systems, and social media have either maintained their position or grown in importance.
While differing from business to business, moving from multichannel to omnichannel is likely to require significant investment in platforms and business process reorganization. As with any investment or restructuring, the business has to be convinced by the financial improvements that will follow.
In order to quantify the business case for omnichannel, businesses should consider how the following potential improvements could affect them:
- analyzing and forecasting how many of each interaction there are can provide a baseline for measuring ROI and cost
- increasing cross-selling and upselling rates by making sure that the customer does not abandon the interaction through frustration caused by channel switching, and by responding to queries in an informed and timely manner
- increasing customer satisfaction and potentially reducing the cost of service by personalization and offering service through the customer’s preferred channel
- increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value through providing superior and proactive service at the moment of truth
- decreasing unnecessary calls by handling queries correctly early in the customer journey and using proactive outbound customer service to avoid unnecessary calls
- taking advantage of many customers’ preference for self-service by offering a powerful and consistent experience across all channels which will reduce inbound call volumes
- implementing a cross-channel knowledge base which will provide consistent information to customers and agents regardless of channel
- if using a single vendor, consider the reduction in the cost of managing multiple vendors, point solution maintenance and upgrades that a single unified solution can bring
- a movement from self-service to live service in an omnichannel environment offers the opportunity for customer identity authentication to take place before the agent is involved, reducing cost and call length and improving service levels
- having the context and customer history on the agent’s screen will reduce call lengths and decrease customer frustration
- having a single workforce management solution that can handle multiskilled resourcing in an omnichannel environment will improve service levels across all channels, and reduce time spent on manual scheduling. Intraday changes based on actual volumes within each channel will further optimize resources
- if a one-off issue (for example, related to a specific marketing campaign) suddenly becomes a major topic of customer interactions, templatized and consistent answers can be shared quickly across channels
- automatically moving agents quickly between channels based upon real-time interaction volumes improve service levels, removes the time taken to assign resource manually and a unified omnichannel desktop environment means that agents do not have to log onto multiple applications manually
- a consistent and up-to-date knowledge base shared across channels means that it is more likely that a query will be successfully answered early in the customer journey, improving customer satisfaction and decreasing the duplication of effort and unnecessary cost as customers will no longer have to seek an answer through an alternate channel
- improving first contact resolution rates on non-voice channels will decrease inbound call volumes and improve the customer
Businesses may wish to quantify volume of interactions that they received by type, perhaps using the 2x2x2 cube matrix shown earlier in the report. This will allow the identification of the types and volumes of interaction that are suitable for self-service or non-voice interaction, which will allow them to focus on the areas of greatest potential.
The measurement of omnichannel success is likely to be significantly different from the typical efficiency metrics associated with the contact center. There is likely to be increased focus upon customer-related metrics, such as NPS, customer effort and customer satisfaction, but it is vitally important to understand the more traditional measurements such as wait time, first contact resolution and interaction transfer rates also impact directly upon the customer experience, and consequently, customer satisfaction scores.
As time progresses, businesses are also more likely to include metrics such as the number of channels used and % of calls deflected by self-service in order to appreciate and quantify the effect of the omnichannel experience upon the customer.
About Evolve IP’s Contact Center: Your contact center is the lifeblood of your enterprise, so anything that you can do to improve agent results and customer experience is a major win for your business. Evolve IP’s Gartner recognized omnichannel contact center provides all of the features you need to run a world-class omnichannel contact center.
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