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How to Best Choose an Omnichannel Contact Centre Solution in 2020

Omnichannel contact centres can provide improved customer service and staff productivity, both of which are crucial to any business trying to compete in 2020. Customer service expectations are set or influenced by organisations like Amazon.com and First Direct who provide unfalteringly good service, they set the bar and we feel disappointed when we don't receive the same service elsewhere. How do these organisations consistently deliver good customer service? There are several elements, but one of them is choosing the right contact centre software solution.

There are hundreds of contact centre products and services available from global big hitters like Genesis, Cisco and Avaya to relative new entrants like Twilio. Researching and making a decision on your contact centre strategy can be very time-consuming and frustrating so here are a few points to help you get a shortlist together much quicker:

 1. Context is king

 People want to make contact using a variety of different communications channels, based on their demographic - Older people want to use a phone, younger people prefer messaging apps. This is nothing new, but can the team of customer service staff instantly see a summary of all interactions in one client record when contact is made?

Having this record of all interactions in one place is also useful for marketing. The customer journey can be monitored and with some marketing automation sales leads can be converted more regularly.

Your new contact centre should have a single record for all client interactions, which should be presented to the customer service person immediately when contact is made.

 

2. Cloud is less hassle, less risk and cheaper

 Security and fault tolerance are two good reasons to opt for a cloud omnichannel contact centre. If your contact centre is going to be taking card payments over the phone then your organisation will need to be PCI DSS compliant, this is not optional and the penalties for a breach are significant. Opting for a PCI DSS certiified cloud contact centre solution can instantly release you from this costly and time-consuming obligation.

Many cloud contact centres use stable data centres like Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure which provide high availability, data encryption, multiple backup sites, auto-failover, these elements are almost impossible to replicate in an on-premise system.

 

3. Support for popular messaging

 in 2020 Facebook is, or owns, the most widely used messaging applications in the world. If your clients are consumers or your client's clients are consumers then your contact centre must be able to handle bi-directional interactions from Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram as well as more traditional communications systems such as telephone, SMS and web chat. If your solution doesn't support all these applications, then you have to think about how easily and quickly can they be integrated? Being able to support these applications gives your clients choice and convenience and it gives you service consistency and a wider range of touchpoints.

 

4. Digital assistant / chatbot integration

AI and chatbots are making their way into contact centres albeit rather more slowly than predicted by the major research firms. The chatbot market has been hindered by the amount of time and resource required to program their 'brains" and some poor PR caused mainly by bad planning and slack security. However, chatbots and digital assistants are becoming easier to produce and manage thanks to better production tools, human intervention systems and interaction analytics. Investing in a new contact centre system is a major undertaking and many service providers cannot cater for chatbots, digital assistants and voice bots.

 

5. Experience management (XM)

 You may not have heard of this yet, but this is a big trend in the enterprise sector and is making its way into the SMB sector quickly. Experience management or XM can be implemented using an application or a set of procedures. A good XM system gives real time or semi real-time visibility of customer and staff experience. For example, a great deal of customer and staff sentiment can be extracted from voice call recordings and chat text. An automatic process which uses AI to report on sentiment and compliance - among others - to give you valuable feedback that allows you to act in time to improve customer experience. Gathering regular feedback from clients is also imperative. A good omnichannel contact centre should facilitate the gathering of feedback through XM integration and direct feedback for example integration with TrustPilot, allowing agents to respond to feedback quickly.

Finally, the cost is obviously important and paying monthly not annually in advance is an attractive option because it gives the service provider the motivation to keep you happy.


About Hostcomm

Hostcomm helps companies transform their customer service, outbound sales campaigns, data security and internal employee interaction.

We combine award-winning software, our own value-added applications, and in-house expertise in contact centre operations, customer service excellence and customisation and integration. In doing so we are able to offer packages of features, service, support, reliability and pricing unmatched in the industry. 



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