Delivering the omnichannel customer experience today’s consumers expect only really becomes a problem when it needs to be done at scale. Your local plumber or pizza takeaway, for example, probably do it without even knowing. They are likely to communicate with you by phone, SMS, FB Messenger, email, and in person depending on which is most appropriate for any given context.
For larger companies, doing what comes so naturally to an SME becomes hugely complex. While there are organisational, process, human resources, training, and other challenges involved, by far the biggest obstacle to implementing an omnichannel customer interaction strategy is technology.
Omnichannel essentially means being able to identify the customer and provide seamless service and information to him or her on a one-to-one agent basis, across all channels, without breaking the customer journey. But a lot of enterprises are finding that their existing contact centre infrastructure is poorly equipped to do this, with systems unable to properly integrate with one another, and data sources siloed and inaccessible.
There are three possible solutions to this problem:
- Continue with your current technology, slowly upgrading it where possible, and hope to deliver some aspects of omnichannel by re-engineering processes and agent front end systems, and reskilling staff. This approach will nearly always deliver unsatisfactory results and means moving too slowly to keep up with digital interaction requirements.
- Rip out and replace the whole contact centre and telephony infrastructure and replace it with a digital, fully integrated, omnichannel ecosystem. This not only means redesigning everything from scratch, but also abandoning years of investment; this is expensive and impractical for most.
- Inject new life into the company’s existing technology infrastructure by layering and integrating the missing omnichannel functionality on top of it. Such an “orchestration layer” makes use of APIs to pull in functionality and data from existing systems – think CRM, telephony, marketing, payments, scheduling, social, and other back-office tools – when they are needed by the agent, automated system, or the customer. This puts them at the service of all the channels deployed by the company and providing the option to easily add new ones.
In our new guide, we explore the practicalities of integration and implementation of an orchestration platform into the contact centre, and how it can be used to coordinate the disparate elements across CCI and CRM that make up a modern omnichannel customer service function.
This guide gives insight into:
- How to keep up with the dizzying pace of technological change by making it easy to add and manage new digital one–to-one customer comms channels.
- Breaking down internal silos so that data can be accessed where and when it’s needed, and business processes can cross internal boundaries.
- Quickly creating optimised customer journeys that improve service and reduce costs.
- Doing all this in months not years, and without ripping out and replacing a single piece of existing hardware or software.