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Many brands have shifted from a multi- to an omni-channel marketing strategy in recent years. But integrating a bustling call center is another challenge entirely.

With the growth in internet-only businesses, the face-to-face customer service of physical stores is on the decline. Combined with the global pandemic of 2020, brands are growing more reliant on their call centers as a way of interacting with consumers.

The omni-channel approach provides the ultimate service, matching the needs of every potential customer. In a world where $75 billion is lost by businesses annually due to poor customer service, and 61% of consumers have left a brand after a poor service experience, your call center can’t afford to operate in any other way.

The Shift to an Omni-Channel Approach

In the ‘good old days’, businesses would have a service offering and consumers would be expected to comply. Nowadays, things have come full circle, and running an omni-channel call center is an integral part of any customer engagement strategy.

The growth of technology has empowered consumers to shop in a manner that suits them. And brands that don’t offer all of the potential services available – on an equal quality level – are missing out. In short, the more diverse a brand’s call center offering, the more customers it can attract. Simple!

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Five Strategies for Success

So how do you go about achieving this end? From diversifying your services to empowering staff and keeping up with tech, you can use the following five strategies in your call center as the basis for your success.

1. Diversity

Consider using every possible interaction tool available. This might include voice calls, a chatbot, email, text messaging, app-related contact, and social media channels too.

Many brands have adopted a headless commerce approach to their eCommerce apps in order to stay flexible in these ever-changing times, and customers are no different. In the same way that alternatives to 3CX are being adopted by companies with their fingers on the pulse, consumers will happily snap up any new tech that makes their lives easier.

If there’s a chance they’ll use a certain form of contact, make sure your brand has it covered. If not, a customer will likely shop elsewhere.

2. A Simple Dashboard

Just as free productivity software enables your staff to work more effectively, a simple dashboard is a must in an omni-channel call center. Customer problems can be complex, and agents need the tools to find solutions as quickly as possible.

It’s vital that every customer contact is logged. This is to avoid customers having to repeat themselves on follow-up calls. However, logging this info is one thing; making it accessible within a few seconds is another.

There’s no point in having reams of information collected if your customer service agents can’t access it. Shop around for a software solution that not only integrates all your customer channels but is easy to use as well.

A great omni-channel-equipped dashboard should keep all your info in the same place and accessible to all. Think of it in the same way as any other marketing collaboration between departments.

Empowering your staff to feed back on your adopted processes is a must. It’s your front-line that knows your dashboard – and customers – better than anyone.

3. A Cloud-Based System

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A cloud-based system is vital for anyone wanting to keep up with their competitors. Experienced call center managers who have invested in a great, integrated hardware storage system might balk at this. But all evidence points to the cloud as being the diary of the future.

Not only does a cloud-based system offer unlimited capacity for space, but the global pandemic has seen a seismic shift away from office-based working. With the future so uncertain for brands, keeping your business alive in whatever way you can is essential to stay competitive.

Just as screen sharing apps for work-at-home collaboration mobilizes your staff, a cloud-based system enables your entire call center to work from home if required.

Just 5% of customer service agents were working from home in 2018, but this is expected to rise to 35% by 2023. Those with fully integrated cloud systems are already ahead of the game.

4. Consistency

An omni-channel call center needs to be an extension of an overall customer-focused management strategy. First off, service standards need to be the same across all of your shopping channels.

If you have a physical store, then all levels of staff – from weekend trainees to the store manager and above – need to face customers with the same voice. They’ll need the same knowledge and will ideally be empowered to help every customer in the same way. Working together, customer service and marketing teams can boost the customer experience.

This face-to-face excellence needs to be translated into your call center. Agents should be able to respond to emails or texts just as quickly as they can to a phone call. Brand awareness is integral to success in any field, and a brand’s voice should come across to a customer no matter how they get in touch with you.

5. Tracking and Revising

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Manage customer expectations by tracking response times and treating the data like a series of sales discovery questions. If a customer has to wait an hour for an email response but a day for a text message reply, what can be done to fix this? Is there a better way of integrating your chatbot with your human agents so more queries can be solved within a single contact?

Revising your omni-channel call center approach should be part of your strategy. Keep a check on customer preferences and make changes as you go. Some contact methods may fall out of favor completely and can be removed. Others may be refined with the onset of new technology, and it may be necessary to add new channels at the drop of a hat.

Conclusion

Integrating your call center into a streamlined omni-channel service can be a lengthy business. And of course, once you get there, there’s no standing still! The good news is that it’s never too late to make the change, and the sooner you do so, the quicker you’ll be keeping up with your customers – not to mention your competitors.