Everyone’s talking about omni-channel. The future of customer service is being able to support every possible type of customer interaction seamlessly: phone, email, chat, text messages, social media, and so on. But before you jump in to bed with a fancy new technology, make sure you have a plan for addressing 3 these common pitfalls.
- I don’t have enough staff to support this new channel(s)
- It’s easy to implement a new channel, but making sure you are adequately staffed for it can be challenging. This is largely due to unanticipated volumes on the new channels. New channels rarely mean call deflection, it’s usually an increase in volume overall. You will likely need more staff, not less. To prepare, know what you want your performance targets to be and run your staffing models through various potential volumes and interaction durations. Understand what your threshold will be before you start falling below your expected service levels. Consider additional resources that could jump in and help you manage overflow and ensure they are trained before you launch the new tool. Finally, make sure you are managing this channel closely and understand how your actuals compare to your models. Adjust your staffing on a daily (if not hourly) basis to make sure every channel is getting the support it needs.
- I’m not getting any business on my new channel(s)
- This is the opposite problem of too much volume. Your volumes are too low! Yes, it’s still a problem. If your volumes are low, it’s likely because your customers don’t know that this new channel even exists. Make sure you have a communication plan in place to inform your customers that the new channel is coming. Also make sure they understand what’s in it for them and why they will love it! Over communicate your timelines and your launch date so that they clearly know when it’s coming. When your launch date does come, make it extremely easy for your customers to get to this new channel – consider popups, proactive alerts, site redirection, email links, etc. Finally, make sure you communicate to your internal customers as well. The whole organization should be aware of your new communication channel so that they can spread the word to the customers (plus, it’s good publicity).
- I thought this would make everything better
- Implementing a new tool to drive omnichannel is a fantastic opportunity to improve your business processes. Unfortunately, many organizations implement the new tool to match their current processes, meaning that their broken workflows will carry over into a new tool. Use this project to investigate your highest call volumes (these will likely translate into your new channel as well) and conduct process optimization in these areas before implementing new technology.
Three easy areas to target are:
1) Call types that require the most handoffs
2) Things customers complain about the most on social media
3) Call types that are most easily resolved through self-service
Find ways to reduce those handoffs, stem customer complaints and redirect customers to self-service. This will go a long way in preparing your organization for a more streamlined and painless process with your new channel.
Remember, your technology is only as good as the business processes you have in place and your team is only as prepared as your manager can make them. Before you implement a new omnichannel tool, find quick wins in business process optimization, run your staffing models to prepare for the highest anticipated volumes, and keep your customers informed!
If you are going down the omnichannel path and have any additional questions or concerns, our team of CRM and Contact Center experts would be happy to help calm your fears. Contact us!