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Less Friction Through OmniChannel

James Wilson

It is important for enterprises with customer service operations to look for ways to reduce friction. Customers want to move between chat, voice, email, SMS without having to repeat their situation every time. Customers want to access more channels which improves the experience. And this reduces the friction, but only when the channels are not forced or in separate silos. Customer service reps can direct a caller to another channel when a traditional voice queue has long wait times.

Or maybe offering self-service chat-bots with AI could help reduce friction for customers with the same monthly request. The newer OmniChannel contact centers offer more as messaging apps like Facebook messenger, Skype for Business, LinkedIn messenger or even the Sony PlayStation Messager because this is where some customer live. To the agent, they will see “chat windows” that look the same with a combined chat history of the customer’s past interactions but with a small logo indicating the customer’s channel path.

The Social Media channels allow free messaging but the benefits also allow include the sharing of photos. When contact centers pair up with Social Media, the customer service reps can receive a photo in the same channel or a different channel. Here are some examples:

  • A photo of a defective product from electronic company.
  • A photo of a broken product from major on-line seller.
  • A photo of a fallen tree for your insurance company.
  • A photo of a driver’s license for the Wine-of-the-Month Club.
  • A photo of a receipt for the Hotel Booking company.
  • A screenshot of a user’s error for tech support.

Some of these Social Media channels include video chat, for a closer human experience. The Social Media channel “Telegram”, is a post-Snowden app aimed squarely at the security conscious user, this might also benefit call centers when tighter security is needed.

Customers service at any point in their pre-purchase or post-purchase is not only improved with a choice of channels but through additional technologies:

  • Scheduling a call-back for a customer while they are waiting in a long queue.  
  • Visual IVR on mobile phones and a faster connection the right queue.
  • Remote access of the customer’s devices can faster resolve technical issues. 
  • Screen-sharing can improve sales with Insurance or financial call centers.
  • Voice biometrics can passively authenticate without the multiple intrusive security questions.
  • Some are not “out of the box ready” but with most OmniChannel solutions, these can be added GUI-drag-n-drop apps or professional services.