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There are a multitude of discussions on contact centers using cloud technology, adopting multi-channel interactions and deploying smart virtual atHome™ agents. However, we have a tendency to think of these as individual solutions, as though one will make the major impact required to provide consistently positive customer interactions on their chosen media. The reality is, it takes all three.
If you think about the positives of each solution (and there are many), it is easy to find improvements to existing customer interactions. Cloud technology decreases costs and improves a contact center team’s ability to integrate other types of interactions. If a contact center has been primarily using phone and chat, implementing cloud technology will save money, quickly update the technology currently used and provide major benefits such as skill-based routing. Just that one piece will improve existing customer interactions.
Multi-channel interactions are a must for any organization with a customer-centric focus. Customers want to interact on their chosen platform. Whether it is social media, chat, text, email or even telephone, customers are most happy when they can comfortably reach out to their favorite brands for sales and support without having to be told how they can interact. A recent study showed 50 percent of those surveyed believe it was very important that companies offer either a mobile app or website that is easy to use on mobile devices. In addition, 45 percent prefer chat to standard toll-free numbers. The bottom line is, our mobile-centric society wants to handle tasks on the run, not when they are able to make a call and navigate through a difficult phone tree. Providing customers the ability to self-serve and also receive advanced support is critical and multi-channel interactions support both in an efficient manner.
AtHome virtual agents may seem like the odd-man out here, but realistically they are part of the trifecta that ensures you have positive multi-channel experiences. Virtual agents have a different mindset and are well-equipped to handle even the most difficult customer transaction. Furthermore, these agents are capable of managing interactions on any channel to a positive outcome for the company and the customer. Their strong customer-service attitude resonates whether on the phone or chatting. Plus, the strong work ethic of a virtual agent ensures those interactions requiring immediate responses, such as social media, are handled appropriately and efficiently.
Multi-channel customer communications go beyond the technology. The crux of positive outcomes starts and ends with the agents handling the interactions. Utilizing virtual agents as part of the foundation of your multi-channel strategy, along with good cloud technology, ensures interactions are managed to the satisfaction of the customer, positively impacting the experience every customer will have with your organization.