mastering omnichannel CX

eBook

A Success Guide

Mastering Omnichannel CX

Next Chapter Download PDF

Chapter 8

How to implement a successful digital omnichannel program

1. Communicate rules of engagement and SLAs with your staff

Eighty-five percent of companies who identified as top-performers in omnichannel strategy report regularly training customer support agents in omnichannel communications, a study by Aberdeen Group revealed. This includes training agents in rules of engagement and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

Your staff should know how they are expected to perform and communicate as a whole, as well as on specific channels. Establish clear and consistent standards or internal guidelines for tone, vocabulary, and style to ensure agent success and explain why those standards are the way they are.

SLAs are promises that you make to your customers. They keep your organization and staff accountable. SLAs often differ by channel, type, or severity of an issue, and/or customer segment. They should be time-contingent and consider how quickly agents can realistically deliver without sacrificing service quality.

Response SLAs ensure that customers aren’t left waiting for a reply, and that agents promptly acknowledge their inquiry. (Think: how quickly should agents send the first live chat message? For example, you might promise your customers to respond to emails within 24 hours, but to SMS and social messages within 1 hour.) The right response SLA will show current and prospective customers that you value their time and are attentive to their needs and expectations.

Comm100 SLA configuration ensures that when a message comes in from a customer, it gets immediately prioritized or deprioritized in the agent’s queue by pushing it up or down their list of messages and tagging it accordingly. Messages that are at risk of missing your SLAs will turn red, while those in good shape will be green, both including the time to or since expiry. If your omnichannel solution doesn’t do this, then your agents will need more explicit training and reiterating on how to prioritize messages.

Pro Tip

Live chat users expect to be connected to an agent in a minute or less during online business hours. On Facebook, 85 percent of customers want a response from companies within six hours, while 64 percent of customers on Twitter expect a response within an hour. By understanding what customers expect for each channel, you can prioritize your responses according to what response times they deem reasonable.

2. Use routing rules to take advantage of agent skillsets

Routing allows you to connect customers with the right person, at the right time, instantly and automatically. In digital omnichannel systems, routing rules can be established and applied across all channels. Customers will automatically be sent to the person or team that can best serve them, lowering agent handover and yielding more efficient service.

You get to determine your routing rules based on what matters most to you. Depending on your team’s current workflow, you can use routing rules to distribute inbound queries based on the following:

Channel: Routing by channel sends customers to agents who are most adept to deal with that specific channel. This works well for teams that have structured their workflow and training around specializing in channels.

Example

Danny reaches out to a company publicly through a Facebook post. His query is automatically transferred to Jennifer, who specializes in responding to public Facebook messages and trained on when to consult the marketing team for PR advice.

Customer journey: Does your customer need to connect with the support department or the sales team? Are they looking for information about a product or for help with an order? By automatically routing customers to the right department or agent based where they are in their journey or what department they need to contact, you can convert more leads into customers and offer better support.

Example

Anna contacts a company via live chat hoping to speak with a support agent. The pre-chat form asks her to specify the nature of her request. Anna selects “Billing” and is automatically routed to Lucas, a customer support agent who is trained addressing billing inquiries.

Past contact history: Companies can establish routing rules based on a customer’s status or profile with the company, enabling them to easily connect VIP customers to their dedicated account manager, angry customers to an agent who is familiar with their issue, and more. This can be done easily by designating customers as VIPs within your CRM system – more on this below.

Example

David is corresponding with Tom for help with an ongoing, high-priority issue. Because David has been assigned to Tom in the system, he will automatically be routed to him whenever he comes online during business hours.

Region: If your company has branches for different regions, you can route customers to the correct branch based on their location data. This is a good approach if your organization has region-specific products, offers, or promotions, and can easily be implemented using the Multiple Campaigns feature in Comm100.

Example

Example: Zach reaches out to a large automotive dealership with a sales question on Facebook Messenger. He is asked to input his zip code to be connected to an agent (on the company’s webpage, location information could be automatically retrieved based on his IP address). Because Zach is located in the Northeastern United States, he is automatically connected with the appropriate agent who is in his time zone, and who knows about the vehicles and prices available in his region.

Language: Enterprise-level digital omnichannel solutions like Comm100 have automatic translation for over 100 languages, enabling agents to have a two-way conversation no matter where they are in the world and what language they speak. Still, if your organization has a large international audience, you will want to route customers according to their language to ensure that they are served by appropriate agents. This can be done automatically based on reported browser language or the language that the customer selects on your webpage.

Example

Camila reaches out to a travel agency via SMS. Her mobile carrier identifies her as a coming from a Spanish speaking country. Thanks to automatic routing rules, she is sent to an agent who is fluent in Spanish and is ready and happy to serve her.

Pro Tip

Thoughtful planning and a deep awareness of the customer journey are key when it comes to routing. You can have multiple routing rules and prioritize them according to what takes precedence. For example, if you have a non-English speaking customer, it may be more important to route them to someone who speaks their language rather than someone who specializes in the channel they are connecting from.

3. Designate red carpet treatment for your VIPs

One of the perks of digital omnichannel is your ability to identify and serve your VIPs wherever and whenever they come calling (i.e. on any channel).

Your VIPs are your company’s most important customers, as defined by you. You might give VIP status to business partners, A-list prospects that match your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile), big spenders, influencers, and certain upset customers (such as ones who have previously flamed your brand on a public platform). Click the link for a list of the profiles that every company should consider making VIP.

Once you have identified your most valuable VIPs and tagged them in your CRM, use your digital omnichannel platform to design a consistent red-carpet treatment for them. Here are some of the ways that you can give your VIPs the customer experience they require:

Designate an account manager

79 percent of business buyers say it’s critical to interact with a salesperson who is a trusted advisor and adds value to their business — not just any old sales rep. By giving top-tier VIPs a direct line of communication to their respective salespeople and account managers, you can boost conversions while also increasing the quality of your online relationship.

Offer proactive white-glove assistance

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help a VIP that is visiting your website. Extend exclusive care by offering your support before they even ask. With proactive chat, companies can automate messages that align with each customer’s situation and engage them when they need it most. By coupling proactive assistance and personalization, you will create a truly VIP experience. (For example, if a high-profile banking client comes on, a message can automatically be sent to them saying “Hi [Salutation] [Last Name], how can I help you today?”)

Provide audio and video chat

Like any great relationship, face time is key to developing trust and rapport with your customers and prospects. Switching the live chat to an audio or video call (all within the same browser) can help you build a closer relationship with your VIPs and troubleshoot queries faster. It’s also cheaper for your organization than a phone call and better for your VIPs too, especially if they are contacting you internationally!

video chat

Audio and video chat is made easy using Comm100 to provide a personalized experience and often faster resolution.

Pro Tip

Identify your VIPs with a tag in your CRM. That way, your agents immediately recognize the type and priority level of each VIP when they reach out. For example, a VIP could be named “VIP-Spend 5” if they are a high-priority big spender, and “VIP-Upset-2” if they are a medium priority upset customer.

Assigning them this status can also initiate unique SLAs (service level agreements) in your customer engagement platform, such as how quickly the agent needs to respond to the VIP.