Unless you’ve been living under a rock or was confined in solitude, you must be aware of omnichannel and the inordinate significance it holds in the digital age, where technology is practically disrupting communication and interaction models. Customers of today, a large chunk of them being millennials, use multiple touch-points or channels to interact with companies and brands, and expect a friction-less and integrated experience while switching channels (channel hopping). This colossal change strikes at the heart of contact center tradition around the world, forcing them to integrate existing and new channels for exemplary service, or face extinction.
Omnichannel support or customer experience is incorporated or being incorporated in many industries, and BPOs are no strangers to this. The BPO value proposition that once centered around labour arbitrage and economies of scale have changed to meet the demands of the omnichannel customer.
Regardless of the BPO’s clientele comprising of marquee customers, top-labels, etc, all are influenced by consumer behaviour, feedback, and opinion. As a result, BPO providers are morphing into omnichannel contact centers to build a wider arsenal of communication tools – Voice, Email, SMS, IVR, Web Chat, Social Media, etc. This triggered the shift from being channel-focused to creating an ecosystem of channels where channels become irrelevant and only customer experience in entirety matters.
A recent report by Aberdeen Group suggests that companies with strong omnichannel customer engagement strategies in place see a 9.5% Y-o-Y increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for those with weak omnichannel capabilities. Similarly, strong omnichannel companies see a 7.5% Y-o-Y decrease in cost per contact, compared to 0.2% decrease for weak omnichannel companies.
BPOs handle a great deal of data on transactions, sales, processing and customers by leveraging customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning systems. With an omnichannel strategy in play, the providers can gather real-time data on communication channels and the sentiment of the customer when interacting using text analytics. Text analytics uses algorithmic approaches and natural language processing methods. They can then make use of this data to conduct data analysis to determine key process indicators (KPIs) and monitor the flaws encountered in a specific communication channel.
The key success factor of BPO providers wishing to improve their partners’ customer experience will be their ability to manage multiple channels as a ‘stand-alone’ activity by eliminating the archaic model of siloed communication, and train personnel to manage interactions seamlessly. This is made possible by investing in a contact center software that is capable of delivering the true omnichannel experience customers demand.