Today’s reality is that customer support channels are more than just voice calls, IVR menus, and email. These channels are still popular, but they can also be time-consuming for agents and customers.
More channels are being added like messaging through SMS/MMS, Rich Communication Services and website chat. Along with messaging, support in apps is becoming a standard. Native app support reduces friction by allowing important customer information to be shared with agents automatically.
Support is also improving with responsive self-service options like an artificial intelligence-driven Knowledge Base or FAQ answers, implementation of chatbots for simple issue resolution, and increased development and integration of machine learning and AI into support platforms. Combined with customer data sets, these technologies are enabling customers to find solutions without the help of a live agent.
While these advancements have all dramatically improved customer satisfaction, one area that is commonly lost in the shuffle is the agent experience? Are they using separate tools connected through loosely developed APIs? Is the CRM slow to pull customer information or update with information from other tools?
Enabling agents with a reliable and powerful platform will improve satisfaction across the board. How would a platform focused on the agent and customer experience improve support with multichannel support?
Here are five reasons.
Agents Focus on Customers, Not the Tools
Agents need to resolve problems quickly. Constant switching between tools can lead to spikes in customer wait times and handle times, which can prove to be costly.
The goal for customer support is closing issues with satisfied customers. That is accomplished when the agent is able to understand quickly, get relevant data from the CRM when needed, and use the best solution available.
Using a platform that intelligently integrates with your CRM and can be customized for preferred channels will enable agents to focus on helping customers.
Agents Master One Platform
Even though apps and programs can have similar workflows, none are identical. Newly hired agents have to learn the support process and ramp up before helping customers. Learning multiple apps and how they interact with each other can be confusing and increase agent training time.
Support organizations should use a platform that is built for multichannel communications natively. A platform built specifically for multichannel functionality offers agents the same workflow regardless of the channel they are using. By using the same workflow, agents can become more efficient with every customer interaction.
Workflow repetition increases agent efficiency as they get more comfortable, allowing them to solve more complex issues in a shorter amount of time.
Reduced Technical Maintenance Downtime
If a support team uses separate tools, it requires extensive management. Each time a tool is updated, IT will need to address these changes and ensure compatibility. IT will also need to make sure that updates to one tool don’t negatively affect other connected tools.
A multichannel platform will reduce IT maintenance and if that platform is cloud-based, then the platform vendor will manage all updates and maintenance. Agents log into their instance and have the latest version of the platform ready to go.
Collect Important Support Data
Data can be used to improve agent performance and support experience. From customer satisfaction surveys, voice call recording reviews, incoming request reports, and more, this data can improve the customer support experience.
Separate tools will produce reports that need to be combined and supervisors will need to decide on relevant data. Separate tools also won’t show the impact each tool has on one another. Through channel-specific metrics, support teams can gain more meaningful insights into how customers prefer to interact with support.
A channel-agnostic platform, focused on the customer experience, will highlight actionable trends. It will also reveal how different channels affect each other and where more improvements are needed.
Actionable data, agent feedback, and customer satisfaction surveys help improve the support experience. These real-time insights allow teams to make adjustments such as IVR tree modifications, or adding new options of FAQs within the mobile app.
A cloud-based platform that can be optimized in real-time and push changes instantly means that support will never be limited. The platform provider will handle back-end security and reliability management to ensure compatibility with your CRM. This allows support organizations to focus on always providing the best customer experience possible.
Support is never one set of options. It changes with buying trends, new product releases, and the calendar year. Allowing support organizations to manage their support tools internally means they are the leaders to their own success.
Agents are Brand Ambassadors
Agents will deal with a wide variety of customers, issues, and conversations. A support platform designed to help agents provide the same customer experience, regardless of the channel, will improve the customer experience.
A single instance agent experience, properly integrated with the CRM, with data reporting, and real-time platform optimizations are all small pieces that have a large impact on creating great customer support.
Customer support shouldn’t be a mix of separate systems connected through APIs and band-aid integrations. Today’s platforms have been freed from fixed software installations and now live in cloud-native, always available multichannel platforms.
Customers have more ways to contact support but expect the same experience all the time. Give your agents the tools to make this a reality.