Anyone who plays in the customer service space has heard of the omnichannel approach, encompassing a variety of media and tools for optimum engagement. Organizations that wish to remain competitive are upping their customer service games and embracing the omnichannel approach in the race to offer the best customer experience possible.
The challenges arise, according to a recent blog post from Contact Center Pipeline, when contact centers attempt to integrate a variety of multimedia communications channels into their existing ACD agent interfaces. While ACD interfaces are capable of managing a variety of media types and customer interaction channels, CRM functionality can overlap with traditional ACDs and complicate the entire process. Full integration can become difficult and reporting may be compromised if contacts are routed by different applications.
An emerging technology solution for omnichannel customer service is the Customer Engagement Hub (CEH). Described by Gartner (News - Alert) as an architectural framework, the CEH ties together multiple systems in an effort to optimally engage customers. It also enables personalized and contextual customer engagement via humans, artificial agents and sensors, across all interaction channels. Another benefit of the CEH is that it breaks down organizational silos by connecting and synchronizing all departments, including sales, marketing and customer service.
Clearly the CEH is an important tool for the omnichannel communications model, and many ACD vendors are upgrading their solutions to offer CEH functionality. A new breed of vendor is also emerging, offering standalone CEH solutions that will easily integrate with existing technology investments including websites, mobile apps, email servers, social media, ERP, CRM and knowledge aids. The key benefits of these types of offerings are that they are designed to integrate seamlessly and with minimal disruption to operations.
Additional benefits of CEH include support for real-time monitoring and context of the entire customer journey, a single desktop interface, connectivity with data and applications, process building and automation and valuable analytics.
The advent of omnichannel customer engagement and the CEH is creating disruption throughout the contact center industry. Traditional tools are being overhauled to meet the demands of omnichannel interactions while CEH upstarts are gaining traction in the market. Organizations that are serious about competing in the omnichannel customer service climate would do well to ensure their technology solutions are properly integrated to offer the best customer service, insights and management.