The Digital Strategy, Driving Optichannel in your Omni-channel Call Centre

The word Optichannel or Opti-channel was taken from a conference I attended late last year. For me, it was almost like a penny dropping in my head. In almost every meeting I attended, I was asked about reporting and I often wondered if organizations did anything with the data that can be extracted from their current platforms. I found many companies have multiple processes or platforms being adopted in their call centre. Imagine the unstructured data that they are trying to pull together to make decisions for their business. In today’s omni-channel platforms, reporting is simplified and structured.

You will hear some of the below words used in many webinars and presentations around the world today. Ultimately the goal for every call centre or business is to deliver the best Customer Experience. Customer Service is assumed to be a group of agents in an organization to help the customer with a sales query or a service query or even a technical query. But how do you as the Customer Experience Manager know what the customers experience was?

What is Omni-Channel?

Omni-channel is taking all inbound or outbound interaction and channelling them into one single platform to enable organizations to simplify their communications. Once the interaction is complete, you can extract the recording and quality access the customers journey. This can also be done in real-time as the interaction is taking place.  

Technology is changing every day. Organizations are looking to change their current on-premises  legacy solutions to something more advanced, something that can drive efficiency in the workplace or even remotely. It is no longer just about the voice interaction. As society evolves so  has the social behaviour of the potential buyer. In our busy daily schedules, we often think of something that needs to be done and if we do not action immediately it becomes forgotten. In our busy schedules, who has 20 minutes to spare while interacting with an agent. , 20 minutes is taking up people’s valuable time. The customer is now looking for the quickest way to interact and in the shortest resolution time. Most people have smart phones and use social media to interact. Omni-channel platforms are simply becoming the future of many contact centre. 

What is Opti-channel?

I researched Opti-channel and Optichannel in google and it is interesting to find that different industries have interpreted the words with different meaning. Even the hyphen makes the word mean something completely different.

“Opti-channel in the finance sector aims to determine the optimal channel that a customer prefers for a specific activity” – quote from finextra.com. This is an interesting meaning as once again it speaks to customer interactions and defining the customer experience, simply to help the customer interact with your call centre in a simplified manor. This will become the optimized means of communication with that customer. 

What is Optichannel

My interpretation of Optichannel is taking all the structured data from your omni-channel contact centre and using the data to better your processes and systems to ultimately deliver a better customer experience. As above, Opti-channel is optimizing the communication channel for your customer. The fact that your omni-channel software was able to report on the preferred channel that your customer interacts is already driving your call centre to deliver a better customer experience.

The core focus of Optichannel is to help your agents be a better agent and to give the business better direction of where there could be shortfalls in the process. Your customers are demanding that personalized interaction on all mediums including  voice, email, SMS, What’s App, Facebook, Twitter or web chat. But how does your business or quality assurance manager know that the customer has felt that warm empathic interaction. Why is it important? 

We all have that instinct that guides us to make that final buying decisions. Depending on the value of your purchase, emotions and facts play a pivotal role in making that decision. If you have engaged with a sales agent and that agent showed empathy, you naturally start forming a bond of respect with that individual. You can feel the trust factor, knowing that the agent is giving you sound advice and not just trying to make the sale.

Digital Migration

Going from a traditional telephony system to the more modern digital cloud solutions requires a digital strategy. Once your organization has made that decision, it is vitally important to put a governance team in place to champion the process. Multiple discussions with the business heads, the call centre managers and do not forget to engage with the agent. Often the business makes all the decisions, but they do not take into consideration the pain points that the agents must deal with daily. Once the strategy is in place, the team can then source the best suited product for the business requirements. 

We often find that organizations, while asking about reporting and statistics do not realize that this is the most important data that their organization requires. This is when Optichannel comes into play. Imagine having all the data and reporting in one simple structured report. 

Optichannel is about enabling managers, supervisors, and agent to see a complete picture of their contact centres real-time operation. Continuous monitoring of all aspects including historical data and predictive analytics which is made available can help managers identify critical situations and allow for proactive responses.

Digital Migration to the Cloud

Many organizations that use traditional telephony platforms would have found it difficult to continue business as usual. Working from Home has become the focus for most companies as lock down continues to restrain companies from operating. Companies that have legacy equipment on-site will find it harder to migrate to cloud based on numerous reasons. Firstly, you could be tied into contracts.