“Often, but not always” is of course the right answer (we say this, even knowing that some customers may take umbrage at our words!)
Software suppliers like ourselves often need to practice proactive development; we need to think, plan and act ahead, reaching well beyond expressed market requirements to think through the next best thing(s), that if realised, will lead to delighted customers.
We need to think outside of our comfort zones and design constraints and allow our products to be adapted and sometimes reengineered to meet the challenges that we suspect, or know, lie ahead.
What we saw ahead some years ago – now the requirement du jour – was unsiloed, concurrent omnichannel communications.
This has arrived largely due to the single most ubiquitous device to invade our lives in recent memory, the smartphone. It is smart, but much more than a phone; it is an “any which way, on demand” communication device. It has encouraged us all to develop rich multimedia skills, doing many things simultaneously on these devices, in a way which is second nature.
Consider two implications of this experience for contact centres. It means that:
1. Consumers now expect contact centers to welcome smartphones in the way consumers actually use them, communicating with agents via chat, SMS, WhatsApp, phone, email, etc, often concurrently.
2. Agents too are now expected, indeed required, to handle many different voice and text sessions simultaneously. Of course, no vendor worth his salt will do less than offer support for all such channels. But that’s not good enough. What is really needed is the ability for the agent to handle many such different media sessions concurrently; not in disconnected silos.
Asking too much of agents? Not so. Think again how they all use their smartphones. The ability for agents to multi-task, across all media types, makes for much more interesting job experiences and cuts staff turnover, which is a major cost for many contact centers.
Going back to our opening theme about thinking ahead, we started planning to provide support for all different media types concurrently some years ago, before it even figured on people’s wishlists. It has been a big investment but the right decision.
If you are not getting what we call “omnichannel on steroids” from your supplier, feel free to make contact.
For more information about Sytel’s products just talk to us.