Making the move to become a multichannel contact center might seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be a swift plunge into the deep end. First, dip in your toes and test the temperature of the water.
Identify One Channel & Involve Agents
Take a look at the different channels out there, and see which one your customers are using most. If you’re not certain, talk to your agents. As your front line, they have considerable exposure to customers, which leads to insights you can utilize. If you discuss the move to a new channel with your agents and involve them throughout the process, it’s more likely they will feel invested in the success of the new channel. This topic is explored more in “Building a Better Agent Experience in the Multichannel World,” a presentation given by Sarah Stealey Reed at this year’s ICUC.
Tip: Want to know where to start? In a recent webinar hosted by inContact and ICMI, it was reported that email is the most common second channel, followed by chat.
Build a Structured Plan & Select Participants
Once you have selected a channel you want to pilot, put a plan in place that answers the following questions:
- What channel will you implement?
- How many agents/customers will be involved?
- What are the guidelines for the new channel?
- What is the length of the pilot program?
- What results do you want to accomplish?
- How will you measure those results?
A pivotal part of your pilot will be which agents you select to participate, and that will be determined by the channel you want to adopt. For example, if you’re looking at testing chat, you might look to your millennial agents because this is a medium where they’re quite comfortable. Also, be sure the agents you select have strong writing skills and are able to craft emails or texts that are clearly focused on meeting the needs of your customer.
Tip: Want to get the best input on your pilot program? In the webinar mentioned earlier, a critical point is that you should select agents who can provide constructive ideas/feedback on the pilot.
Implement the Plan & Evaluate
During implementation, it’s important to gather feedback throughout the process. If a part of the pilot isn’t working, don’t be afraid to make changes on the fly. Again, listen to your agents. If you’ve selected the right team, they should be able to give clear, concise feedback on what’s working and how to fix what isn’t going well. Document the results so you have a clear picture of how well the pilot program went. After you’ve compiled the results, you can determine whether or not the channel you’ve tested meets your needs.
Tip: Did the pilot go well? If it did, gradually increase the number of agents who are using the channel you selected until it is implemented across your entire contact center.