What is an Omnichannel Cloud Contact Center?
An omnichannel cloud contact center is a customer service function that uses hosted, cloud-based contact center software to handle interactions with customers from multiple channels in a way that allows customers to seamlessly switch back and forth across channels. These channels might include phone, chat, email, text (SMS), and social media. Customers often don't take a linear path when interacting with a business, meaning they might use a mobile app, email and a phone call to customer service in the course of a single transaction. They expect a consistent experience across customer service channels and for the transaction history to be available at every touchpoint. An omnichannel approach addresses these expectations.
As an example, a customer might initiate an online chat session because they have an issue with an order. After a couple of minutes, they decide that speaking to someone would be a more effective way to describe their issue. If they are chatting with an agent in an omnichannel cloud contact center, they're in luck – the agent will be able to elevate the chat with a phone call and reach out proactively immediately. The chat interaction remains active, so all customer context is right there. If the customer needed to switch channel – for example, they need to leave and instead of chatting, they now need to call from their cell phone, a transcript of the chat interaction will be available to the phone agent; that phone agent might even be the same one the customer was chatting with.
Executing this is a significant undertaking. Omnichannel cloud contact centers must have the right technology in place. This includes an automatic call distributor (ACD) that can intelligently route contacts from multiple channels. Omnichannel cloud contact centers also need workforce management systems that can forecast volume for the different channels and then schedule multi-skilled agents to handle that volume. Agent-facing tools in the omnichannel cloud contact center need to provide agents with customer data and conversation history regardless of channel. Because it's cloud-based, this technology is all hosted and maintained by the software provider.
Omnichannel cloud contact centers also have complex "people" details to tackle. Agents need to be capable of handling contacts from multiple channels, sometimes at the same time, and they must facilitate the seamless experiences. This has implications for how the omnichannel cloud contact center hires, trains, manages, monitors and motivates agents.
Organizations that are willing to undertake the transformation of basic call centers into omnichannel cloud contact centers will have more success meeting customer expectations. That is critical in today's experience economy.
How NICE can help
NICE CXone is the market leading contact center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world, including omnichannel cloud contact centers. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its contact (or call) center operations. CXone includes:
Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer. Omnichannel Session Handling enables agents to concurrently handle multiple interactions in different channels with different customers. It also empowers agents to switch channels or even add channels to an ongoing interaction, for example by calling a customer while in a chat interaction, or sending them an email while still on the phone.
Analytics – turns insights into results by making data relevant, easy to consume and actionable. These solutions include interaction analytics, customer surveys, reporting and performance management.
CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic contact center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.