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Perhaps you’ve found yourself needing to return an item recently. If the return was a bit complicated, odds are your experience was something like this:

    • Open a discussion with a chatbot. Provide a few details about what you need.
    • Trigger a live chat with a representative. Provide those details again.
      • The issue can’t be resolved in live chat. Get in a line for a phone call.
      • Speak with a call center agent. Provide the same details.
      • Get bumped to a manager. Explain your details again.
      • Finally resolve your issue. Receive an email with your details.

    Of course, this process isn’t limited to shopping and returns. Similar procedures are in place for all sorts of customer-business communications, bouncing from AI to live chats to phone calls and email. What we want to achieve is the best case, where the experience is seamless, and there are no disconnects between any of the steps.

What does the future of customer service hold? Personalization of the consumer experience is what differentiates good client communications from bad and is the key to being competitive in this market. To increase both customer and representative satisfaction, the process must be omnichannel, seamless and – most of all – still have a human touch at the right time.

Tip #1: Meet Your Customers Where They Are with Omnichannel Communications

By this point, we’re familiar with the multichannel model of reaching consumers. Physical stores, websites, emails, phone calls, apps and social media are all channels through which we can engage. If you have more than one way to communicate with customers, your business is multichannel.

The problem with the multichannel practice is that often there is no real sense of connection between the different modes. If each channel is treated as an independent medium, information can often be lost when the customer transitions from one to another, and it can feel like an inefficient, uncaring process.

The concept of omnichannel ties all the different aspects of multichannel communications together in a thoughtful way. An effective omnichannel presence maintains continuity through each contact method, ensures that your agents are knowledgeable at each stage of the process and feels like a personalized, holistic experience for the customer.

All-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) platforms create consistent customer experiences no matter what method they choose to use, because they keep interaction histories ready for representatives in one place.

Tip #2: Create Seamless Transitions from Channel to Channel

Say your customer opens a help ticket through their browser, but then has to leave their desk. They’ll want to be able to check in on the status of their issue from their mobile device. If the ticket needs to be elevated to a phone call, the agent should be able to easily access their history and offer updates.

Seamless communications are also efficient communications. Needing to repeat the same information over and over again can be exhausting and frustrating for customers. Being able to transition easily from one channel to the next saves time and effort on behalf of both the customer and agent, ensuring faster resolution and higher satisfaction.

Agents also need to be able to see a customer’s history or route queries to the right person in the organization. Having access to the right set of tools sets agents up for successful interactions, making them feel empowered to help customers every day.

Multi-modal continuity may seem like a lot of work that has to happen behind the scenes, but with the right call center technology it can be fully integrated into the process. Services like click-to-dial maintain the chain of communication and allow customers to easily reach a representative to continue the discussion over the phone.

Tip #3: Bring in the Human Element

With more and more interactions moving into the digital space, it can be easy to forget that there are real people on the other side of the keyboard. When it comes to a truly personalized experience, though, it’s important to make sure the human element comes through.

Now more than ever, the practice of empathy can go a long way even in professional interactions. Letting your customers know that you sympathize with their issues and are working to resolve them helps keep emotions calm through the process. It also helps to remind customers that the agents on the other end of the phone or keyboard are people, too.

Retaining and easily referencing interaction histories helps customers feel like their issues matter. Agents with access to this greater depth of knowledge can resolve problems more efficiently and gain the trust and respect of their clients.

A Holistic Way to Communicate

The key to distinguishing yourself as a customer service leader in the future will be directly tied to your ability to offer clients a personalized, seamless and empathetic omnichannel experience. Mitel offers solutions that enable your business to respond to customer needs with flexibility and expertise.

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