Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Anatomy of an Exceptional Multichannel Service and Support Organization

Magazine article CRM Magazine

The Anatomy of an Exceptional Multichannel Service and Support Organization

Article excerpt

There is no end to the number of tools and technology available for contact centers. Managers who are evaluating technology to invest in a multichannel support organization can potentially spend an inordinate amount of time determining what is needed and which vendor to select. When it comes to improving the customer experience, creating a satisfying work environment for agents and managers, and optimizing company operations (and profitability), only three components are fundamentally required: Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) and Call plus Screen Recording.

Focus on these three components first to establish a solid customer care technology foundation. Here is what you need to know:

CONTACT CENTER BUILDING BLOCKS

ACD

The ACD is responsible for receiving and routing calls and other types of customer interactions, such as e-mail or chat, to designated people in your organization. A robust ACD allows you to route calls based on agent skills, location, or other predetermined rules. The ACD will have a single queue that prioritizes one type of interaction over another. For example, an agent handling multiple channels will have a phone call prioritized over e-mail.

CRM

The CRM is the pivot point for multichannel customer care. It keeps track of customer information and shares the data across channels within the organization. This data can be used to identify highly valued customers, analyze the customer experience, and provide an opportunity to target customers with special offers.

Some ACD solutions integrate with popular CRM applications via a "media bar" that consolidates multichannel handling within an agent's familiar CRM screen perspective. Injection of telephony and other contact channels directly within an existing CRM enables tracking customers as they hop between channels, and makes it easier for agents to manage a mix of calls and messages.

Call and Screen Recording

Call and screen recording is an invaluable tool as it captures the voice of the customer for evaluating performance, ensuring regulatory compliance, and assisting with agent training. To be effective, the call recording solution must capture every channel transfer and agent transition as a unified call experience. It also must record the agent screen along with the voice recording to ensure the correct information is displayed at the appropriate time.

Cloud versus Premise Solutions

The benefits of the cloud typically outweigh premise solutions for the following reasons:

* Flexibility--Adding features, agent seats, and channels is easier to implement in the cloud. …

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