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Contact centers have developed at a rapid pace in the past decade. Up until 2008, the major focus around omnichannel was trying to get voice and video interactions up and running.

Now, omnichannel involves addressing social media, chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and a new concept of service delivery through text messaging.

Previously the primary point of contact for a customer, contact centers today are the final point of escalation in a journey through the company's web and mobile applications.

The modern customer demands self-service, which is evident by the number of applications used daily. The challenge this presents is when those applications don't allow customers to fully self-serve. In those instances, the contact center becomes the point of focus. Either through a phone call, web chat or SMS interaction, customers are expecting that the representative they work with will be able to resolve their issue quickly and effortlessly.

Watch the four-minute video below to see WWT Chief Technology Advisor Mirza Chughtai's presentation about the omnichannel evolution of contact centers at a WWT sales and engineering meeting.

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Creating a contact center that delivers a connected experience

Customer experience was a term commonly used in the past, but now, everyone is moving to the connected experience. This means providing the same exact format or omnichannel experience to not only your customers, but partners and employees as well.

To accomplish this connected experience, the omnichannel is becoming the main focus. Organizations must move away from just the integration layer and present omnichannel as the main driver of the full lifecycle of customer interactive management.

There are three key aspects to focus on when delivering effortless, customer-focused solutions.

  1. Contact centers must offer connected digital experiences, engaging customers or patients in new ways on mobile devices, in their homes, on the web or in stores. This can include providing highly personalized experiences, offers and loyalty programs.
  2. When an individual interacts with an organization, it is essential to provide an integrated experience that requires minimal effort for the customer. Omnichannel engagement should be the same, seamless experience whether on the web, through a mobile device, in-person, at kiosks or on phone calls.
  3. Engaging with customer analytics is crucial for delivering personalized experiences. Collecting and qualifying data around customer behavior, habits, wants, loyalty and interactions allows organizations to optimize sales and marketing efforts to better position and sell products, as well as provide quality customer service.

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Utilizing the contact center for sales and marketing

One of the biggest changes with the modern contact center is seen through its growing influence on how sales and marketing are being driven. With the evolution of data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), organizations can now define and visualize the entire customer journey at each point of engagement.

No more are organizations simply focusing on AI to recommend what products to buy or how to position their services. AI is now playing into customer behavior and automatically providing analytics for marketing automation tools, meaning products can be better focused and sold through the omnichannel's set criteria.

Early warning systems are becoming extremely relevant in regard to speech analytics and predictive data, which is a major area of focus for all contact center solutions today. Through proactive management using AI chatbots, organizations can more fully ensure effortless customer service.

In the past, if the customer is having a poor experience with an agent, they would have to ask for an escalation. By focusing on behavioral analytics in new contact centers, both the agent and customer's behavior can be monitored to watch for set keywords. The supervisor is then on stand-by for those captured keywords and can become a part of a call when needed, in order to take over that experience and make it positive for the customer.

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Creating a connected contact center ecosystem

One of the challenges for organizations is how to bring together the right set of technologies to deliver on the connected experience and develop the next-generation contact center. We are able to correctly position and implement these technologies through our technology practices that span software development, wireless and mobility, collaboration and big data analytics.

By viewing contact center solutions as part of a larger path toward enabling connected experiences, we help customers develop better engagement strategy, integrated disparate systems and deploy an architecture that enables their business.

If you're looking at existing or future contact center investments, consider our Contact Center Workshop.