As I’m writing this, the U.S. is still reeling from the Omicron variant. Most of us likely witnessed the effects of digital-first customer experiences as we texted, chatted, and emailed with major airlines and healthcare clinics to navigate the wild effect COVID had on our lives.
The past two years have accelerated the shift to hybrid, digital-first models for how consumers interact with brands. The future belongs to enterprises that can deliver intelligent, contextual, frictionless, and consistent customer experiences across all customer touchpoints and channels.
The Undeniable Shift to Omnichannel Customer Experiences
Research from PwC shows that growth in omnichannel experiences rose from 20% to more than 80% in 2020. According to Forrester, 63% of customers are happy to be served via chat, as long as they have the option to escalate the conversation to a live agent.
Web Chat is gaining popularity as a support channel because it is instant, accessible, and convenient for customers. If used effectively, Web Chat can absorb a substantial volume of simple support requests. Forrester Research says Web Chats are 17-30% cheaper than a phone call with faster resolution times.
Top Three Trends For Web Chat CX in 2022
Higher volumes of customer inquiries come with higher expectations. As digital-first customer initiatives continue to expand and mature, brands will face hurdles to provide consistent customer experiences across channels while ensuring conversations are captured, analyzed, and evaluated at scale to improve CX.
Here are three Web Chat trends to watch and how Observe.AI is meeting these new demands head-on with our Web Chat product suite.
Brands will continue to invest in data management technologies to achieve unified customer analytics.
At the core of every contact center, the omnichannel strategy is customer data. Today businesses struggle to measure performance across voice and chat channels because of data silos across people, processes, and technology. Teams need 100% visibility across voice and chat conversations to drive consistent customer experience.
By centralizing data flow, businesses can track how voice and chat channels are performing across key quality metrics like CSAT, script adherence, and agent empathy, and drill down into channel-specific metrics when they need to.
Let’s use efficiency KPIs as an example:
- Voice: On voice calls, the top efficiency metric to track is usually First Call Resolution Rate or Average Handle Time.
- Chat: On the other hand, Chat conversations are more dynamic. In most cases, live chat agents are handling more than one customer conversation at a time during business hours. Despite that multi-tasking, customers contacting an organization via live chat are still looking for a faster experience.
With Observe.AI Web Chat, CX leaders can correlate conversation analytics and uncover trends across voice and chat to make better business decisions.
AI and automation will be used to streamline and scale quality assurance and quality management workflows.
According to a recent study by MIT Technology Review, today's primary use case for AI-powered technologies is to streamline operational processes and increase productivity.
At Observe.AI, we use Conversation Intelligence to augment and assist QA Managers and Supervisors, helping them prioritize the right conversations to review while surfacing the most critical moments of each conversation that needs attention. They can evaluate large volumes of interactions 5X faster across voice and chat with a higher degree of accuracy, freeing up their time for higher-order work like coaching, strategy, and reporting.
Brands will unify agent performance and coaching workflows to deliver consistent experiences across digital customer experience channels.
As contact center tools and technologies continue to proliferate, operators must be mindful of tool sprawl and take steps to reinforce consistent processes across channels via agent onboarding, training, and coaching programs.
Agent performance and workforce satisfaction are often overlooked, and the stakes are high. According to McKinsey’s State of Customer Care survey, contact centers only average a 50 per cent retention rate for agents. When you lose a contact center agent, you don't just lose their subject matter expertise, but also the time investment that it took to hire, onboard, and train that employee.
Focusing on agent performance and coaching drives higher employee satisfaction and ultimately lower agent attrition. It also creates a consistent customer experience across channels like voice and chat, helping companies score high on customer satisfaction metrics and retain customer loyalty.
Through Observe.AI’s Coaching product suite, contact center operators provide targeted coaching plays across voice and chat channels. By delivering targeted and contextual coaching to every agent, CX leaders can systematically improve agent performance KPIs like average resolution time, empathy scores, and subject matter expertise to deliver consistent, positive customer experiences.
Higher touchpoints with managers can improve agent performance and workplace satisfaction. Customers that use Observe.AI Agent Performance & Coaching features reported a 4X increase in the number of coaching sessions managers and supervisors completed over a three-month period.
The future of digital-first, omnichannel CX is rooted in deeply understanding your customers—this means capturing intelligence from every interaction, then using that insight to meet customers on their preferred channels, create personalized experiences, and drive continuous improvement. By infusing AI into every layer of your customer experience, companies can unlock new levels of productivity, deliver world-class customer experiences, and better articulate the ROI and value the contact center brings to your business.
This is an exciting time to be building the next generation of contact centers. To learn more about how Observe.AI is doing this for companies using Web Chat, check out our product sheet linked below.