First Steps on the Contact Center Omnichannel Journey
Illustration by Devon Hong

Our omnichannel series has offered key insights from industry experts on the top challenges that contact centers face when transitioning their strategy from multichannel to omnichannel, the important first steps to take on your journey, how to prioritize customer channels, how to track the customer’s experience through multiple channels, and which metrics will ensure that all channels are aligned with the omnichannel strategy.

In this post, our omnichannel strategy panelists share their thoughts about which elements of the contact center QA process will need to be reevaluated to monitor performance across channels.


Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President of Strategy, OpenSpan:

When you’re talking omnichannel, there are many differences in the delivery of information during interactions, so it’s important to adapt the QA process to distill how a customer is receiving information and if that exchange is resulting in a positive customer experience. It’s definitely not a “one size fits all” QA evaluation, but the essentials still remain. Customers expect a professional, efficient and accurate interaction. Is the customer able to effectively communicate his or issue or request? How are they getting the information requested?


Vice President, Strategic Marketing, inContact:

The key is to re-evaluate… Much of this goes back to personnel. Just as your ninja agent in one channel is not so in another, you can’t use the same QA forms for both channels. “Did they greet the caller?” Can’t ask that, it’s not a caller, it is email. “Did they employ active listening?” That doesn’t work. You have got to change the way you evaluate your agents.

First, work out those kinks with a small group to discover and measure the quality of those interactions, to get it more nailed down. Regarding the process to change forms, think very carefully: How would I adapt this to email? For example phone calls are real-time synchronous with no delay. Email is absolutely synchronous; we expect a pause. Chat is kind of a blend; we know that there may be a delay, but the tolerance for delay is seconds.

When you think of QA standards and evaluation against those standards, always talk with other people who have gone before you, someone else who uses the channel. We connect our customers with other customers. Talk to others. Ask them: How did it go? What are you happy with? What else have you done?


Vice President & Practice Leader, Customer Experience, Verint Systems:

The traditional measures that we might use to monitor performance in the contact center—average handle time or first-call resolution—are not necessarily applicable to someone who’s responding to a chat interaction or to a social media interaction.

An important step is finding out what is important from the customer’s standpoint and marrying that with some of the more traditional contact center metrics that we measure and monitor on a very consistent basis. Consider which elements of the relationship the customer is going to find important. When I interact with a chat agent, how is it different from how I interact with an agent on the telephone? In large measure, we’re seeing organizations that are doing this successfully by first asking their customers what is important to them, and then incorporating those metrics into the standard scorecard elements. So we’re not using old approaches to measure the agents, but rather new approaches that take into account what the customer thinks and what they find to be important.


Vice President, Product Marketing & Solutions, Five9:

The first choice is whether to go with a best-of-breed QA approach for the individual channel or a QA platform that’s all-in-one and supports all of the channels. Many of the QA packages that are on the market today are just now adding multiple-channel support, so you will need to revise your scorecards and your criteria. For instance, how well do your agents capture the right tone for any particular social media channel? Or how well do they communicate via live chat, and can they do it quickly while handling multiple chats at one time?

You need to be able to measure and compare the consistency across all the channels, as well. You can do this by looking at your metrics, your KPIs and the scoring across the channels. Make sure that the technology you use supports all of the channels so that you can drill down per channel, per team, per agent, and slice and dice it a variety of ways.

Finally, you have to look at things like text analytics and desktop analytics. Of course, in a traditional contact center, you have to record everything. So now you have to look at screen recordings, which take up a lot of bandwidth and a lot more storage. You have to think about how long you need to keep those recordings, and whether you’re going to record 100% of the transactions. For instance, one of our customers records 100% of the calls and 20% of the text interactions right now. You’ll need to consider all of that.


Innovation Center Manager, Calabrio:

Businesses need to review and edit existing evaluation forms to accommodate all channels within their strategy. This includes in-store, phone and email survey data to gather direct customer feedback. While all evaluation forms, regardless of channels, should be in line with the overall contact center strategy, media-specific questions should be created for different channels.

To read the full Q&A panel with more insights on the omnichannel evolution and how it will impact your center, download the article here.