IT Center Blog

Not only multi- and cross-, but now also omnichannel!

January 25th, 2021 | by

As the single point of contact (SPoC) for customer support at IT Center Services and selected university services, customer satisfaction is a top priority for us. To make it especially convenient for you, we therefore offer several channels for contacting us. So you can reach us not only by phone and mail, but also by chat and via the ticket portal, you can leave messages and comments on Twitter, Facebook and here on the blog, and you can like us on YouTube. This means that we have several channels (multichannel).

The changeover to a so-called omnichannel tool enables us to design input channels more clearly.
Source: Own illustration

But more than that, these input channels are rudimentarily linked to each other. A typical example of this linkage (cross-channel) is the recording of an inquiry by telephone, which is then – if it cannot be clarified immediately – answered promptly, usually by mail.

Now we go one step further and gradually implement the so-called omnichannel approach. This is a real fusion of different communication channels. This means that there should no longer be a break in communication for you either. For example, if you first discuss a problem with the telephone hotline and then switch to e-mail, you should be able to continue to receive advice there seamlessly in the long term without having to start over again with the problem description.

But from the beginning and one after the other:

The increasing number of communication channels over the years also requires increased attention from support staff. After all, they have to keep an eye on all the input channels.

But the variety of input channels also results in numerous tools for processing. Support staff are thus forced to keep track of many input channels in addition to their other tasks to ensure internal and external communication. This work was previously supported in part by the ACD system, which distributed telephone calls to freelance employees. Now in the HomeOffice, this is also no longer necessary. As a result, response times may currently be longer than usual.

Apart from the fact that the ACD system is already more than 10 years old and therefore no longer meets current requirements (e.g. Voice-over-IP), it is also unable to route calls according to current criteria. Thus, even before the lockdown, it was clear that a new system was needed – an omnichannel software, in order to be able to provide you with comprehensive, customer-friendly and fast support in the long term. After market analyses and consultations with the staff councils and the data protection officer, as well as several tests, the time has now come.

The changeover to a so-called omnichannel tool will enable us to organize input channels, primarily telephony, more clearly so that we can receive and work on your inquiries more effectively (in terms of both time and content). In other words, we want to optimize the work within the support department so that more qualified call combinations are created, which can greatly reduce the processing time and resolution time.

What does this mean for telephone support in the future?

Since the new system is web-based, it also works in the home office. This means that we are also returning to the familiar telephone number 0241 / 80-24680.

Until further notice you can still reach us on 0241/80-24687.

In the future, callers to the IT service desk will first be asked to assess or categorize their problem so that we can take this into account directly when forwarding the call and match it to our employees. This “categorization” of the inquiry by the caller now enables us, through internal process improvements and system adjustments, to determine an appropriately qualified contact for the respective concern. This targeted – so-called skillbased – forwarding is intended to increase both the solution rate, i.e. the resolution of the problem directly in the conversation, and the speed of processing and thus also overall satisfaction with the support.

After the GoLive of the call distribution, which is also possible in the HomeOffice, on 01.02.2021, the implementation of the English language in the query as well as the inclusion of the chat support in the omnichannel system will take place in a next step.

In the medium term, we want to bundle all useful input channels in one interface in order to improve quality and satisfaction both on the user side and among our own employees. The long-term goal is the realization of a general “skill-based routing” – also for ticket distribution.

So stay tuned to see what else awaits you in the future. We’ll be in touch again shortly before the changeover 😉

Responsible for the content of this article is Tanja Wittpoth-Richter.

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