Around the “Omnichannel Agent”: its Technical and Change Management approach.

The Context & problem:

The latest Digital Transformation Customer Service Opportunities i have been actively working on involve Odigo CTI from Prosodie-Capgemini and Salesforce Service Cloud. These opportunities have all been around the “Omnichannel Agent” with big retail brands such as Co-Op and Auchan, globally.

The problem with the “omnichannel agent” approach is that, whilst it is technically feasible to deliver an Universal Queue to agents in Contact Centers, solving this challenge does hold a business flip side: HR “change management”.

The Story:

On this end, the latest upgrade we, Olivier Fize [Product Owner and Head Developer at Prosodie-Capgemini] and a humble servant, did to the Odigo CTI is a thin layer of integration that allows a Service Cloud Agent to be available on ALL Salesforce Digital Channels + the Odigo Voice Channel where voice is priority. How does it work? If you are familiar with CTIs and Salesforce’s Omnichannel module the following should read fairly easily.

Basically, we’re leveraging the ability to handle key javascript events happening both at the Odigo CTI level to trigger other events to occur at the Omnichannel module. For example: as a call comes in, an Agent is “alerted” for this call, the Omnichannel module is triggered to change its status to “Busy on Voice Call”. Upon hanging up that very call, both Odigo CTI and Omnichannel modules go back to being “available” to receive interactions.

A Use Case:

If an Agent is doing emails (or any digital channel for that matter) and a call comes in: the Omnichannel module is “blocked” so that NO other digital interactions comes in it, UNTIL, the call is not resolved and hung up.

This brings a new level of configurational opportunities: we showed a really nice use case at Auchan and they were blown away. The slide above shows that scenario: a complete Omnichannel experience handled by a single Agent that is able to manage Email, Chat and Voice channels all from within Salesforce Service Cloud. The use case leverages indeed Odigo CTI from Prosodie-Capgemini and Salesforce Service Cloud’s Omnichannel Module.

The End & flip side of the coin:

All of the above is good and well. However, that’s only the “tech part”. It is not because technically we can achieve Universal Queues that agents will “magically” be able to handle Omnichannel requests. Why? Well, to make a long story short, answering the phone (even while being the best at it) has little to do with how one should reply to customer complaints over email for instance.

Agents who excel in “Voice” won’t necessarily be as good as they are in that very channel as they would be in written text-channels for instance. Furthermore, managing emails isn’t the same “vibe or flow” as it is to manage short text related channels. And that is the flip side of this coin. The “Omnichannel” Agent experience requires both technology and humans prepared to tackle the “all channel experience”. Having the tech problem sorted isn’t enough, there is a change management revolution that needs to take place to fully grasp all benefits.

The “Omnichannel Agent” approach seems to be a topic of increased interest in Europe. It is not necessarily the case the US. At the end of day, it is from the End-Consumer’s point of view that Company’s need to provide seamless omnichannel experiences. There are many other productivity related and enhancement areas in business tech other than solely optimising service through a universal queue, but this, is likely a topic for another article.

Thank you for reading. Please, feel free to provide your input.


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