These days, phone calls are no longer our primary method of communication. With that in mind, it only makes sense that they aren’t the only way contact centers do business, either.
The multichannel call center is the most common approach to customer service in the modern day. However, many owners and operators are still struggling to realize the full potential of a multichannel approach.
Are you and your team using every platform available to you and making the most connections with consumers or clients possible? If you’re not sure of your answer, it may be time to consider a renewed focus on the multichannel call center approach. Here’s what you need to know to get you started:
What is a Multichannel Call Center Approach?
Before you can understand the reasons for shifting to a multichannel approach, you need to have a clear idea of what this model is.
A multichannel contact center is any center that utilizes numerous platforms through which consumers can connect with agents. This may take the form of various ways to customers to make the first move toward connection, such as allowing customers to reach out through phone, text, email, or social media. It may also entail an outbound center that reaches out to leads created through various platforms and in which those communications are actually dispersed across the various platforms, as well.
The most important factor in multichannel success is a diverse offering of methods for contact. Telephone calls are still the primary source of connection for call centers, but today’s consumers can also be reached through platforms like email, text or instant messaging, and social media. These consumers are already spending time in these virtual spaces, so it only makes sense to perform outreach involving them. If your customers can connect with you in ways that they are already connecting with others every day, they are much more likely to be satisfied with their encounter with your company - and give you positive feedback as a result.
Benefits of Going Truly Multichannel
The biggest benefit of transforming your approach to that of a multichannel call center is that support for consumers and clients will be faster and more complete. Customers who have multiple ways to contact support agents or who can be contacted via various platforms that they are already using are much more likely to be satisfied with their experience with a company. Likewise, these numerous channels make it easier to support consumers regardless of the time of day or other challenges that might prevent service in the traditional setting.
With a multichannel call center model, you can capture a comprehensive picture of your consumer and their needs. When you offer multiple channels, your customers are likely to jump between them. As an example, a consumer may begin with self-service through your online FAQ page, only to find that they need additional support. They may then choose your live chat feature, but ultimately end up using a voice call to clarify their point further.
When this happens, the information from all of these channels can be curated into a single place, showing your agent the process that the consumer has undergone and what information may have been collected along the way. This streamlines the process of communication and makes serving each customer easier and more efficient.
Another big benefit of a multichannel approach is that your consumers are likely to have a more positive opinion of your company or the brand you represent. This is important, especially if you are an outbound call center. Consumers are more likely to engage with your brand if they feel like they can trust you - something that having support offered through multiple channels can foster.
Multichannel approaches also allow for greater success in inbound centers. They provide a better opportunity for cross-selling and up-selling, both of which are vital to increasing profit. When you have more information for each consumer and more ways to make connections with them, making suggestions for sales is a more organic process. Any time you can make your agents’ jobs easier, it makes those agents more productive - and your center more successful!
Overcoming Multichannel Issues
Perhaps the biggest challenge to going to a multichannel call center is the fear that your agents and staff may not be up to the challenge of monitoring multiple channels. There is a common misconception that you need an agent assigned to every avenue of communication, forming teams for each when the frequency of communication becomes too high for a single person to handle. That would mean increasing your staff dramatically to meet these needs and make the transition to a true multichannel call center.
However, this belief isn’t accurate. While it would certainly be great to give every channel equal attention, this isn’t just unrealistic - it isn’t necessary.
Some of your channels will have far less traffic. You may see only a few messages a day from one channel, while another may bring in numerous messages each minute. It is important to identify which channels are bringing in the most traffic so that you can staff them accordingly.
In the end, you likely won’t have to make many changes to create a truly multichannel approach. The biggest change you are likely to require is an update to your technology, allowing for more automation and better communication. This will empower your current staff to rise to the new challenges of more channels and will make communicating with customers across various channels easier.
For the tools and technology you need to make the most of your multichannel call center approach, talk to the industry experts at ChaseData. We can help you outfit your operation with the software solutions necessary for maximizing your use of everything from traditional telephony to social media, SMS, and more. Be wherever your consumers need you to be! Give us a call today to learn more!