Why your contact center requires multichannel capabilities

Now, it's not enough to simply offer a place for customer calls to be fielded - contact centers must also be able to connect with clients via a range of different mediums.

Contact centers are an integral part of today's businesses, enabling consumers to reach out and have their questions or concerns addressed. These essential sites have been part of companies for years now, and while customer service trends have changed, the importance of the contact center has only grown.

What has shifted, however, are the capabilities contact center agents need in order to effectively serve today's consumers. Now, it's not enough to simply offer a place for customer calls to be fielded – contact centers must also be able to connect with clients via a range of different mediums. This approach creates a multichannel contact center that can be a considerable asset to your business.

The advancement of today's contact centers

Current statistics paint a vivid picture of just how far contact centers have come in recent years, spurred by the increasing availability of mobile platforms and other technological tools:

  • ICMI Research found that 74 percent of consumers utilize three or more different channels to have their customer service needs addressed.
  • 81 percent of survey participants noted in The Harris Poll that they experience frustration when they are stuck on the phone for customer service assistance.
  • The same poll discovered that 64 percent of individuals have a preference toward texting as opposed to voice calling for contacting a customer service agent.

These numbers not only highlight the importance of addressing customer needs in an efficient way, but the importance of having access to multiple channels. In this way, consumers are able to leverage their preferred channel to reach out to contact center agents, and staff members can quickly answer questions or solve any issues.

Contact center agents must be able to connect with customers on their preferred channel. Contact center agents must be able to connect with customers on their preferred channel.

How does multichannel benefit the contact center?

While communicating with clients via text, voice and other mediums certainly offers advantages for customers, there are a number of benefits in this approach for the contact center as well.

Having access to a range of different channels enables contact center supervisors to better route calls and communications to agents with the right skill levels. For instance, a less experienced agent might prefer chatting with customers via a text platform as this enables them to look for information and solutions during the conversation. Phone calls, on the other hand, may be better handled by more experienced agents with the right etiquette skills.

According to a DMG Consulting white paper, multichannel call centers have also been found to have more productive staff members, as well as a lower number of customer complaints. What's more, these organizations also have reduced system maintenance and lower operating costs overall, making an investment in multichannel technology beneficial for the bottom line as well.

What to look for in a multichannel solution

"74% of consumers utilize three or more different channels."

In addition to providing several popular ways for customers to reach out to the contact center, decision-makers should also seek a solution that is fully integrated, noted TMCnet contributing editor Susan Campbell. This provides a seamless experience for customers, and enables the contact center to switch between channels without having to re-enter client information. This also helps reduce complaints while addressing each consumer's unique needs and preferences.

Scalability is also key. As your contact center grows, so too should the capabilities of your multichannel technology. This should include the ability to easily configure your solution to expand channels for new staff members.

To find out more about the benefits and requirements of an industry-leading multichannel contact center solution, contact Teo Technologies. Our advanced solution includes several key capabilities, including automatic call distribution, SMS texting, email, advanced agent interfaces and a web application designer. Visit our website for more information.