A Guide To Multichannel Contact Centers
- Multichannel contact centers use one software platform to manage multiple customer-facing support channels.
- Multichannel contact centers can enhance the customer experience with a wide range of communication tools and insights.
- Customer support channels that multichannel contact centers use include phone, email, SMS texting, social media, and outsourced live chat support.
- The main goal of a multichannel contact center is to streamline all of a company’s communication tools to provide a satisfactory customer experience, a seamless journey across multiple touchpoints, and an improved level of customer care.
What Is a Multichannel Contact Center?
manage multiple customer-facing communication channels, such as voice, email, webchat, social media, and SMS texting. Multichannel contact center agents can connect team members and customers across multiple channels and switch between channels at any time during a customer interaction.
Additionally, multichannel contact centers can also enhance the customer experience with a wide range of communication tools and insights, such as:
- Real time and history data and analytics
- Customer preferences
- AI-powered assistance
- Searchable internal knowledge bases and help desks
- Contact routing and customer interaction summaries
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) integration
The main goal of a multichannel contact center is to simplify the way all of a company’s communication tools are used to provide an efficient customer experience, an easy journey across multiple touchpoints, and better customer care.
Essential Customer Support Channels for Multichannel Contact Centers
There are a few essential customer support channels that multichannel contact centers use:
Voice Calls for Inbound and Outbound Call Centers
The most common customer support channel is using phone communication to follow up with leads, make sales, and solve customer problems. By using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, multichannel contact centers connect with customers through internet-based voice calls rather than traditional telephone networks. This streamlines the customer’s journey to solving their issues.
Common VoIP technology features that benefit multichannel contact centers include:
- iOS and Android mobile applications
- Call forwarding, transfer, routing, and hold options
- Call recording and transcription
- Call queuing
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Customer and call data integration with CRM systems
The second most common customer support channel that multichannel contact centers use for customer communication and support is email.
Email is commonly used to:
- Send newsletters and welcome messages
- Reach out to customers that left the queue without a solution
- Send purchases and sales receipts
- Introduce new products and services
- Announce upcoming events and sales
- Send automated messages using AI technology
- Follow up about support or sales interactions with customers requesting more details
Agents at multichannel contact centers also send SMS text messages from desktops and mobile devices to communicate with customers and team members. Users can send two-way SMS and MMS messages to their internal team or mass, one-way automated text messages to customers. By using texting as a customer support channel, multichannel contact centers ensure customers receive details about products and services, shipping notifications, company announcements, and more.
Using social media as a customer support channel is fairly new to the contact center industry. However, research shows that using social media as a customer service channel has increased from 33% to 55% since last year. Today, many multichannel contact centers are using AI-supported chat bots or live agents to offer customer support through company-branded social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook.
Outsourced Live Chat Support
Outsourced live chat support includes embedding an instant messaging feature directly into the backend of a company’s website to allow customers to chat online with a live agent or chatbot at any time. Chatbots can handle simple customer support inquiries, like basic purchase questions, newsletter sign ups, and tracking information. Chatbots can also categorize customers based on their query by gathering information about their needs to transfer them to the right live agent. Live agents can also use outsourced live chat support to offer in-depth support to multiple customers at once, making it easier to give personalized service or product recommendations and assist customers with recurring issues.
Hearing from a call center agent is often the first interaction a customer has with your business, so it’s critical to choose the right kind of call center for your needs.
The Benefits of Multichannel Contact Centers
There are many benefits you can get out of partnering with a multichannel contact center. Below are some of the most impactful benefits of working with a contact center that specializes in managing multiple customer support channels:
Improve Customer Service
Since multichannel customer service software allows agents to easily navigate between channels and different agents, multichannel contact centers improve the customer service experience. Contact centers with knowledge bases and CRM systems can also gather data across multiple departments and update the software instantly, so new agents can quickly access customer information to save time and avoid asking the customer questions they’ve already answered to prevent frustration.
Collect and Review Unique Data Metrics
Multichannel contact centers provide you with important performance metrics, monitor KPIs, perform data analysis, and send customized and pre-made reports. By working with a contact center that provides you with extensive data and metrics, you can assess the effectiveness of the center’s business strategies.
Below are some common metrics that multichannel contact centers keep track of:
- Average Call Abandonment Rate
- Percentage of Calls Blocked
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score
- Average Time in Queue
- Average Handle Time
- First Call Resolutions
Improve Agent Performance
Multichannel contact centers improve team and individual agent performance by collecting call center metrics. Each call center has its own way of measuring performance, but there are four common multichannel contact center metrics considered industry standards for measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) that reveal customer satisfaction insights:
- Customer experience
- Agent productivity
- Call initiation
- Call center operations
By measuring these four areas, multichannel contact centers make sure their agents are maximizing customer satisfaction and maintaining high performance.
ListenTrust, a Multichannel Contact Center Delivering Awesomeness
ListenTrust is a multichannel contact center that delivers awesomeness in everything we do, from email and social media to live chat and phone communication services. By striving for improvement in four key areas—passion, people, product, and process—our core values ensure our customers are always successful. Contact us today to learn more about our customer support channel solutions.