The Impact of Self-Service on Multichannel Contact Centers

November 29, 2016 mellis

The Impact of Self-Service on Multichannel Contact Centers
Kevin McMahon
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 01:00 Multichannel Contact Center Self Service

The increasing customer-led shift toward self-service in digital channels has had a big impact on the multichannel contact center. Social customer service has changed the way we communicate and companies today need to not only listen to what customers want but also deliver what customers want. Here are some key trends to be aware of as you plan your contact center strategy.

Communication Modes Have Changed

The most convenient channels for customers to communicate with your business may not be the traditional ones anymore. If someone is searching for information online they are more likely to switch to email, web chat or even use social media if they don’t find the answer they’re looking for. Do you know which channels your customers are using most and can you meet their needs?

While it’s clear that businesses need to have multichannel customer communications, it’s not a simple matter of flipping a switch. In fact, our own research has found that one in three contact center managers are actively considering moving to a cloud based contact center system due in large part to the multichannel requirements.

Customer Inquiries are More Complex

These days, a customer’s reason for contacting you may tend to be more complex. Common queries that used to be handled via a phone call are often now covered by FAQs on your website, so when they pick up the phone it’s more likely to be something quite specific. Of course agent training helps, but CRM integration can make a huge difference. Proper integration gives agents the full background on a customer in order to competently manage these more intriquite issues.

Responses Need to be Timely

We’ve all become accustomed to finding answers to questions online quickly. Online communication naturally happens fast, so if you’re going to be available by email, web chat or social media, you must to be aware of your response times. Typically contact center web chat will require immediate live responses, whereas your SLA for email might be a couple of hours and even less for social. Be clear about response times and communicate to customers so they know what to expect.

On-Premises Contact Center Solutions Can’t Keep Up

With a legacy call center system it’s almost impossible to keep pace with the changing landscape. Contact center decision makers cited managing the customer experience across multiple channels as their top concern, followed closely by ensuring technology keeps pace with changing customer behaviors. But a closer look at the research revealed that for those who are using a cloud based system, multichannel was not a concern at all. In fact zero percent of cloud users were concerned by this.

Multichannel Contact Center Management

View the Research

With a cloud contact center solution, it is possible to keep up with the changes and you can add functionality at the flip of a switch. The flexibility offered by a true cloud system, with the ability to seamlessly roll out updates to all users (with no internal IT involvement), is a huge driver for cloud adoption. Adding new channels and integrating social media into the contact center needn't be painful. The technology is available to meet the needs of the mobile customer without a major infrastructure investment. Do get in touch with us using the form on the right side of the page if you'd like to explore this further.

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