Why Multichannel Contact Centers are Better for Customers – and for Your Business

Has your contact center been on the fence about whether to upgrade your software to include multi-channel functionality, or are you exploring different systems to purchase? The options currently on the market can be overwhelming to sort through, and before you make a decision, you’ll want to have a solid understanding of why multi-channel is so important for customers and understand the benefits of moving to a multi-channel model.

First, let’s start by looking at why customers prefer contacting companies on other platforms other than just the call center.

Customers want convenience when searching for answers

When customers are on your website, they are increasingly finding it more convenient to talk to an agent via live chat, versus picking up a phone to call into a center. In fact, in a recent study, 44% of customers say that live chat is one of the most important features a website can offer. Furthermore, 67% of customers say they use web self-service systems to find answers to their questions.

Customers are looking for time-saving ways to get their problems solved

Customers embrace companies that offer multichannel options because they’re a time-saver. While they’re already online, they can get their questions answered, or when they’re searching on their mobile device, they can access a company’s help center. An email for a customer is generally more efficient than waiting on hold or navigating through a phone system, so when companies offer clear ways to contact them via different platforms – and the quality of service is consistent – customers are increasingly choosing these time-saving options. In fact, 62% of customers cite mobile customer service as a competitive differentiator.

And for your business, multi-channel customer service systems save you money

If cost has been a concern or potential drawback of installing a multichannel technology platform, consider the following:

  • It costs between $3 and $10 per call to serve a customer by phone, but only $1 to $3 for email or online interactions, saving you money per every customer transaction
  • Written answers can be more scripted – it requires less of a training investment in your customer service reps to get them up and running on chat and web help
  • Agents can handle multiple chats and respond to several emails in the time it would take them to work with one customer on a call – making your contact center more productive
  • With multichannel, you can dynamically switch agents back and forth between platforms, based on volume
  • The ability to blend channels for contact center employees (moving between phone, email, or live chat) helps prevent agent boredom and burnout
The caveat: Multi-channel software programs can make or break the experience – for all involved

If multichannel systems are sounding almost too good to be true, and you’re waiting for the caveat –there is one: The technology solution you use can make or break the success of your multichannel program. A system that’s cumbersome to use will be much harder for your agents to adopt, and your customer service will suffer, as a result. When looking for a multichannel system, make sure it includes the following features:

  • Scalable: A system that is scalable from small groups to enterprise multi-site businesses
  • Interface: An easy-to-use user interface will make it easier to learn and use