Contact centers are constantly focused on narrowing down on a right mix of channels to provide a unified communication platform for great customer experience. They are experiencing the necessity to undergo transition from a conventional center into a more dynamic multi-channel contact center offering customer service through multiple touch-points. With rapidly expanding technological innovations, customers are exploring new touch points to get in contact with businesses. In order to efficiently cater to the growing base of tech-savvy customers, contact centers need an optimized integrated platform that encompasses all types of contact channels to improve their customer-engagement methods while reducing the costs and increasing revenue.
According to Right Now Multi-Channel Contact Center Survey of more than 300 companies, more than half say their average cost per call is $6 or less, more than half state that their average email response time is 12 hours or less, and the majority says their chat agents handle one to three chats simultaneously.¹
Interactions in Multi-Channel Environment
Customers use different channels such as voice, IVR, email, chat, and web to reach contact centers to get their questions answered. According to a recent study by Enghouse Interactive and ContactBabel, the way customers contact call centers has changed significantly.²
Live chat showed significant growth prospects with figures jumping from 1.8% in 2011 to 2.5% in early 2012.³ Customers are favoring the online chat channel as it better addresses their needs and queries. The agents can handle multiple chat sessions while offering cost-effectiveness as compared to voice and IVR. Live chat has gained greater acceptance from customers due to its ability to provide real-time responses to queries, ease of use, faster resolution, and convenience. According to the study, the live chat channel will account for 5% of the total inbound interactions to the contact centers by 2015.³
Strategy for Multichannel Handling
As contact centers embrace the multi-channel environment to serve customers, they face the same issues as any other contact center including agent skill sets, workforce management, metrics and reporting. Many contact centers employ multi-skilled routing strategies across multiple sites in order to provide quality customer service. There is the need to have a robust and proven multichannel contact center management strategy in place.
Customer Satisfaction across Multiple Channels
When a customer has the freedom to interact with the contact center in their medium of choice, it gives them an immense sense of satisfaction. The multi-channel environment makes sure that the customers receive the same level of service on any channel and entire customer history and information is seamlessly distributed across all channels. Efficient skill-block scheduling ensures that the right agents are staffed to attain service goals. Properly staffed agents means less stress, higher job satisfaction, and ultimately higher customer satisfaction as happy agents provide excellent customer service. Agents who have exposure to cross-training on multi-channel contact types know how customers interact on different channels. Thus, they can interact with customers properly and provide good customer service.
Recent research by Aberdeen Group shows that best in class service providers with an integrated multichannel environment achieved 86 percent customer retention levels, 38 percent increase in agent productivity, and a 21 percent reduction in total support costs in a 12 month period.?
Well-integrated multichannel contact centers help businesses better serve their customers on their preferred channel of choice. Businesses can improve their profitability by reducing costs and generating higher revenue due to online sales.
Article Source: Callcentertimes.com