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5 Challenges in Deploying a Multi-channel Call Center

March 11, 2016 Patrick Reynolds

To satisfy the connected customer, you need to interact with them through their preferred mode of communication. Some customers want to reach out via phone, email, live chat or social media. Whichever channel they contact you on, you need to be present lest you lose them.

A multi-channel communication goes beyond the traditional hotline to include social media platforms, email, text messaging, live chat and self-service options. Your ability to stretch your call center to include the above will ensure that you provide a seamless and consistent customer service experience.

Transitioning your call center to a multi-channel call center is the key to your business growth and could be the most challenging venture you will embark on as an organization. Among the challenges that you need to overcome, the below five top the list.

  1. Determining the right channels for your customers

    A successful multi-channel strategy is one that deploys the right channels for your customers, not just any channel. Customers are satisfied when you meet their needs when and where they want. Therefore, you need to determine which channels your customers are at and develop those first.

    As you think about the right channels for your customers, you need to consider their alignment to your business. They need to make business sense regarding capital requirements but also serve the customers well. You have the capacity to direct customers to the channels that will work for you.

    Failure to do this will lead to business revenue losses and dissatisfied customers.

  2. Technology Advancement Rate

    You need computers, internet, and software to provide quality customer service. Technology is advancing at a fast rate as every waking moment new technology is birthed that is meant to make things easy and fast.

    The challenge then is acquiring the best technology to fit your needs and your customers’ needs without having to do a complete overhaul to upgrade your systems. You don’t want to purchase outdated machines because that is what you can afford. You need to keep up with the latest technology.

    It will cost you if you don’t have the right technology for the job because, you will have spent a lot of money to upgrade your systems and at the same time, stop business operations as that happens.

  3. High Start Up Cost

    Like starting any other business, the start up costs is a huge challenge. You need ample capital to finance the expansion. You require facilities to house the call center, equipment, customer care agents and managers, and day-to-day operations kitty.

    The size of your operations will determine your capital needs, if you call center is already big, your other channels need to be big as well, and this increases your capital needs.

  4. Human Resource Needs

    Call centers have huge demands for customer care agents because they operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They also have the highest employee turnover worldwide.

    When you expand you call center to be multi-channel, you will need to hire agents who can handle those channels. The challenge then is finding the right agents, who will stick around for a long time and see that business function grow.

    Under no circumstance should your multi-channel call center be understaffed.

  5. Training Needs

    In line with the human resource needs, it is not enough to get the right people for the job; you need to train them well. A customer does not care whether the agent on the other side is a newbie or experienced; their concern is getting assistance.

    Your training and development program should ensure that customers get superior customer experiences. Your trainers also need to be experts in the multi-channel deployment for them to train well.

    With a well-trained team, your transition into a multi-channel call center will be easier.

To satisfy the diverse needs of customers, you need to operate in a multi-channel environment. As you plan to transition into one, consider these five challenges; determining the right channels for your customers, technology advancement rate, high start up costs, human resource needs and training needs.

When you overcome them, your journey to run a multi-channel call center will be easier, and the destination will be highly satisfied employees and customers.

Patrick Reynolds

Patrick Reynolds is the VP Partner Strategy for Etech Global Services and has 19 years of experience while working with Etech. Patrick has held variety of Leadership positons at Etech. His responsibilities at Etech includes leading Etech’s chat operations in the 4 Texas and the 2 India based locations.