Managing Multichannel Communications Environments
Modern contact centres have moved way beyond telephone-only support. They now operate in a true multichannel environment, where employees often answer numerous queries across platforms like Twitter, WhatsApp, Skype, Web Chat – and of course via telephone – in a single shift.
For customers, there’s seemingly no issue here – which is great from a CX perspective. But from an employee’s point of view, managing all of these channels can be overwhelming – especially in a busy workplace.
Here are a few things contact centre managers and business owners need to be aware of – some ways to help staff navigate the changing communication environment.
Context Is King
To truly ensure a long term relationship with your customers, it’s vital to have as much information as possible – about every single one of them. It’s not just about accessing details of previous transactions; it’s about being able to quickly engage with them about the things that are important to them.
Sure, CRM systems are a great way of gathering and accessing specific information, but being able to pull in external, public sources of information – from their preferred messaging and social media channels – is important too.
This kind of insight helps agents determine how they should respond to customers – from a tone of voice perspective. For example, messaging channels generally lend themselves to more informal chats, while emails and often calls tend to be more formal, given the breadth of information they allow.
Coordinate Contact Between Channels
With so many different sources of customer information, it’s vital that staff have a quick simple and effective way of alternating between the different channels they use – messaging apps, social media, phone, and email.
While many contact centres may have dedicated social media teams, or may rotate staff responsibilities for different channels between shifts, often customers want to be able to deal with the same operator each time – something that helps improve their overall experience.
Therefore, organisations need to ensure that staff have the tools necessary to deal with customers across all channels, as customers may choose to use different ones depending on where they are – at home, work, travelling, etc.
Balancing Interaction & Automation
It’d be remiss to discuss contact centres and customer service without acknowledging the role AI and automation play.
Now, while many consumers may bemoan pre-recorded messages and entering their details to ‘direct calls’, from a contact centre perspective tools like this can help streamline queues. However, when applied to text-based communication, automation is usually better received.
Chatbots, for example, can be used to offer customers a specific set of answers to common questions they might have; but should be able to escalate contact to agents when their level of knowledge is exceeded.
While the AI technology is useful, it’s not yet sophisticated enough to replace human agents – which places even more importance on customer service teams to offer a point of difference: knowledge, understanding, and empathy.
Champion CX Across All Platforms
All things considered, providing more value and a better customer experience at all touchpoints can really help to differentiate a brand. In fact, such a commitment to best practice can make (or break) a company – especially in a world where many products offer the same level of quality.
At PeterConnects, one of our primary aims is to help people engage with each other more effectively. Our best-known products – Attendant and ServiceDesk – are geared towards helping agents optimise the way they communicate with customers.
Tools like these allow them to bring all types of conversations into one place – whilst giving all team members oversight of all ongoing customer contact: a single window into what’s happening in real time: on demand.
Want to discover more about multichannel comms? Talk to the PeterConnects team today!