In Part 1, we discussed why you should deploy a multichannel strategy. In Part 2 we’ll evaluate the various channels available.
Phone lines represent, by far, the lion’s share of customer contact with email steadily increasing (although still low), webchat coming in third, and SMS/social media/smartphone apps becoming important additions in recent years. In certain industries, there’s no getting away from paper documents, although typically scans of these are acceptable and volumes are a small fraction of the total customer contact. Typically, customer interactions requiring agent resource are more costly for a contact center to provide than interactions customers can carry out with a system. Technology is usually high investment and low running costs, whereas the opposite is true for an agent team. The short duration of an automated transaction often satisfies customers, although the impersonal nature is inappropriate for some interaction types. If you really want to diversify your customer experience it would be a good idea to add channels that really do have a different look and feel, rather than adding channels that don’t differ very much from what you’re already offering. To help choose which channel may be best, I’ve defined two main groups that channels can fall into:
Agent: Unstructured Communication
Non-Agent: Structured Communication
If you’re already offering a channel that relies on real-time live-agent input, what value are you really providing by adding another channel that also relies on real-time live-agent resources? If the answer is that one is voice and one is written, that may be a valid response, depending on what your customers are telling you. It may be more appropriate for you to add a channel with automated self-service, which opens a whole different realm to your customers (typically 24/7, customers are in no rush and can take their time, sit around a computer with a partner, etc.).
I recently applied for a mortgage with my bank and did it all online on their website. I chose my amount, my deal and I entered all of my details, then loaded all of my supporting documentation. Over the following days, I used the website to monitor the status of my application as my documents were revised and accepted. I only got a phone call quite near the end of the process to finalize a couple of details and arrange a date for signature. For me, this was the perfect blend—for filling in forms and checklists, I did it myself with no rush; and for the softer touch part, I dealt with a human being. The human being I dealt with was fully aware of everything I had done myself on the website, and I wasn’t asked to repeat information that I had already given through the other channel.
As it happens, I can also communicate with my bank via SMS, smartphone app and by going into the office. I do like the fact I have a choice and, at different times, I think I’ve used all of the various options, but I don’t notice a massive difference between going in to the bank and calling the phone line. Likewise using the app, the website or SMS are all pretty similar to each other. In an ideal world, all contact centers would provide all channels and would be all things to all customers. If, for the moment, you are only going to do phone plus one other, consider what you’re aiming to achieve with the new one. Are you going to stick with live-agent support but add a written channel (web chat, SMS, email, web-forms) alongside your voice channel? Are you going to stick with just voice for the live-agent support and add an automated channel alongside (website, IVR, app, SMS)?
Now that we’ve assessed the the various channels, get ready for Part 3 where we’ll cover the 5 Steps to Successful Launch New Customer Contact Channel.
Interested in learning how to make sure your multi-channel strategy provides customers with a consistent experience across channels? Download our free ebook: Omnichannel is No Longer Optional.
Publish Date: January 9, 2017
Securing payments for on-premise or remote agents for telephone, IVR, web, mobile, Chat and Chatbot.
A patented technology that is flexible way to take secure, PCI DSS compliant payments via live agents over the telephone, web, Chat, Chatbot, or IVR. No sensitive data enters the contact centre environment so, agents do not see, hear, store or record any card or personal details.
CallGuard can be deployed in various ways to fit the way your contact centre works. The solution can de-scope all, or parts, of your contact centre from the scope of PCI DSS compliance and works just as well for on-premise or home/remote working agents.
ChatGuard makes payments in Chat PCI DSS compliant and...
PH: 01442 458300
|True Stories of Replacing Legacy Contact Center Solutions||March 23, 2017|
|5 Steps to Transition Away From Your Legacy Contact Center||February 22, 2017|
|This Valentine’s Day, Make Your Customers and Employees Love You||February 14, 2017|
|Assessing Contact Center Fraud with Pindrop||February 7, 2017|
|7 Ways to Keep Your Contact Center Employees Engaged||January 17, 2017|
|Five Common Expectations, Misconceptions and Strategies for Multichannel (Part 3)||January 13, 2017|
|5 Common Expectations, Misconceptions and Strategies for Multichannel (Part 2)||January 9, 2017|
|Five Common Expectations, Misconceptions and Strategies for Multichannel (Part 1)||January 5, 2017|
|What Would George Jetson Think of Cloud Contact Centers?||January 3, 2017|
|Top Ten Common Contact Center Planning Mistakes (Part Two)||December 29, 2016|