The Transition to Multi-Channel Customer Service Centers

After years of relying on static websites that demand customers do most of the work to find information and delayed responses to questions by email or telephone, efficient companies are moving to multi-channel customer service centers. These centers provide multiple ways for customers to get the help they need through the channel of their choice, whether it be via a phone call, email, social media, SMS, or live chat.  Frequently, interactions can be managed through a combination of channels. A customer can start a live chat on a website, then use SMS, after which point an email exchange may take place. For almost all businesses today, this type of transaction is increasingly the new “normal.”

Barriers or delays in providing customer service are frustrating to customers and can lead to lost revenue, so it’s crucial that businesses provide the flexibility and convenience that customers demand. Many companies have embraced the challenge, deploying the latest technology to create customer service centers that focus on providing a frictionless customer experience.

There are a few reasons this type of customer service center is best for both customers and businesses.

Reach Customers on Their Preferred Channel

One of the main benefits is that these types of customer service centers allow the customer to choose the way they want to interact with a business. For example, if a customer has a simple question, they may prefer to send an email or use live chat. On the other hand, if the concern is more complex, a phone call may be best. Offering multiple channels is more convenient for customers, and their positive experience can lead to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

Reduce Hold Times

Businesses must value customer service, and one way to provide great service is to not make customers wait for answers. A major advantage of a multi-channel customer service center is that it can help reduce wait times and improve response times. Less waiting means happier customers.

The fact that customers can reach a business in multiple ways means that the number of customers who are waiting to talk to an agent on the phone has dramatically decreased. This means the agents can provide more efficient and better service without keeping customers on hold. This is all good news for customers, and for the customer service center, as the longer customers are on hold, the more opportunity there is for frustration to build and for a negative customer experience.

In addition, through non-voice channels, agents can often handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, increasing speed and efficiency.

Increase Agent Efficiency

While the key benefit of multi-channel customer service centers is improved customer service, a company’s agents will also see many positive effects. Being a customer service agent is a challenging and unpredictable job, and anything that a company can do to make it easier for agents is going to lead to greater employee satisfaction.

“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.”

Stephen R. Covey

Multi-channel customer service solutions enable agents to better serve the customer by managing tasks depending on the skill level of the agent. Having customers interact with the agent who can best meet their respective needs ensures that the reason for the engagement can be quickly resolved, increasing that all-important agent efficiency metric, as well as leaving the customer satisfied with their interaction. With extended multichannel capabilities, agents know when and what was communicated through other channels in earlier customer interactions. This enables the agent to pick up where the last conversation left off for seamless communication.

Embracing Multi-Channel Service

In the digital era, offering multi-channel customer service capabilities is a fundamental expectation of customer service. Multi-channel service allows customers to interact with your brand through their channel of preference and at their convenience. Embracing this approach equips you with the capability to serve customers effectively and build long-lasting relationships with them. Additionally, it helps businesses gain valuable insights about customer preferences and behavior. All of this allows companies to be more agile and responsive in improving the customer journey.