The Growth of
Multi-Channel Communication in Contact Centers
does customer experience really mean in 2018? Communicating with your customers
on another level, their level. Whether it’s offering support through a
chat-bot, providing a convenient way to pay through social media or prepping
your live agents on a customer’s history before chatting with them, everything
in 2018 comes down to customer experience. stat By offering that
multi-channel customer experience, you can easily unify communications
internally and externally to your customers. In return, you’ll be able to
provide a seamless, real-time customer experience on any channel at any time.
In this white paper,
is multichannel communication in the first place?
channels should I be offering?
do I know which channels customers prefer?
are the benefits of multi-channel communication?
to eliminate overhead and increase efficiency
The Age of The Consumer
communication empowers the consumer. Although implementing and running a multi-channel
communication strategy is beneficial to your business if implemented correctly,
we’re in an age where technology has given the power to the consumer. The
biggest part of communication is motivation. If you think about it, a consumer
isn’t likely to interact with your business if it’s not their method of preferred
communication. According to Gartner, customers will manage 85% of their
relationship with a business in the digital space without interacting with a
human by 2020.
a contact center, a multi-channel communication solution provides a simple, but
effective solution to manage communication workflows of all media types. Allow
customers the flexibility to choose their preferred method of
communications. If you have the mindset and the right tools, you can make sure
your business is prepared to send a customer the right message at the right
time, through the right channel.
Keeping Up with
Technology Is Nothing Like Keeping Up with The Kardashians
like it’s tough to keep up with technological trends? It is! Technology is
growing at such a rate that predicting technological advancement is becoming
overwhelming. Take a look at this crazy chart demonstrating Human Intuitive
Perspective of Technological Advancement. To give you an idea, it’s predicted
that technology in 50 years will be a quadrillion times more advanced(2).
a contact center is savvy enough to keep up the growth of technology and all of
its innovations, then they can easily stand out amongst their competition. As a
contact center manager, you have to ask yourself, what device will a customer
use when they need to contact the company? Is it a chat bot on your website, a
text, an email, a quick tweet or shout out on social media, the good old phone
or some other new technology we have no idea about… yet?
Multi-Channel: What’s the Difference?
looking at it from afar multi-channel and omni-channel may be to be
interchangeable, but if you wanted to take a deeper dive. Self-service is a
critical piece of the omni-channel puzzle. Self-service eliminates
redundancies, aggravation, and inefficiencies in service while simultaneously
giving customers the power to communicate with you on their terms. Omni-channel
(meaning, “all” channels) unifies sales and marketing to create
a single commerce experience across your brand. Multi-channel (i.e.,
“many” channels), while less integrated, allows customers to communicate on
whatever channel they prefer.
Customer Experience On Every Channel
digital channels whether it’s social media, a chat bot etc. have revolutionized
the way customers communicate and search for information. While voice support
and email continue to contribute value to the customer and the business,
ignoring digital channels can be a major risk to take in the present and future
business environment. In a recent survey by Dimension Data, 87% of contact
centers expect to see an increase in non-voice interactions and will heavily
rely on self-serve methods. So where do you start and how will it benefit your
Start with Building
multiple channels to evolve a more customer-centric service strategy, in light
of the new customer purchase journey is crucial. Additionally, modern contact
center technology applications facilitate a more collaborative and integrated
approach to customer satisfaction, with customer interactions getting collated
across contact channels to be presented as a single view. In this way, a
customer does not have to explain their issue from the beginning on each
contact format, and this itself increases their satisfaction with the brand.
Add Value Through Strategy
biggest challenge when starting a multi-channel communication strategy in a
contact center is what channel you start with. It’s two-fold. One, you don’t
want to overdo it when a customer just wants to ask a quick question. For
example, a one-on-one call isn’t necessary if the customer’s question is, “When
will my order arrive?” An email, chat response or quick SMS should be enough in
this case. Hence, a multi-channel contact center allows businesses to choose
the most effective channel to satisfy the customer, in a cost-efficient manner.
Customer Service on
social media has become quite the platform for complaining. One bad customer
experience and boom the entire experience is on social media and guess who is
at fault: your contact center. People share their likes and dislikes with their
communities on various social networks. According to the PwC total retail survey 2016, 45% of global respondents
said that reading reviews, comments, and feedback influences their shopping
behavior (3). Even if you’re not planning on having a complete multi-channel
package, at least have social channels and be active on them. Businesses can no
longer afford to ignore social media as a marketing and customer service
channel. 29.3% of businesses are still without social media channels (5).
Digital Channels Save
costs related to digital channels of customer service are estimated to be
significantly lower than traditional call center channels. In fact, 79% can
evidence cost savings; 84% an uplift in revenue/profits by committing to the
opportunity created by the digital revolution (1).
one contact center agent is able to handle multiple live chat windows
simultaneously, it lowers average interaction costs and increases efficiency because
now employees can multi-task. Several successful organizations are utilizing
methods such as web self-service, online forums, FAQs and community solutions
to garner substantial savings. By 2020, the phone will be used only as a
back-up when all self-service channels fail(5). In fact, the 2017 report says
that these are the current channels(4):
Web chat: 44.3% to 81.1%
– Mobile apps: 41.6% to 75.45%
– Social media: 51.4% to 76.1%
the truth is technology is emerging at a rate that people are finding it tough
to organize a strategy outlining new developments, skills and future goals
within the contact center. At this point, in order to solidify the foundation
of the contact center today, the use of multi-channel communication stemming from
software needs to take place. Not only that, but it needs flexibility. The
focus should be on customer experience, and by having that flexibility to adhere
to the growth of communications channels, your customers will be that much more
happier to rate you a 5 on Capterra.
The Two Types of AI You’ll
See More Of In 2018…
According to a study by Oracle, nearly 8 out of 10 businesses have
already implemented or are planning to adopt AI as a customer service solution
(6). AI, as you may or may not know is a growing trend in contact
centers. That being said, there are two types of ratification intelligence that
you are going to see grow in 2018.
A cyborg is a fancy way of saying an “AI-assisted human agent,”
amongst other names like Hybrid AI or Human In the Loop. A cyborg starts off as a
bot that gets information from the customer. At a certain point within the
conversation between the caller and the bot, the conversation is then
transferred over to a live agent. If you think about it, now the agent has all
of the information they need to further assist the customers and there was no
time or effort that the agent had to put in to get that information, allowing
them to focus on more critical efforts. In turn, customer frustration is
reduced and the increase in customer satisfaction plays a key role in the
overall revenue growth of the contact center.
of sales and marketing leaders say they already use chat bots in their CX or
plan to do so by 2020 (6). A chatbot doesn’t currently have the capability to
be empatheic or as personable as a live agent and they will not be able to
offer the conflict resolution which will fully satisfy customers, but it’s
definitely not too far in the near future. Whether voice or text activated,
bots can help users find products or answers at any hour of the day, on any
device or channel faster than ever before. Although a chatbot at this point is
limited to the frequently asked questions within a contact center, they do help
regardless as said above to help perepare a live agent should the call escalate
to a live agent.
multi-channel communication strategy utilizes any and all available contact
channels in order to increase a customer’s trust and loyalty to the company.
What once was a voice-driven industry, contact centers are no longer seeing the
“phone call” as a viable form of communication to support customers. In fact, Phone
volumes have dropped by 17% since 2015 (1).
this point, organizations need to take advantage of the fact that things like
AI are just being implemented into the contact center but take note that if the
correct action isn’t taken now, their contact center could easily fall behind
their competitors. Fewer than 10% of organizations polled, said that they had
an optimized strategy for digital business in place, while over half (51%)
reported they don’t have any plan at all, or are at best in the process of
developing one. What percentage is your contact center?
‘Digitizing Customer Care Report’, around 74% of respondents who had
journeys incorporating different mixes of traditional and digital channels
reported a satisfaction rate of 60-65%, which was higher than that of those
using only traditional channels.
customers spend three to four times more than single-channel customers do (http://www.relevategroup.com/blog/did-you-know-multi-channel-customers-spend-3-4-times-more-here%E2%80%99s-6-ways-get-board
to ‘Live Chat: The Gift That Keeps on Giving’1 by the Aberdeen Group, the
agent utilization rates of businesses that are live chat users are 28.4%,
compared to businesses that are non-users (3.1%).
a recent survey by Dimension Data, 87% of contact centers expect to see an
increase in non-voice interactions and will heavily rely on self-serve methods.
to a 2015 Dimension Data survey, 42% of contact centers forecast a reduction in
voice contacts, while 87% expect an increase in non-voice interactions going
forward. A good deal of these will involve self-serve methods. The most popular
self-service channels include online forums, virtual agents, and mobile
Dimension Data’s 2016 Global
Contact Centre Benchmarking report demonstrates how appealing the shift to
digital support is to today’s organisations. Asking them about their ‘desired’
split of customer interactions by channel, they averaged at: 42% telephone, 37%
self-service, and 29% assisted service. This contrasts with the average
‘actual’ existing channel split at the moment which is: telephone 57%,
self-service 18% and assisted service 23%. So there is a desire to double the
proportion of digital support being offered.
to OneReach, 64% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to use
texting to voice for customer service.