In the digital age of information, an effective business strategy places a strong emphasis on meeting customers and their needs where they are. Consumers have become accustomed to accessing anything at any time from anywhere. They can shop while commuting, access pertinent medical advice without picking up the phone, and order any cuisine from their sofa. We rely on multiple channels—including but not limited to apps, social media, email, live chat, and SMS—to do all of these things with ease, convenience, and independence. Investing in a contact center is the best way to provide and manage these services.
The bottom line is if your company isn’t providing its customers with this level of access to customer support, you’re losing steam in an increasingly competitive market. Investing in a multichannel contact center may be exactly what your business needs to boost engagement and customer loyalty.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the benefits of a multichannel contact center. Use this information to make informed decisions for your business.
Be Where Your Customers Are
It’s almost foreign to think that, just a few short years ago, we were wasting lunch breaks to transact in person at the bank. Now, we can manage our finances with the help of an app, whenever and wherever we please. If a modern bank didn’t provide this option, people would simply switch banks. In today’s fast-paced society, no one has hours to wait in line anymore. It’s inconvenient, frustrating, and robs us of the one resource we can’t get back—our time.
With so many communication channels available, customers want to connect with businesses the same way they connect with everyone else. This means using the channel that’s most convenient for them. Beyond this practicality, consumers expect fast and efficient assistance.
This may sound a bit high-maintenance, but there are many benefits to positioning yourself on multiple channels. They include the following:
- Making yourself available on several channels keeps your business at the forefront of customers' minds. It presents them with more opportunities to engage and make purchases. This may very well be the difference between a one-time purchase and a repeat customer.
- A multichannel contact center puts your customers in control. It allows them to decide how they want to interact (via phone call, online chat, or text message).
- Not only does it give your clients better opportunities to engage with you, but it also gives you more opportunities to reach your clients.
- Being available on multiple channels allows you to gain invaluable information about your customers. By leveraging tracking and data analysis of your customer interactions, you stand to gain a better understanding of your audience. This allows you to optimize your services, refine your sales targeting, promote engagement, and improve the overall customer experience.
Agents Will Provide Better Service
A multichannel contact center gives you a key advantage over competitors who fail to offer this kind of convenience. It provides customers with easy access to assistance. Multichannel support significantly boosts your potential for building relationships and influencing purchase behavior.
Considering that 63% of customers will leave a brand they were once loyal to because of a single poor experience, it’s clear that offering excellent customer service is essential to business success. After two bad experiences, this number increases to 86%! Ask yourself, are you willing to leave 86% of your revenue on the table? What would happen to your business if you did?
Avoid this risk entirely by offering on-demand service options to enhance the customer experience. Multichannel support recognizes that every customer is different and customer support can no longer take a one-size-fits-all approach.
Furthermore, a recent report revealed that 22% of people prefer engaging with customer service personnel on social media channels, while 19% prefer email and 16% prefer website chat. The same report found that over half of customers expect a response to online inquiries within an hour.
With a multichannel solution, your team can respond faster and work more efficiently. They can also resolve more inquiries in less time. This is instrumental in retaining customers, increasing sales satisfaction, and driving long-term, sustainable growth.
Multichannel Improves Brand Image and Loyalty
Cultivating loyalty among customers is a key part of growing a successful brand. While acquiring new business is important, it is notoriously expensive. As all good businesspeople know, it’s much cheaper to engage repeat customers than it is to acquire new ones. You can achieve this by implementing a multichannel presence.
A multichannel presence improves customer experience by allowing customers to engage with your brand, make purchases, give reviews, and participate in campaigns. Not to mention, they can do all of these things whenever and wherever they want to. Implementing a multichannel presence broadens your opportunities to showcase your products and services. It also ensures that customers don’t miss out on anything just because they spend more time on one channel than another.
A contact center isn’t just for resolving problems anymore. Your agents market your business as a customer-friendly brand that cares about and appreciates your clientele’s engagement. That means making your customers feel heard by responding to feedback and diligently working to rectify problem areas.
You can easily convert dissatisfied customers back into loyal followers by counteracting negative experiences with positive, efficient customer care. Conversely, slow response times and lackluster problem-solving will send them straight into the arms of your competitors. Changing brands is easy and comes at little cost to customers. They have a great variety of service providers to choose from. It is unlikely that you will win a customer back after losing them to a competitor. This is especially true if it was due to poor service on your part. Don’t test them!
Another remarkably valuable feature of building a loyal customer base is that they will serve as a marketing tool for your brand. Sharing product feedback and brand experiences with the public is easy.
If a customer loves your brand, they’ll also love sharing their positive feedback on social media and other review platforms. People are more inclined to trust the reviews of other users than they are to trust an advertisement. That’s why word of mouth is so effective. The more positive reviews a brand acquires, the better public perception it builds. Being present on multiple channels allows a broader fanbase to share the love.
Multichannel Contact Center: Should You Outsource?
While a multichannel contact center has many benefits to your business and its growth, managing such a dispersed range of communication channels comes with its fair share of challenges.
Multichannel Requires Immediate Attention
Multichannel support requires constant monitoring and near-instant response times, making it unfeasible to task an already-busy team with managing it. An unresponsive multichannel presence is worse than no multichannel presence at all.
As mentioned, customers have no problem sharing their brand experiences publicly. It’s alarming how often reviews stating how hard it was for a customer to engage with a company end up online. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. If you are going to be present on a channel, you must be able to manage inquiries quickly and efficiently.
Determining the Right Platform
Since customers have such a diverse range of preferences, it can be challenging to determine which platforms will be most beneficial for your brand. Ideally, you want to focus on and master a few key platforms rather than floundering on a million of them.
By collecting data on customer behavior and preferences, you can learn where your audience is most likely to engage with your brand. Segmenting your audience can also be valuable. It can help you strategically reach different customer groups with the right approach via the most effective channel.
Cost and Time
A major challenge many businesses encounter with a multichannel contact center is the cost and time it takes to manage. For communication to be effective, you need employees who dedicate all of their working time to the customer help center. In addition, they will require training and tools to execute efficient customer service.
Brand consistency is important. Although you will manage each channel individually, all communication needs to be consistent and interconnected. This means that if a customer sees your content on two different platforms, they should be able to recognize your brand easily. Let’s take Nike, for example. When you spot that iconic swoosh, you needn’t dig any further to know that content belongs to the sports giant.
Another important part of multichannel brand consistency is your tone and communication style. The language you use when communicating with customers needs to be consistent. To do this, you will need to establish clear standards and guidelines for your customer service team. If a customer deals with one agent on Facebook and another via a phone call the next week, the tone and language used should be recognizable.
Integration of communication across channels is also vital. It means that any agent can pick up where another agent left off without the client having to repeat themselves. The right software will allow you to integrate every single customer interaction across channels—making for seamless customer support.
A common pain point for customers is being switched between agents and having to have the same tired conversation over and over. To reap the benefits of running a multichannel contact center, cross-channel communication must occur as an integrated, uninterrupted exchange.
How Outsourcing Benefits Your Business
Outsourcing multichannel contact center tasks can eliminate all of the above challenges. An agency that specializes in digital multichannel customer service is already equipped with the right tools to perform tasks efficiently. They specialize in understanding the dos and don’ts of customer support. This effectively eliminates the tolls of growing pains and the costs of training new hires and getting started.
A dedicated outsourced team will prevent your staff from being spread too thin to juggle their usual responsibilities and customer care. The outsourced team purely exists to serve your customers with speed and professionalism.
High-quality outsourced service can also provide you with platform engagement data. This data allows you to be more strategic in your campaigns by enabling you to track how each channel contributes to your strategy's success.
Increase Customer Engagement With Helpware
Managing a multichannel contact center seems like a daunting undertaking. And to be honest, without the help of dedicated professionals, it is. It’s also essential if you want to stay competitive in a rapidly changing business climate. Here’s the good news: with an industry-leading partner like Helpware on your team, your customers will receive top-tier service without you ever having to lift a finger.
Equipped with state-of-the-art software and a qualified team of specialists, Helpware boosts your brand image while building long-term customer relationships. From multilingual support to round-the-clock engagement, Helpware aims to transform your digital customer service.
Chat with one of our team members to discover how a tailored multichannel contact center solution can elevate your business today.