Multichannel Contact Center Software
At one time, contact centers revolved around phone support, supplemented by email support. Today, customer service teams must be ready to assist customers over a variety of channels, including not only traditional phone and email channels, but also self-service web portals, live chat, and multiple social media platforms. Customer service technology is adapting to meet this changed landscape, providing omnichannel interfaces that allow call centers to deliver efficient support across any channel, maneuver smoothly from one channel to another, and track performance across all channels for optimized performance. Here’s how innovative multichannel contact center software is helping meet the needs of today’s contact center, along with some guidelines on how to find the right software solution.
The Need for Multichannel Support in Today’s Contact Center
The rise of e-commerce, coupled with the mobile revolution, have transformed the nature of customer support, shifting the focus of contact center service from a phone- and email-centered paradigm to a multichannel model. Today’s customer may seek support through any one of a number of service channels:
- Self-service has become one of today’s most popular customer support option. Four in ten customers only contact customer service after attempting self-service, according to CRM magazine. Nine in ten would use self-service if it were available, and two-thirds prefer it as their primary support channel.
- Live chat is another favored option for today’s consumer. A majority of consumers now use live chat to answer questions, according to Software Advice research. Nearly half prefer live chat as their support channel when seeking assistance on e-commerce purchases. Consumers appreciate live chat for its lack of hold time and its convenience.
- Phone support remains essential despite the rise of alternative support channels. Over six in ten mobile users will call a business when they’re in the purchasing phase of the buying process, Google research has found. Most consumers who are looking for a quick answer to a question or who need human help would prefer to use the phone.
- Automated options are growing in popularity as a way for companies to improve the efficiency over live chat and phone channels. Interactive voice response software enables companies to automate their phone support, while chatbots perform the same function for a live chat. By 2020, 85 percent of customer interactions will be handled by AI-powered self-service, Gartner predicts.
Customers expect companies to be able to deliver quality service across all of the above channels. Nearly three in four customers want the ability to track their orders across all points of interaction, according to a BRP Consulting report. Companies that fail to meet these expectations are at risk of losing business to competitors.
How Multichannel Contact Center Software Meets Today’s Needs
Multichannel contact software is designed to meet the above needs by providing a single interface for managing all customer service channels effectively. A multichannel customer support channel(6) achieves this by performing a number of key functions:
- Providing an integrated infrastructure that lets your customers select the support channel of your choice
- Displaying all support channels through a single interface where your team can manage all customer inquiries
- Allowing your team to see customer data even when a ticket moves from one support channel to another, providing a seamless transition for customers
- Automatically routing tickets to available representatives according to skills-based criteria, lowering customer wait time and increasing support quality
- Providing analytics data so that your contact center managers can optimize your center’s operational efficiency
- Displaying customer CRM data in order to improve sales efficiency and maximize upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
By performing these functions, multichannel contact center software improves your service efficiency and delivers your customers a better user experience, translating into higher customer satisfaction.
What to Look for in Multichannel Contact Center Software Solutions
In order to get the most out of multichannel support technology, it’s important to know what to look for in a solution. An optimal multichannel contact center platform should include a number of key features:
- Support for all the channels your team needs to cover, including phone, email, live chat, social media, web portals, and automated tools such as IVR and chatbots
- A 360-degree integrated view of all your support channels within a single app
- Skills-based routing to match your customers with the best available representatives to meet their needs
- Integration with your CRM tool so that your representatives have easy access to relevant customer data from all channels
- Ability for customers to avoid wait time by having your agent call them back or start a new chat session later
- Real-time monitoring to stay on top of what’s going on in your call center
- Historical reporting analytics tools to help you optimize your customer service and sales efficiency
Choosing a solution with these features will help ensure a superior user experience for your customers.
Multichannel contact center technology is helping companies manage the need to serve customers across all support channels, improving service efficiency and boosting customer satisfaction in the process. Call centers rely on their technology to empower them to be as productive as possible. With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your call center needs in one place. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.