Call center technology has certainly been brought up in a time of constant innovation. With changes in both hardware and software happening almost faster than we can keep up with, the industry has been revolutionized in more ways than one in the past decade. An example of this is the debut of business intelligence (BI), which has moved the needle forward for the contact center industry, providing business insights and helpful data in real time.
As technology, including computers, mobile phones, and the Internet, continues to become more advanced, communication will also continue to change. These media are already fast and consistent, but as technology continues to develop, speed and consistency will increase even more.
Call centers looking to make significant improvements need to understand how positively leveraging multichannel solutions can work in their favor and improve customer service, which should ultimately be the end goal.
Increased Agent Efficiency
Picture this scenario: A customer has a very specific technical issue. He could probably address the issue on his own, yet he needs someone qualified to resolve the issue in a timely manner. As we see day in and day out within the call center space, the ability to route customers to the agents who can best meet their needs is critical to keeping customers pleased. This not only increases overall agent efficiency, but it also leaves callers with the feeling of satisfaction that their needs were effectively met. Since customer interactions are mostly unpredictable, multichannel solutions create a way to match each individual call with the most skilled agent for whichever type of scenario arises.
While customer service improvements provide great advantages to multichannel call centers, keeping agents efficient is a proven way to streamline this side of call center operations.
Questions and concerns are not simply transferred over the phone anymore. Instead, newer methods, such as chat bots or text messaging, make communication even easier. With these extended call center capabilities, agents can address customers over multiple communication media, which allows them to service even more customers throughout any given day.
'Please Hold' is Being Phased Out
Multichannel call centers can easily reduce the dreaded hold time. All in all, less hold time leads to happier customers! According to a recent study, 60 percent of respondents think as little as a minute on hold is entirely too long.When agents are assigned to calls based on their skill sets, it not only ensures accurate service. With an agent on stand-by, prepared and qualified to answer questions, there is virtually no need for hold time.
Since more call centers are now addressing customer service through multiple channels, customers who call will most likely experience shorter hold times, if any at all, since they are now competing for a response among fewer people. From a customer's point of view, a multichannel approach is beneficial in more ways than one.
Different Customers Prefer Different Channels
After many years, customers now can dictate how they'd like to initiate communication with call center agents. It's safe to say we've come a long way from the days of the simple telephone. With all of the smart technology available today, agents can be contacted via text, chat, or voice via smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This has made customer service more convenient than ever before.
With top-of-the-line customer relationship management (CRM) systems in place, agents can easily retain every single record from customers, saving them time. Having this information on hand is yet another way to shorten the call and ensure customer satisfaction.
It is clear how beneficial multichannel call center solutions can be in helping call centers improve their customer service. After all, this is the very essence of call centers. With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, the prospect of even more efficient technology being readily available to us is very exciting. We look forward to the future and how we can work together to continue improving the customer experience.
McKay Bird is marketing manager at TCN, a provider of cloud-based call center technology.