The call center is the backbone of your company. Your call center agents should bridge the gap between your customers and your services, offering top-of-the-line assistance and guidance whenever needed. To do this successfully, and avoid call center mistakes, you need to take a look at the channels of communication available to you and decide which is the best fit.
There are a lot of different call center solutions for communication. Let's examine some of the most popular choices.
Multichannel or Omnichannel?
Should you use a multichannel solution or an omnichannel solution?
A multichannel solution refers to the use of multiple channels of communication to connect with customers. If your company uses things like email, webchat, and the phone to communicate with customers then you're running a multichannel call center solution.
Omnichannel means you use all possible channels to communicate through a connected system. For example, a customer who's chatting on the web chat can easily click-to-call to transfer this chat to a phone call. The call center agent has a log of their web-chat and can continue seamlessly through the phone.
Both of these methods have upsides, but an omnichannel solution is the best way to reach your customers and deliver an outstanding experience.
Which Channels of Communication Should I Use?
The best channels of communication for one business may not be the best channels for another. This is why it's important to experiment with different channels and find what works best. There's no point in using a communication channel that gets little to no traction, or hinders an agent's ability to help customers.
So, let's look at the most popular inbound call center solutions and when each might make sense.
Email is one of the most popular -- and cheapest -- channels of communication for call centers.
While it's much more affordable than even taking calls, email is criticized for its slow response times. This is why many reserve emailing for less serious customer service issues. They don't expect a response right away and are willing to wait.
You don't have to wait on email responses, though. By routing emails to call center agents like calls, your call center agents can respond in a timely and eloquent manner. They can take a little time to make sure the email comes off friendly and helpful without emotional reactions based on voice and tone affecting it.
Email allows for very specific, researched responses on anything. You can include images and links for reference, and suggest the customer calls if that seems like a better option. If your main channel of communication is email, make sure your call center agents know how to write informative emails.
So, while communication through email may be slower, it can also be more informative. This makes it a great choice for all companies. Even if you only take a small number of emails, every business should implement email.
If you want to offer your customers an instant line for answers, consider taking calls.
Many customers like dealing with a person head-on when it comes to their customer service inquiries. This makes the experience feel more personal and often resolves issues quicker. The customer doesn't have to wait for an answer, they can talk it out with a call center agent right then and there.
Relying 100% on the phone can be a problem, though. When call center lines get backed up people are put on hold, which means a lot of dropped calls out of frustration. You can resolve this by offering call-back functionality, meaning the call center will call back when an agent is available.
What's more, taking calls successfully means training your employees deeply on how the products work, how to offer solutions, and how to talk to the customers. A master-guide and FAQ is often necessary to produce. Despite that, phone calls are often a great solution for your business of any size.
An increasingly popular and satisfying customer service solution is web chat.
Web chat is offered through the company website in the form of a direct IM chat with a customer service agent. The customer just types their inquiry into the chat and is linked up with the call center agent. This combines the speed of a phone call with the convenience of email, including the ability to send images and support links back and forth.
If your website gets a lot of traffic, and customers are aware it's available on your site, then web chat is a great solution. It's quick, more personal than email, and still offers the comfort level of email. Plus, you can easily transition from web chat to another channel if needed.
Web chat is best for larger, more web-savvy businesses that offer technical solutions. They're not the best for small, local businesses or businesses with older customer bases.
Many companies offer call center solutions straight through their social media pages.
This is a great choice for companies with consistently growing or popular social media followings. It's also great if your customer base is mostly younger people who use social media frequently. There's nothing easier than DMing someone, and it's often faster and more personable than email.
Just make sure your social media messages are integrated with your other communication channels. Social media messages are easy to miss, especially on a large social media page. Stringent management is necessary if you're going to use social media as the main channel of communication.
Social media as a primary channel of communication is often best for local or small businesses, and for answering basic questions. It can be good for large companies for answering quick questions but can get a bit overwhelming.
Finding the Best Call Center Solutions for You
There are tons of channels of communication to consider when building your call center. To determine what's best for you, try setting up a few different channels and see which gets the most use. Survey customers to see what they want, which channel works best, and how they want to get help.
The call center is the backbone of your company, so don't let it slouch. Consider your channels of communication, your company, and what works best for you.
If you're looking for an all-in-one call center platform, schedule a discovery call with Volie.