Contact Center Transformation Featured Article
Integrated Multichannel Contact Center Operations Are Even More Critical During Holiday Shopping Season
December 19, 2013
By Tracey E. Schelmetic, TMCnet Contributor
While many consumers find it necessary to a call contact center more than once over the same transaction, this is increasingly true during the holidays. People order gifts sometimes sight unseen, which means that returns are more frequent this time of year. They may have questions about gift wrapping or guaranteed delivery dates. They may be confused when large orders of multiple items are shipped separately.
Given these realities, combined with the fact that many companies do the lion’s share of their business at this time of year, the demands on the contact center become great, and the need for an integrated, multichannel approach to fielding customer queries becomes great. Thanks to an ever-more demanding customer base, companies are finding it hard to keep up.
“With customers armed with greater choice, today’s consumer demands more,” writes Flavio Martins for Business2Community. “They expect retailers to cater for their needs and jump through their hoops – not the other way round. So once they’ve shopped via the channel that suits them, they want to be able contact you however they choose. This level of service also makes sense from a business point of view, as the financial value of good customer service has increased in the digital age. With social media, the news of bad service travels fast – with one tweet reaching thousands of potential customers in seconds.”
Without a multichannel contact center support platform, companies cannot hope to keep up. While many companies offer multiple contact channels such as phone, Web chat, email, in-store kiosks and sales representatives, and even mobile apps and social media, these channels are often handled in a disjointed, haphazard way, which leads to less-than-stellar customer support quality. A customer who has previously dealt with a company via telephone might initiate a Web chat with a support representative, only to find that rep has no access to information about the customer’s previous interaction. The customer is forced to ditch the chat and call the contact center, which adds time and expense to the transaction and leaves the customer with an unpleasant impression of the company.
By using a universal queue for all contacts and ensuring that agents have a 360-degree view of the customer each time those agents interact with customers, regardless of channel, companies can go a long way toward true contact center transformation for the 21st century customer. If you can merge all your channels of communication into one fluid and effortless conversation, according to Martins, then you have mastered customer service in the multichannel age.
Edited by Blaise McNamee
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