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Contact Centers: Multi-channel Options Explained

Contact Centers: Multi-channel Options Explained

When it comes to providing support to your customers there are more options than ever before for how they can contact you. As a result, customers now expect to have multiple ways available to them. Multi-channel contact centers help customers reach the company and help the company provide quality service. What Is a Multi-Channel Contact Center? The traditional call center is what many of us still picture when we think of a customer support center: rows and rows of people answering telephone calls as they come in. Customer interaction is strictly over the telephone and no other forms of communication are used. While many companies still use this model for their customer support, it’s slowly being replaced with the multi-channel contact center. In a multi-channel contact center, customers have plenty of options to choose from when they’re looking for ways to reach the company. A few of these options include email, social media, live chat, and other online channels. Not only do customers enjoy having options when it comes to ways they can reach a company, they also expect it. One survey found that 55 percent of customers believe companies should provide customer service over social media websites such as Facebook. Incorporating Live Chat Younger customers have grown up with instant messaging and email and they often prefer to use live chat when they communicate with a company. In fact, 44 percent of online customers say that one of the most important features a website can provide is live chat where an agent can answer questions in the middle of a transaction. Understanding Email Support One option now available...
How an After-Hours Call Center Can Save You Money and Win Customers

How an After-Hours Call Center Can Save You Money and Win Customers

The Internet changed everything for today’s businesses. As recently as 25 years ago, consumers bought from local vendors, over the phone, or through the mail, and for most businesses, a nine-to-five customer service department was more than enough to keep customers satisfied. Today, however, in an era of WiFi, mobile devices, and constant connectivity, customers expect instant satisfaction when they have a question or problem. And with social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, consumers have plenty of ways to broadcast their displeasure if they feel your business let them down. If you’ve ever been the subject of a negative hashtag campaign on social media, you know how detrimental that can be to your business. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of damage control. Are you on the fence about whether it’s time to add an after-hours call center? Here are some things to consider in making your decision. How Long Is Too Long Before You Lose Customers? Although response rates vary by business, industry, and channel, most customers expect to be able to speak to a live representative by phone 24/7. If they reach out by SMS text, a one-hour response time is the benchmark to strive for. On social media, customers expect a response in four hours or less, and with emails, they want a response the same business day. If you aren’t meeting the response times your customers expect, you risk losing them to a business that will. Are You Resolving Your Customers’ Issues on the First Call? Research shows that first call resolution (FCR) rates are the single most important performance metric for...

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