Technological advances like the internet and smartphones have conditioned today’s consumers to expect access to products and services any time, on-demand, and regardless of their location. These days, a traditional call center isn’t enough to satisfy the average customer, which is why more and more businesses are turning to multi-channel customer service.
But what is multi-channel customer service, and why would your business need it?
Don’t forget that your customer service reflects your brand. Improving customer satisfaction can have a huge payoff in terms of reputation, revenue, and retention.
What Is a Multi-Channel Approach?
In a nutshell, multi-channel service is all about delivering customer support across different kinds of platforms. Some of the most common examples include a call center, live chat service, and help desk.
Over the years, the number of ways to contact customers has grown and now includes communication channels such as email and social media.
The basic idea of using a multi-channel approach as a method of communication is to offer customers several options to interact with your brand. Customer experience is subjective, and a platform one customer enjoys using is not necessarily the favorite of another. Giving customers a choice to contact you in whichever way they feel most comfortable is beneficial for everyone.
How Does Multi-Channel Work?
Now that you know what multi-channel customer service is, here’s a list of channels and how they work to support the customer.
The telephone remains an essential channel because it enables customers to resolve concerns quickly and conveniently. Additionally, connecting with another person’s voice is reassuring for many, especially those dealing with urgent issues. Nevertheless, this may not be the preferred channel of most millennials as they favor automated channels.
Email is a popular digital support channel for many clients because of the smooth customer experience it provides. There’s no need to wait for an available agent, and those not comfortable communicating in a foreign language can take their time composing mail. It’s also ideal for exchanging complex or sensitive information.
A knowledge base is best for customers who would rather access a library of information than getting real-time support. However, it’s best to offer complementary communication channels because your knowledge base may lack information or articles customers need.
Live chat services have quickly become a favorite among customers because they provide instant answers, regardless of the device or location. You can benefit the most from this tool when answering questions from your knowledge base since you can easily send them the steps to follow.
Social media sites are perfect for customers who are active on the internet. Your business needs to have this communication channel if you cater to a younger demographic. Since your customers expect swift answers, you’ll need a support team that’s available to engage with them within your operating hours.
What Are the Advantages of Multi-Channel Customer Service?
To further expound on what multi-channel customer service is, let’s look at how it benefits your organization.
Giving your customers more opportunities to contact you can contribute to the growth of your business. Beyond increasing customer satisfaction and retention by providing timely assistance, multi-channel support also improves workplace efficiency.
Your customer service team can serve a large volume of customers and expand your reach within a shorter period. In addition, there’s no need to switch between channels since your business is already on multiple platforms.
By allowing your customers to use their favorite channel via a multi-channel communication system, you gain a key competitive advantage over competitors who fail to do so. Keep in mind that a frustrating customer support experience is often all it takes for customers to seek out your competitors.
Of course, you’re also in a better position to obtain insights into the kinds of products and services your customers prefer. With this, you can offer those most useful for them and have a better chance of earning new and repeat business.
Why Is It Important to Have a Good Multi-Channel Mix?
While you may have the option to offer all types of communication channels, it’s probably not a good idea to try them all at the same time. What is multi-channel customer service good for if you don’t have enough resources to handle inquiries efficiently? Instead, prioritize channels that can provide timely and effective solutions for your customers.