Reaching out to potential consumers in some form, whether it be via social media, SMS, webchat or phone contact, is the first order of business in any call center. However, instead of working to improve their methods of communication, many modern call centers instead prioritize flashy but ultimately fruitless strategies for communication channel expansion.
A poorly managed opening of a new communication channel can have a negative impact on both customer satisfaction and call center. To help you avoid these traps and successfully introduce your new customer communication channel, this article details the ins and out of this approach.
- CCaaS is paramount to successfully add a new communication channel
- You must consider the tone, scripts and pace of new channels
- Your Call Center must track the right KPIs for every new channel
How to add a new communication channel in a call center?
The steps to take when opening a new communication channel include:
Rethink your initial strategy
While many call centers begin planning new channels with the idea of improving customer communications, a key mistake they make is by sticking to their same approach and tactics. Rather than focusing on improving current strategies, why not think about introducing a new approach? Perhaps focusing on an entirely new channel? Understanding the benefits and risks of your potential strategy will be crucial to the success of the new channel, so go back to the drawing board and think about this.
This may include questions like “what will be the purpose of the channel?” and “what is the goal of the channel?” or “what is the outcome the channel should deliver?” or “what should the channel’s quality be?” This can allow your business to reflect on how well your current communications strategy works and see how it can be improved.
Once your strategy has been planned and put in place, start communicating your strategy to your existing customers and influencers in an inclusive manner. Communication must go both ways to be effective. Your business will be at its best if you’re offering your customers something valuable that they want, as well as giving them the opportunity to get in touch.
The best way to achieve a good launch of a new channel is to make sure your employees are aware of the new channels and know how to use them. This can take the form of training on technology skills and tactics. An example of this would be creating training videos on using a social media solution to engage customers and potential customers or in case of a video, making the video available for employees to watch before going into customer contact.
This should be coupled with training your internal customers in the use of the new channels, on how to use them and how to effectively communicate with you and your brand. This will allow your customers to be familiar with your communication channels and will enable your employees to communicate your vision and sales objectives to them.
The most successful companies will be transparent with their customers about the channels and how well it’s working. Monitoring is key to ensure your approach is working for you and for your customers.
Set an end date or time for monitoring, so you have a structured and measurable approach. For example, monitor for at least one month or every three months. Your results should be tangible and encouraging for you to know that the channel is not only being used but is also proving to be effective.
If you are looking to improve your communications strategy, there are various options available. Make sure you are willing to learn and that your company has the resources to experiment and adapt to new communication channels.
Omnichannel Call Center Technology
It’s important that your agents can quickly and simply receive and process incoming requests so that service and performance levels don’t drop. Implementing Cloud Contact Center solution with omnichannel capabilities is crucial in situations where multiple communication channels coexist.
For example, when a new channel is introduced to handle the influx of requests from other channels like Messenger and phone calls, this effect is produced (via the implementation of a Webchat for example). The new channel must be included into your current software.
In this way, every new method of communication with your customers will function as another channel in your agents’ arsenal, just like the rest. All of your customers’ Data can be stored and managed in one location thanks to this one simple solution. As a result, your agents may handle inquiries in an individualized and timely fashion across all channels.
In other words, you have 3 important components to a true call center omnichannel solution.
- Integration with your current software (CRM, API etc..)
- Agents can seamlessly switch from one communication to another
- Building a comprehensive Data Base and Customer History with all your clients
As an example of true omnichannel: NobelBiz OMNI+ is CCaaS Solution designed with a high degree of customization and scalability with an extensive list of integration. Our solution is optimized for performance and scalability, while keeping costs under control. How do we do it?
- One interface Suitable for virtually all communication channels: Voice calls, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, SMS, email, Live Chat, Webchat, voice mail. All unified in one easy-to-use desktop application.
- Reliable data from a wide range of analysis and reporting tools that provide real-time and historical information that you can customize to create comprehensive performance and customer history reports.
- An agent interface that seamlessly combines simplicity of calls and operational interactions with a seamless operational interaction with a clean and accurate customer data flow.
Fun fact: Gartner has released its latest forecast for the evolving public cloud landscape in 2023.
In 2023, global end-user expenditure on public cloud services is projected to reach $591,8 billion, up from $490,3 billion in 2022. This is a greater growth rate than the 18.8% predicted for 2022.
And more important, Cloud Application Services (SaaS) spending went from 146,326 Millions U.S. Dollars in 2021 to 195,208 Millions U.S. Dollars projected in 2023.
To maintain consistency for the client, the new features introduced by your new communication channel must also be incorporated into the procedures and training of agents. Such as new answer scripts, terminology to be used on channels, new Average Handling Times to be respected, familiarization with conversational tools, etc.
For Example: Starting a Webchat, requires real anticipation and preparation.
On the customer side, this means greater and better responsiveness. For the call agents, this has a significant impact. As webchat requires the same real time consumption as telephone with the same professional writing as emailing.
The main idea here is that you must consider your ability to personalize conversations with clients and take into account his profile, the norm for each channel and his history with the company.
Adapt your scripts and tone according to the communication channel
When it comes to customer service, every business has its own editorial stance and set of outwardly facing communication tools. Once the channels of communication have been determined, the next step is to tailor the content, semantics, or terminology to each without sacrificing consistency.
Each communication channel has its own unique sequence of events, including receipt, discovery/questioning, answer generation, objection handling, synthesis, and conclusion. The subject will help assist the activity by selecting an appropriate form of involvement. The corporation is obviously catering to its younger and/or more technologically savvy clientele by making customer support available via social media for example.
The communication channel also affects how much time is spent on each word. A conversation in a webchat, for instance, is fast and to the point. The qualities of a webchat agent will be guidance, good questioning, synthesis, and quality of the information supplied. However, it is a discussion, and if you want to prevent endless bounces, these traits are essential.
If not, meeting times will drag and reduce performances and in particular the AHT and the First Contact Resolution. Make sure your response is comprehensive enough that it doesn’t require a follow-up. The point is to keep from reverting to a style of discourse that isn’t conducive to a resolution.
Omnichannel will no longer be an option; it will become a conduit through which all customers must pass. The aspect of omnichannel is crucial, but the emphasis should remain on optichannel because it is essential to understand your consumer and the customer’s channel preferences. More from our episode on Understanding your customer: Omnichannel vs Optichannel.
How to track Key Peformance Indicators (KPIs) In the New Communication channel?
Each new communication channel is an investment. Implementing specific performance indicators for this contact point makes it possible to measure its success at different levels:
- They serve as a benchmark for agents by setting performance targets for the channel in question (response time to be respected, reference LTA, etc.)
- They allow managers to monitor the operational performance of the channel, to evaluate customer satisfaction on this contact point and to implement corrective actions if necessary.
- They allow to justify the return on investment of the invested channel to the management, for example by linking the KPIs to customer retention or loyalty objectives.
Precision and applicability for tracking a new communication channel’s success
The rationale that inspires the opening of a new channel enables you to define, prior to its debut, the associated success KPIs. These must be defined in terms of :
- Customer expectations vary from one channel to another. For instance, monitoring the time to first response and the AHT for each customer channel is crucial.
- The purpose of your call center (Make sales, answer customer requests, billing, collection etc.)
Beyond operational management, KPIs enable you to identify improvement opportunities if a channel’s performance is subpar:
For example, if you are evaluating an SMS for your customer satisfaction, monitoring the response rates to the questionnaires enables you to compare its efficacy to that of previous channels.
Measuring the Customer Effort Score (CES) per channel is also very important. As it indicates the effort taken by the customer for a certain action (such as processing a complaint) and identifies the friction areas that need to be remedied.
Few individuals in the corporate sector have an understanding of customer effort score and how to measure and apply its consequences. Find our what Roy Atkinson Group Principal Analyst HDI, ICMI says on the matter of “ What Is the Customer Effort Score? “.
One other potential downside to adding a new channel of communication is that it can disrupt or otherwise complicate the customer’s experience. Whenever the channel in issue is handled independently, or whenever the customer service or outbound team is overwhelmed by an influx of demands they are unable to handle, this phenomenon occurs.
The new channel of communication must not add unnecessary labor for customer relations teams in order to fulfill its promise of enhancing the client experience while also benefiting agents.