Today’s customers have a preferred communication channel, but not all businesses are ready
The ways for customers to contact businesses are rapidly expanding. No longer is the telephone the communication channel of choice. The phone is now merely one option on a list of viable considerations. With these multiple communication channels (multichannel) available for consumers to contact businesses, forward-thinking companies must be ready to answer on all these channels. This is the omnichannel approach to communications; omnichannel literally means “all channels.”
Here are the channels to start with:
Phone: The perennial default channel is the telephone. Even today’s millennials, with a penchant for texting, pick up the phone and place a call when it’s the most efficient way to communicate. Contrast this to older generations who consider the telephone as the only viable option.
The cornerstone of any on the channel strategy, therefore, embraces the telephone as the essential method of communication that must be answered at all costs, 24/7. Outsourcing phone calls to a US-based contact center—or business process outsourcer (BPO)—is a surefire way to meet expectations for this venerable channel.
Email: The next most important communication channel for many businesses is email. Although the demise of email has been falsely predicted for many years, it continues to push onward, even stronger than ever. Some customers prefer email over all other channels. Never forget that.
Email provides many distinct features. These include a written record of the interaction, the opportunity to compose a precise communiqué, and the ability to dash off a message at any time, from most any device.
Many companies, however, dismiss customer email as nonessential. This may be because email doesn’t share the long history of the telephone or the attractive sizzle of newer channels. Yet not responding to emails fast enough, or ignoring them all together, quickly generates the ire of frustrated customers looking for answers.
While timely email communications should be able to happen in house, most organizations struggle to do so. Again, outsourcing this critical task to a contact center helps ensure your customers get the responses they need, when they need them.
Text: The preferred communication channel for many people to connect with family and friends is text. Increasingly, these same individuals expect to talk with businesses using this format. Yet few businesses are equipped to adequately process two-way text communication. And even if they could handle text messages during business hours, what are they to do when their operation closes?
Guess what? Outsourcing contact centers are text experts, dedicated to meet this growing demand.
Web Chat: Next on the list is web chat. Like texting, web chat provides an easy way for customers and prospects, who are looking at your website, to communicate with your company by typing. With so many people already gravitating towards texting, web chat is a ready solution for them that requires no coaxing.
You might be sensing a trend. Yes, outsource contact centers can handle web chat, too. And they’ll do it around-the-clock.
Social Media: In recent years the rapidly growing phenomena of social media has opened a multitude of communication channels. Key ones include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, every social media platform that offers a means of communication opens one more channel for businesses to cover.
Outsource contact centers can monitor your social media accounts for you. They’ll respond to sales inquiries, product questions, and customer service issues on your behalf anytime of the day or night, any day of the week, including weekends and holidays.
The vision and promise of omnichannel communications is to be available to your audience by whatever means they choose to use, whenever they wish to use it. This is a nearly impossible task to handle by yourself in-house, but with the assistance of an outsource contact center, meeting this challenging objective suddenly becomes possible.
Ansafone Contact Centers, a 24/7 live contact center service provider, uses a multi-channel communication approach to help clients communicate via phone and live chat, with email management and social media monitoring. Ansafone’s business process outsourcing (BPO) services specialize in customer service, help desk, tier-1 tech support, sales conversion, and enrollment. Click here to learn more.