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Thursday, 05 March 2020 10:14

Multi-Channel Integration for Improved Customer Service

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How VoIP Enables Structured Strategies for Customer Care

Did you know that most call centres cater to the needs of the elderly? As expounded in a recent TMCnet column, many customer-service agents target 77-year olds because they prefer over-the-phone interactions, whereas younger generations would rather pull up a webpage. By strategizing to meet the needs of this one market segment, however, these departments fail to satisfy most customers: approximately 60% of callers come directly from online, meaning customer-service departments need to account for the activity of those opening webpages too.

Without generalizing, the majority of 77-year old customers call from sources other than online, so treating all customer segments the same results in poor customer service. Moreover, it leads to the repetition of steps if all interactions start afresh. This issue touches upon the concept of multi-channel integration—the seamless transfer of communications initiated on one channel to another. In this respect, channel simply means method of contact (i.e. phone, email, social media, IM or others).

Why Businesses Need Multi-Channel Integration

Nowadays, multi-channel integration is paramount. However, without adequate resources and technology, managing multiple lines can become difficult. An Oracle publication reports that more than half of call centres use six channels or more, a number that has surely risen since. It also claims that multi-channel integration strategies improve customer satisfaction rates by an average of 9.7% year-over-year, compared to only 3.9% for single-channel platforms. Therefore, the technology used is vital to the overall efficiency and inter-connectivity of the communications infrastructure.

Currently, one of the highest performing technologies on the market is VoIP. This is because it amalgamates various channels, pushing all messages through a single system. Whether this means SMS, email or voice, VoIP permit an array of actions such as routing, forwarding, recording/storing and responding. Such tools help businesses track customer interactions across multiple channels and avoid the pitfalls of generically approaching each new lead or inquiry.

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