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How Multi-Channel Customer Support Works

Gone are the days when customer service was only available through phone calls. With the competitive market today, businesses do their best to attend to their customers’ needs to drive loyalty. Unfortunately, many companies still take their customer service for granted. 67% of customers effortlessly switch brands due to poor customer service, according to Forbes. Customers will usually reach out where your online presence is, but most do not get the answers they need. To be as reachable as possible to potential and existing customers, organizations have learned to adhere to multi-channel customer support. 

Having multiple communication channels gives you an edge over your competitors. It shows that you are easily reachable through various channels. The more delighted your customers, the more likely they come back to avail of your products and services. 

How Multi-Channel Customer Support Works

Multi-channel customer support means using more than one communication channel to provide better customer service. There are three types of channels that customer support agents use to communicate with the customer. The first one is online chat. This is an instant way of communication. The second one is the phone call. The third is the writing which is usually in long forms. 

10 Customer Contact Channels You Need to Know

There are tons of available messaging apps and software in the market today that you can integrate into your customer contact systems. You can choose as many as you want from them as long as you have an effective customer service team. 

Messenger Apps

Messenger apps like Facebook messenger, Viber, Skype, and Whatsapp are popular communication tools everyone uses. These apps can be easily installed on smartphones with no fees, making them highly convenient for the public. 

Social media live chat is available on Facebook messenger and the Instagram app itself. You will get notifications right away with every message you receive. This gives you a faster response time. Don’t forget to turn on your notifications so that you will not miss an inquiry. 

Social Media

Although some social media already have messaging apps, you can still use these channels to connect to your audience more. Your potential customers will show interest by dropping a comment on your posts. Most of the time, they will ask you about the products and services you are posting. They will also ask about prices. It is easier for them to leave a message in your comment box, and you can show you care by responding to them as fast as you can. 

Live Web Chat

Webchat is one of the most favored contact channels by customers, especially when you are running an online store. You can add a web chat plug-in to your website. There are also live chat solutions that allow voice and video calls.

Live web chat will help increase your sales because you can immediately attend to your customers when they have questions about the products in their cart. 

Chatbots

Chatbots are powered by artificial intelligence, letting you set up prepared answers for possible questions from customers. They are available 24/7 which is great. However, there are certain or complicated questions that these bots cannot answer. You will still need someone who will answer your customers when things get escalated. 

Using a chatbot is a tech-savvy way to respond to inquiries quickly while making your employee happy and productive. 

Email

For formal communication, email is the best messaging tool. If you are a business that caters to professionals, this platform should not be missed. Most managers prefer writing formal emails for a business transaction, and being responsive to them can help you close a great deal.

Traditional Phone Calls

Phone calls have been the most popular contact medium over the years, especially for brick and mortar businesses. This channel is best if your customers are older, not much into technology, and only want to get the deal done quickly. Busy people prefer phone calls too as it is the fastest way to connect to a business representative, especially if the concern is urgent. 

Web Call Through Web Real-Time Communication

Web Real-Time Communication technology allows you to put click-to-call buttons on your web pages. If you have an international market, this gives your customers the convenience to call you from their browser without any fees. Improve your customer service with this maximum convenience. 

Call Backs

Excellent customer service pertains to being as responsive as possible to your customer inquiries and concerns. Although for web calls, your line may be busy and calls may not go through. With the Call Back option in your channels, your customers can request a call from you at their preferred time. This option will make them feel attended to and valued. 

Video Chat

For customer onboarding and demonstration inquiries, video chat is greatly functional and helpful. If this is a big sale that needs to be closed, video chat creates more trust and clarity throughout the conversation. A client requesting a video chat is also a good sign. The chances are high that this client will purchase your product or service. 

Face-to-Face Customer Support

In-store appointments are effective if you are in the high-end sector or selling luxury products. These can be applied if you have physical stores with representatives that can accommodate the inquiries. 

The Benefits of Multi-Channel Customer Support

Doing good with your customer engagement in one channel is great, but having multiple channels to attend to your customers’ needs is even greater. Here are the benefits you will get with having multiple customer support channels. 

Improved Customer Engagement

Having more than one customer support channel makes your business reliable because your customer service becomes more visible. Setting up web calls and live web chat buttons on your website create a professional ambiance for your online store. Once your presence is professional, you become a more trustworthy business. 

With multiple customer support channels, your potential buyers can effortlessly message you whenever they have concerns. Responding quickly to comments on your social media posts will give the public an impression that you are an attentive and real person. 

Quicker Response Time

Social media and messaging apps let you respond to your inquiries anytime, anywhere. These contribute a lot to your sales performance if you are selling products. People who inquire are already interested and more likely on impulse to buy. If you are selling food or luxurious items like watches, jewelry, and the like, then having portable channels with you is a great benefit.

Flexible Customer Experience

Social media marketing and email marketing are the most sought-after marketing platforms today. Having both the email support and live chat from your social media business account gives your audience the convenience to message you wherever your online presence is. If you have a returning customer from your email list that sees you on Facebook, it helps to keep her loyalty if she can reach you through the latter, and vice versa. 

Offering both call and chat support to your customers will also give them the option to contact you depending on the urgency of their concern. 

Improved Team Productivity

Your team can do a lot and attend to many customers through the various contact channels you can integrate into your system. Since your business is spread all over the internet, there should also be a customer support channel for each. This gives your team a little downtime and refrains them from getting burnout. For startups and small to medium enterprises, you can build a vetted and trusted team by outsourcing from BPO contact centers.

The productivity stretches out all over the whole team. Happy customers mean good sales, and good sales mean business growth and success. 

How to Manage Multi-Channel Customer Support

Choose Customer Channels That Align With Your Brand Vision

What are the most applied customer channels in your industry today? How many channels can your workforce handle? Study the market and see which channels the customers are more responsive and engaging. However, the number of channels your competitors have does not always mean the required number of channels for your business too. 

You should also consider the workload of your team and see if they can offer consistency to the customers. 

People value their time, especially those who are your potential customers. The faster you respond, the higher the chances of them purchasing your products or services. If you are expecting an influx of customers inquiring about your business, link all your support channels in one interface. This way, your team can easily follow through on your customers’ messages from across all platforms. 

Handling all your channels simultaneously may be a burden to you and your team, especially if you are still starting up. Inevitably, messages may also be ignored because of this. Ignored inquirers will switch to other brands, and you don’t want this to happen. 

For a smooth customer support experience, integrate all your messaging apps, social media, live chat, and video chat into one page. Investing in one interface for your support channels will result in better average response time, easier follow-ups, and more comfortable work for your team.

Use Chatbots to Support Your Human Representatives

Your representatives will be more productive when they focus on technical queries. Instead of your team answering frequently asked questions, let the chatbots handle them. The advantage of having one is you get to offer 24/7 customer support. This decreases their waiting time if they decide to escalate into live chat support. 

Tips: 

Chatbots are best used as the first point of contact to minimize the waiting time. Bots like Intercom allow you to create saved replies and train your bot into answering probable questions. 

Always Have A Human Support

Although bots have proven to be an excellent alternative at some point, some customers still want to interact with a human. Customers who have back-to-back questions, especially complex ones, will need assistance from a human to clarify their concerns. 

Your bots will also need updates and revisions in line with the business. 

Regularly Evaluate Your Channels’ Performance

Your support channels may have different levels of relevance. Some may perform efficiently, while others may have poor engagement.

Check your customer and team metrics regularly for improved productivity and happier customers. Your customer metrics will show the following: 

  • Net Promoter Score
  • First Response Time
  • Resolution Time
  • Customer Satisfaction Score

On the other hand, your team metrics will also help you determine your team’s efficiency, quality, initiative, and helpfulness. 

Maintain Mobile-Friendly Support Channels

Everyone is on their smartphone, and this is the most grabbable tool for communication today. It’s no wonder why the majority of purchases now are done through mobile devices. With this, your potential and existing customers are also expecting to communicate with you smoothly through tap and text. 

A slow loading time will add up to a poor customer experience. Always test your software, integrated apps, and websites, and double-check if they are easily accessible through mobile devices. Invest in outsourced IT professionals that can design a web support page compatible with smartphones. 

Achieve Customer Satisfaction and Retention Through Multi-Channel Support

Multi-channel customer support is crucial in every business. Whether you are offering products or services in the market, the goal is to grow the volume of customers coming in. Although there’s a long list of advantages with multi-channel support, having one you don’t need may also be just a waste of money and effort. 

In choosing which channels to use, always consider the age and location of your customers. Most Instagram users are under 34 years of age, making the platform the most appropriate channel to attract Gen Z and Millenials. These age groups also prefer messaging over calls. 

Ecommerce empires like Amazon have web call and call-back options available for their consumers. Their Amazon Prime alone has over 200 million subscribers, according to Business of Apps. Fortune 500 companies need extensive communication channels to cater to all their customers. If most of your sales come from your retail shopping website, live chat support, web calls, and call-backs are the most favorable. 

In the business-to-business market, formality is expected in many transactions. This makes emails an ideal channel, along with your professional website, and a platform like LinkedIn

To sum it all up, the best way to offer a great customer experience is to provide it through the exact channels where your customers are. 

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