Contacts centers. Why not chat about it?

    Customer communication preferences are driving more activity and interest into modern contact centers. When communication between businesses and customers was centered around the phone, many customers opted to delay or avoid calling organizations altogether. Why? Because they had a litany of challenges etched in their minds: How long will I need to wait before I finally reach an agent? How many times will I have to provide my account number?  How long is it going to take to get an answer?

    But the media landscape has changed. Customers have more options than ever for reaching businesses—at least businesses with the right contact center capabilities. So, how can you lean on these new media options to enhance your perception in the eyes of your customers? It’s easy—deliver the customer experience in your customers’ medium of choice.

    Statistical data suggests customers would like more choices in how they communicate with businesses. Voice transactions are declining towards 50 percent in contact centers where multi-media options are available to customers. Many consumers today prefer chat, as it allows for multi-tasking. They also prefer self-service, like the ability to enter data at midnight to get the status of their order.

    The message is clear—customers would like to interact with your organization in their method of choice.

    The best part of this transition is that it creates a win-win situation for your organization. Businesses offering multi-media options enjoy the operational efficiency of lowering overall contact center costs. Voice communications, without question, carry the highest cost per transaction—typically with costs in the $6-11 range per call. Self-service or virtual assistance, however, enjoy per-transaction costs of less than a dollar. Chat enables multi-tasking within the contact center. That allows you to be more efficient in serving the needs of your customers and get more value from agents during non-peak times. The end result is math that works in your budget’s favor.

    Lastly, what role does social media play in delivering on the customer experience?  Today, the buyer’s journey is an outside-in process, meaning consumers have a wealth of information available at their fingertips to read and share. Businesses benefit from strong customer satisfaction measures, favorable reviews, and positive ratings. Multimedia capabilities in a contact center help support favorable ratings, and provide the mechanism to route traffic directly from a social media site (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) into your contact center. Those capabilities can also help route favorable customer ratings to you so you can acknowledge them and help uncover online complaints so you can resolve them in a timely basis.

    Whether you’re transitioning your contact center to offer new multimedia capabilities, or whether you’re already enjoying the cost and efficiency benefits of chat, social and other customer contact media options, remember this—performance is all about the customer’s communication method of choice.