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A Guide to Multi-Channel Customer Service

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April 11, 2017

A Guide to Multi-Channel Customer Service

By Chrissie Cluney, Correspondent

We live in a “multi-channel” world, which doesn’t only include snail mail or fax machines as support channels. A multi-channel support strategy includes a combination of traditional phone, email or live chat support plus social media and self-service offerings. Despite the variety of options for contact, it’s important for call centers to keep an eye on all of them for quality.

Zendesk, a customer service platform, has published “A Guide To Multi-Channel Customer Support”. Within the pages, the company discusses how easy it is for your company to come into the 21st century to offer your customers the best service possible.

Every request for assistance from a customer is different because of the information requested. At the same time, how customer service representatives become aware of the request is also different depending on the channel that is used. These channels include phone, email, chat, social media, and self-service. They all receive their own measure of requests, and they all need to be monitored for quality.

Customer service organizations are finding that they need to offer?a combination of the following types of communication. “One-to-one,” which offers one support agent to help one customer at a time, generally by phone, email or in-person/in-store. “One-to-many” offers one support agent who assists multiple people at a time, through live chat, video chat, or SMS text messaging or where there is a single resource, such as a knowledge base or FAQs, available to customers.

There’s “many-to-many,” which is the solution where there are multiple means of reaching many people, often through online forums or customer portals, and social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter (News - Alert), where customers and agents can all participate in the conversation.

“As exciting and new as emerging social channels are, supporting customers via social media requires the same underlying processes as traditional channels,” said John Ragsdale, vice president, Technology Services Industry Association. 

As we know, customer engagement is an important aspect of all interactions. A multi-channel approach is a great way to engage customers, but it’s important to remember that with more channels comes more need for quality monitoring.

Edited by Alicia Young

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