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Conduit Global: Multichannel Delivery is a Reality – Adapt or Lose Consumers!

Conduit Global General Manager for Operations and Client Services, Alan Superfine, shares his thoughts on the importance of flexible, multichannel customer service

Going into the second half of 2016, it is amazing to think how quickly the first part of the year has flown by. However, for those working in the contact center space, it is common to look back six months and ask where the time has gone, especially when it comes to consumer interaction tools. For enterprises, the necessity to provide the right communications channels has never been more pressing, and can mean the difference between a lost customer and one that is loyal over a lifetime.

In today’s environment enterprises have no choice but to provide their end-users with non-voice contact options, a trend that will only become more pronounced. This was clear in Dimension Data’s most recent Contact Center Benchmarking Report, which indicated that for consumers born after 1980, the telephone was the fifth channel of choice (behind chat, smartphone applications, social media and electronic messaging). And, while older consumers have not embraced non-voice communication to the same extent as their younger counterparts, many of those born in 1980 and earlier are also forgoing the telephone for other communications mediums. As a function, enterprises must adapt to this reality.

However this may be easier said than done. There is no blueprint for any company on what channels to implement alongside the telephone in their contact centers. Key considerations that need to be taken into account when making these decisions include the average age of the organization’s consumers (the older the demographic, the less likely they will be to use internet channels for support), access to types digital technology (which could place a premium on using mobile apps as a means of communication) and vertical-specific compliance (in some cases, this will limit the choice of channels available to an organization, especially in highly-regulated sectors).

Another challenge that many organizations face is their capacity to invest in non-voice channels. Acquiring and maintaining this technology is a costly proposition for CRM managers, who have been perpetually strapped for resources over the past five years. Equally, recruiting and retaining front-line talent for different channels is also a major (and costly) challenge, especially when agent profiles can differ tremendously, depending on the communication medium they support. Unfortunately, in order to work toward end-user loyalty, these are costs that enterprises must bear out. An innovative way for many organizations to successfully achieve the needed balance between channel deployments is by way of partnering with a contact center services player that is positioned to provide the technology, workforce and strategic guidance needed to incorporate one or more non-voice mediums. This will be important in ensuring minimal capital investment, and that the required levels of customer experience management are provided to the consumer. For organizations that are limited in resources, but that want to ensure their channels reflect the ongoing changes in communication choices, this is a solution that helps ensure long-term consumer loyalty.

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