In the final part of this series (click here to see the first part) we answer the final four top questions that contact centres are asking;
4. Do you think that voice agents really have the capability to handle multichannel work, and what tools are available to help them?
Fundamentally yes, as long as the technology used to communicate is well designed and intuitive. A system that is easy to learn is going to be easy to use and won't get in the way of the communication with the customer. It should enhance every contact that agent has with a customer.
Organisations tend to 'recruit the attitude, train the technology' which previously meant training on the phone and CRM systems. Now email, web chat and other technologies are being added to the response portfolio. As long as the systems are intuitive and well-designed, and the monitoring and reporting are of a high quality, any advisor should be able to adapt with the correct level of training.
5. How can I justify investment in multichannel technology to my bosses, considering the volume of non-voice interactions is much lower than the telephony channel?
You should evaluate the cost of not handling non-voice channel as it could be a costly mistake not to offer multichannel communications. By investing now you are able to avoid future firefighting as it is often easier and less costly to accept the change and implement as appropriate.
Survey your customers to see what channels they would prefer to use to communicate with you and then act on their responses.
Promotion of the brand is an important aspect of competition. Keeping up to date with technology is essential in most markets to remain competitive.
6. Do you think it is more efficient to have dedicated multichannel teams, or for agents to handle different channels?
Communication frequency and the number of inbound demand-type enquiries will determine the need for either multichannel teams or single channel agents. Complexity of the enquiry can lead to an expert team of agents supplying a multichannel response, for example inbound call, followed by email, followed by a SMS and then ended with a final phone call.
The natural ability or attitude of your agents can result in a modification of the types of teams as most people have a preference towards either speech or written forms of communications. It is important that you play to your teams strengths. It can also keep motivation high among agents if they are allowed to vary their work schedule, either by day or by week.
Demand driven responses can determine which situation is most beneficial to the organisation and their SLAs.
7. Will the telephony channel eventually die out?
Essentially no. Voice will continue as a major channel of communication due to the reasons listed below. This is further supported by a recent Telegraph article which stated that one in eight British adults have never used the internet.
- Telephony will continue as speech is a natural, fundamental form of human communication
- Voice is a natural and intuitive method of communication amongst almost everyone, whereas written and online communication can be a little more challenging for some
- Voice communication is essential for complex questions as it can be very difficult to explain complicated problems using other forms of communication, such as email and social
- Voice tends to be the natural escalation route if a customer does not get a response to their email they may choose to call the organisation to get a response