Each year, as we find new ways of interaction, things between customers and businesses keep getting more interesting. Long gone are the days when customers could interact with businesses through only one channel and expect high-quality customer service.
Thanks to multichannel helpdesks, businesses today operate in a multichannel world. Be it customer-facing companies or companies providing services to other businesses, technology is changing the way customers interact. With this, their expectations of customer support have increased. As a result, businesses worldwide are rapidly becoming more dependent on software solutions to fulfill these demands. Hence, their customer support must also mirror this trend.
80% of businesses realize that having a multichannel strategy is integral to their company’s long-term success.
It is safe to say that organizations depend on multichannel support as a success strategy. Additionally, 3 out of 4 B2B organizations potentially waste up to half of their investments on ineffective customer experience strategies that fail to embrace multichannel behavior.
Additionally, as customers move from one channel to another, support teams need to ensure that all their conversations and data are easily traceable. For example, let’s say that a customer contacted the support team via live chat but now wants to shift to a call for better understanding. There should be a feasible solution so that the customer won’t have to start all over again. For B2B industries, this is most likely a case because support requests are more complex and require deeper analysis and understanding to find a valid solution.
Beyond that, the customer support agent must keep the customers fully informed at every touchpoint throughout the resolution journey. Hence, companies need to develop practical solutions that allow them to reorganize their support so it can fit into the customer’s perspective. Businesses can achieve this with a multichannel helpdesk. And that is exactly the subject of this blog. We will discover the depths of multichannel customer support and why it is the utmost for brands in 2021. We’ll cover:
- Problems with Present Day Customer Support Methods
- Understanding Multichannel Customer Support
- What are all the Channels?
- Which Channels are Perfect For Your Organization?
- Reaping the Benefits of Multichannel Helpdesks
- Multichannel Customer Support: Best Practices
- Delight Your Customers with Multichannel Support
Let’s begin with analyzing the problems with the current methods of customer support.
Problems with Present Day Customer Support Methods
Nowadays, we know that businesses can reach a wider audience, thanks to mobile phones and social media. On the other hand, the growing audience also creates various difficulties in terms of customer support. A brand needs to be present in a hundred places at once. Today’s customers believe that the company and its support team are always in touch, no matter when and where. They’ll register a query through an email, message, or social media and will expect a response in a reasonable amount of time.
On the other hand, the perspective of a brand may not be the same. They may view their support channels as more than one entity. Some companies provide telephonic support that is only accessible during certain hours. Some brands, however, do offer channels like social media and helpdesks. These channels will collect questions throughout the day, but the customer agents will only address the questions when they’re in the office.
From a business perspective, customer service can be obtained through different channels at different times. This can hinder the overall customer experience. This way, the customer neither receives a timely response nor a satisfying resolution. This is exactly where multichannel customer support can make a difference. What is a multichannel helpdesk, you might ask?
Understanding Multichannel Helpdesk
Multi-channel support simply means that the company provides customer support through multiple channels. Customers can choose the method of their choice anytime, anywhere.
For example, if the customer has a simple question, they can send a text message or use a live chat option rather than going through the hassle of calling and waiting for an agent to respond. If they want detailed answers or if their query is major and difficult to articulate through typed text, they may choose to call and speak to an agent directly.
Multichannel support offers convenience to customers. It allows customers to choose their preferred method of communication. It also shows that brands and companies care about customer preferences and overall experience.
What are all the Channels?
Multichannel helpdesks can have as many channels as you want. With multi-channel customer support, your agents can respond to emails, answer customer calls, and communicate with customers directly from the support desk. You can access past interactions with each customer through any channel in a single, unified customer database.
You can access past interactions with each customer through any channel in a single, unified customer database. Here are some of the channels you can cover in the is multichannel helpdesk:
- Phone Support
- Support by Messages
- Self-service Knowledge Base
- Email Support
- Live Chat or Chatbots
- Website Support
- Social Media (Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram)
- Messaging Channels (WhatsApp/ Telegram)
If you can offer a high-quality level of support across all these channels, your customers will be able to choose their preferred channel when they want to reach out to you. Now, it would be somewhat impractical and expensive to implement support through all the possible channels.
This is where your customer needs come into the picture. You need to make informed decisions regarding what channels your customers want and which ones would fit into your budget and revert the maximum in monetary terms.
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Which Channels are Perfect For Your Organization?
The next obvious question would be how you can implement them. With so many options to choose from, how will you know what channels you need for your company? What are the channels that your customers prefer? You can begin with taking customer surveys and asking your customers about their needs. You may not receive a definitive answer, but you will get closer to understanding your customers. Let’s see what the statistics have to say:
Most preferred communication channels
Studies show that, on average, 47% of consumers use three to five different communication channels to get in touch with a brand. A total of 90% of customers expect a consistent brand experience across all channels. The above graph shows the channels most preferred by the customers.
The popularity of online customer service, particularly live chat and email, is rising, with social media at the third position. According to a survey, 1 in 4 (26%) consumers have used live chat to contact a company. 73% of customers were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied with the experience they received via this touchpoint.
Phone calls and SMS are the lowest-rated multi-channel customer service touchpoints. Studies show that only 43% and 40% of consumers respectively were satisfied while using these touchpoints. So, this was all about how various channels in multichannel support perform in the current market.
Reaping the Benefits of Multichannel Helpdesks
Multichannel help desks are the new norm in the modern business world. Ultimately, a multichannel helpdesk improves customer experiences and eventually improves the brand’s relationship with the customer. Implementing multi-channel helpdesks is only advantageous. Some of these advantages are listed below :
Benefits of Multichannel Customer Support
- Multichannel helpdesks improve customer satisfaction.
- It improves collaboration and eventually agent efficiency.
- Satisfactory support means increased revenue.
- Improved customer retention rates and lower customer service costs.
- Easier ticket management for admin and agents.
As technology shapes businesses and their strategies, brands must provide multichannel customer experiences to retain their customers. By investing in collaborative multi-channel helpdesk software, businesses can get better equipped and reap the long-term rewards. So, if you’re planning to implement or update your multichannel strategies, we’ve listed down some best practices for you.
Multichannel Helpdesk: Best Practices
Enhancing your customer’s experience is the major driving force behind providing a multichannel helpdesk. Only by streamlining resources and energy can your business succeed. Plus, more channels mean your agents need to take more responsibility to provide more value to customers. Here are three best practices that every business must implement while implementing a multichannel helpdesk.
1. Identify Your Customers’ Preference
Customers prefer to interact with businesses that give them a choice to switch as per their convenience. Keeping that in mind, you must have a mix of channels as per their preferences. With so many popular channels around, such as live chat, social media, email, self-service, etc., the key is identifying congruent channels with your customer’s needs and leveraging their potential.
Different Channels of Customer Communications
While selecting the channels for your brand, analyze these pointers:
- Understand the Current Trends: Analyze different customer service examples and understand the ongoing trends of the market. Get a good idea about what customers prefer today to get in touch with the brand.
- Offer Channels That You Can Handle Efficiently: It is important to restrict the support to channels that you can efficiently provide. It makes no sense to provide 6 different channels and then have fewer agents working on each channel without providing efficient support. Do not stretch your resources and team beyond a certain point. You could instead have 2-3 most important channels and save your support team from the chaos.
- Maintain a Consistency Across Channels: A consistent experience is another thing that customers look for. Use a common workflow process for all channels.
2. Link All Channels to a Single Interface
This aspect is a must to ease the support process for your team. Managing multiple channels from multiple interfaces may get too hectic. You can access past interactions with each customer through any channel in a single, unified customer database. If you bring the entire thing together in a single interface, it becomes simpler and less chaotic.
Here are some benefits of managing everything from a single interface:
- Your support team can respond quickly and can achieve better response times.
- They can access customer data quickly and maintain a superior customer follow-up. This also ensures data security.
- Your agents do not have to switch between various tools and can respond from the same place.
3. Keep The Support Contextual and Personalized
Firstly maintain a smooth transition while shifting from one support channel to another. Hence it becomes utterly crucial for brands to stay relevant and contextual in such a scenario. Spare your customers the inconvenience of repeating their problems every time they switch channels.
Why do you need to define customer context?
- Personalized Response: With personalized responses, businesses can always be in a better position. All you need to do is make data-driven decisions on what the customer wants and serve exactly that.
- Customer Intent: Understand the customer’s intent and determine where they are in their buyer’s process. After that, you can adjust the response based on these determinations.
- Optimize Customer Journey: The biggest benefit of identifying the customer context is that it helps optimize the customer journey.
Delight Your Customers with Multichannel Support
Implementing multichannel strategies is essential to keep up with the changing aspirations of customers—especially the customers who expect brands to have a presence on all channels possible. You need to determine which channels are the most needed. You need to link them to the same interface and regularly evaluate channel performance to ensure value to customer engagement.
DeskXpand is a multichannel customer service software that helps you deliver a cohesive, flexible, and integrated customer experience across all channels. It is built by functional experts and developers with certifications in their respective fields.
We are ISO27001 certified portal experts with 14+ years of industry experience. We aim to help you achieve complete visibility and attain a high-resolution rate through multichannel customer support software. So, would you like to take a demo?
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