What Are Customer Service Communication Channels?
You use these channels as customer service. It helps to communicate with the customers. It is also to build in the relationship. This helps to interact and create a great two-way beneficial relation. Some examples of it are phone calls, emails, and social media platforms, etc.
There are two types of channels, which are traditional and digital. Businesses also use both types of ways as only one can’t persist for long as it won’t be suitable due to different geographies and with the different demographic of the customer. As we can see with the example of the ISP CenturyLink customer service, which has an Omni-channel strategy to deal with its customer such as a helpline, chat with bots, social media response, etc. among many more options.
Converting Website Visitors
To be able to convert visitors into customers, you need to provide the right contact channel, which the customer needs. Brands that have implemented the Omni Channel strategy have reported a 91% increase in customer retention rates. To be able to maximize customer retention, brands need to implement a multi-channel customer services strategy.
Benefits of A Multi-Channel Strategy
A multi-channel strategy comprises twelve main contact channels that can be used. Different types of customers are being tapped into to serve the needs of different customers. By using multiple channels, can maximize the benefits and minimize the downfalls of each channel.
Which Channel To Implement?
Chat Contact Channel
One of the more popular channels is the online chat channel. They are not only fast but also personal while also being reliable. There are four sub-channels in the chat contact channels:
Live web chats
These are human-powered chats that are being carried out in real-time. This is the most preferred channel for all demographics, especially the 18 to 34 age group. Many brands offer a 24-hour live chat option as well allowing their customers to receive help at any time.
Chatbots are automated response solutions that are an efficient alternate for human-powered chats. These are gaining in popularity because they are available 24/7, can respond to many customers at one time as well as provide preprogrammed information immediately. The only downside of using chatbots is that they are not able to respond to unique messages. However, they are the experts in terms of reiterating FAQ and routine queries.
The world now stays connected via WhatsApp and Facebook messenger. Both of these platforms are very quick to use for the customers, convenient as well as cost-effective for the brands. Both these platforms have a huge user base – 1.2 billion active users! These platforms are quick, can be managed from anywhere, and establish a direct link to the brands. In Europe, these platforms need to be compliant.
The main avenue for the new Gen Z and millennial customers is social media: they use these platforms to learn about trends, review brand offerings and make decisions. By using social media, a brand can use one of its main marketing platforms to offer the customer a direct connection with their team.
Written Contact Channels
Written Contact Channels are more traditional methods of connection between brands and customers as they are slower and hence rather inefficient options.
One of the most versatile tools to generate engagement is email. It is best used when formal communication is required, which does not need immediate action. It is also a good avenue to disperse important news and information. The only drawback is that customers have to wait for longer to receive a response.
With the world moving towards paperless forms of communication and most customers also prefer paperless methods, the postal channel of communication is nearly extinct. The only two main reasons this channel is still used are to send invoices and any important updates. It is important to note that most brands are moving towards online channels.
Traditional phones and the new web-based calls are the most commonly used voice contact channels. These are ideals in case of urgent queries and are typically accessible 24/7.
Traditional phone calls
Telephone calls that are answered from a contact center are a traditional yet efficient manner for customer contact. They have a long history of success due to ease of contact, quick and efficient query resolution, while the biggest drawback is long queues to get in touch with a contact representative.
By adding WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) based click-to-call buttons on web pages, brands allow customers to directly place calls via the browser. This allows customers to connect in person, over the phone simply from the website.
One of the additional channels, which can be offered in conjunction with traditional, or web calls is the callback option. By selecting to receive a callback, customers are able to reduce wait times, do not abandon the call, and receive a response to their query while increasing sales for the brands. The main downfall is that callbacks are made whenever customer representatives are available.
Face To Face Contact Channels
The perfect way to offer personalized and proactive customer service is by face-to-face contact. These channels were previously limited to retail store locations, however, recently they have migrated online as well:
Due to the pandemic, the retail outlets have been closed which has led to many brands offering video chat services. The use of video chat allows faster and more efficient communication and is a good replacement for in-store interactions.
There are times when the best way to connect with your customers is to use a physical environment developed to make the customers feel relaxed, comfortable, and an important asset to the brand.
Connecting With Your Contact Channels
No matter the industry you belong to, Omni Channel solutions in customer experiences are the future of fast and efficient customer communication. This ensures that all of the contact channels are connected to deliver a seamless and same customer experience. Not all 12 of the mentioned channels need to be used; using two or more can also allow brands to develop the customer experience.