How to Give Your Multichannel Implementation Plan a Reality Check

There’s no question these days that the contact center world has morphed into a multichannel, multi-tasking, multi-challenging world. Customers want to contact you through various channels and your company must be responsive to customer demands or else you risk losing them to the competition. Here’s a few ‘reality check’ points to consider in your multichannel planning:

  • Excel at the channels you currently support before adding channels. If you are not doing a good job at answering calls, your performance will not improve by adding chat, text, social media, etc. In fact, it will deteriorate.
  • Multi-tasking is a myth. To do more than one thing at a time would require multiple brains. I haven’t met anyone who has two brains. We may move quickly between tasks but we are hard-wired to do one thing at a time. Overloading agents with concurrent tasks will impact quality and efficiency.
  • Proceed with caution when blending multiple channels. If blending calls and emails, do you want agents to finish the email before taking the next call in queue? Stopping and starting emails reduces efficiency and quality. Is that a trade-off you are willing to accept?
  • Different channels require different skill sets so hire and train appropriately. Give thoughtful consideration to the workforce management impact. Will you be able to measure, report, forecast and schedule efficiently in the blended environment?

After  you undergo this “reality check,” I suggest you read, Using a Multichannel Strategy to Deliver an Exceptional Customer Experience, for information on the ten things you need to consider when building a multichannel strategy to improve the customer experience.  Final food for thought: do a thorough job in the planning phase and you’ll be much more successful in implementation phase. I must confess to learning that lesson the hard way. 😉

Share your single channel to multichannel migration experience with our readers in the comments section below; the good, the bad, and the ugly. We can learn from each other!

Best wishes,

Marilyn Saulnier

Marilyn Saulnier

Marilyn Saulnier

I am a principal consultant at Interactive Intelligence with over 25 years of contact center management and consulting experience. I manage a global team of contact center consultants that work with organizations to define the center’s strategy, improve the center’s efficiency and quality of the customer experience, redesign processes, and implement and manage change. I'm also a frequent speaker at industry conferences and has led many training seminars in the US and abroad. I've also published articles in the Contact Center Pipeline, Middle-East Customer Management Insight, and Call Center Management Review.