Multichannel Has Done More Harm Than Good

Call Center Week in Las Vegas kicked off with a video showing what contact centers around the world consider a priority. Multichannel was the most prevalent global theme. This is no surprise given digital is on track to overtake phone interactions by the end of 2016.1

Multichannel is nothing new, so what’s the big deal?

Contact centers rushed to add new channels to meet customer demand and keep up with the Joneses. That silly Jones family, always having to outdo everyone… New channels were implemented in isolation, creating silos of systems and information. The result? Customers suffer from poor, inconsistent and disconnected experiences. Contact centers are stuck with complex, costly and brittle infrastructures. And as the speed of change accelerates, frustration on both sides increases exponentially. It’s no wonder only 11 percent of consumers strongly agree that companies are effectively converging digital, mobile, social and traditional channels.2Picture1

Contact centers want to get multichannel right

The news is that contact centers are now actually doing something about the chaos this created. Companies know if they don’t get their act together the competition will. It’s time to give customers the true omnichannel and multimodal experience they’ve been longing for. One that offers choice, flexibility, speed and convenience. No more independent, isolated conversations and technologies. After all, it’s what consumers expect. And given few companies are delivering, this is a perfect opportunity to separate from the rest. Where do you stand? 

Five keys to delivering on the promise of multichannel

If this strikes a chord, here are five things to focus on to get multichannel right:

  1. Go all-in-one – Ditch isolated, disparate technology platforms in place to support individual channels. Run all interactions through a single ACD routing engine – voice, chat, email, social, video, SMS and, yes, even age-old fax.
  2. Be multimodal – Give customers and agents the ability to add or subtract modes of communication – text, voice, video, sharing – to resolve issues quickly and intuitively. Start with a chat, add voice, then share via video or screen sharing or even virtual reality. VR is closer to becoming a reality in the contact center than you think!
  3. Modernize interfaces – Provide agents a single, contemporary user interface designed to make it simple and fun to have true omnichannel and multimodal conversations. Give ‘em one list of active interactions and controls to get work done fast.
  4. Unify views – Improve operations and performance by providing the superheroes that run your contact centers – supervisors, quality evaluators, managers and administrators – one view and set of controls across all channels of communication.
  5. Innovate often – Invest in a futures-based platform that supports continuous innovation so you can quickly add new channels as they emerge – things like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and WeChat. Keep pace with the modern consumer.

Wanna learn more? Set-up a live demo with our technical sales team. You can also check out our Omnichannel eBook or my blog Multimodal: A New Mindset for Customer Service.

As my dear old Dad likes to say, don’t take any wooden nickels…especially when it comes to multichannel.


1Dimension Data, “2016 Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report,” 2016
2Accenture, “Global Consumer Pulse Research,” 2014

Jason Alley

Jason Alley

Jason Alley is a senior solutions marketing manager for Interactive Intelligence. Since his employment in 2010, Jason has helped Interactive Intelligence develop market requirements and go-to-market strategies for contact center, customer experience, and cloud solutions. Prior to Interactive, he spent ten years consulting with large enterprise contact centers and suppliers for Vanguard Communications, and a company he later founded, SmartContact Consulting. Jason spent the first seven years of his career in sales, marketing, and product management roles working for Aspect, Hipbone, Nortel, and others. Jason received his bachelor’s degree in business economics from UCLA.