From Voice to Omni-Channel

30th December 2021

Article written by Joe Newton (Technical Manager at Connexis) for Shropshire Business Magazine.

From Voice to Omni-Channel

The telephone will always be an important part of most businesses. Unless you’re an online only tech start-up targeting Generation Z, your customers will expect to be able to reach you by phone. However, consumers are beginning to want other ways to communicate with the businesses they interact with.  These other ways to communicate are called channels, and include web chat and email.

We’ve all been there; you call into a business and get told that you’re in queue position 173. You could send an email, but you won’t know if it has been received or when to expect a reply. Then you spot a web chat icon on the company’s website, submit your enquiry, and receive a prompt reply.

You may ask, why would you get a quicker response with web chat than by phone call?

Are companies prioritising customers that use web chat? No, the simple answer is that web chat is more efficient than a phone call. A phone call is a one-to-one experience, whereas with web chat an agent can handle multiple customers at one time – reply to customer one, while that customer is typing reply to customer two, and so on, before looping back to the first customer.

So how would a small or medium-sized business achieve this?

Contact Centre software used to be very expensive, making it only accessible to larger businesses, but now the Cloud has brought these solutions within reach of any business. The monthly rental model means no upfront cost to purchase and deploy the software, not to mention servers to install it on, and you only pay for the number of agents you require. Larger businesses require more agents and therefore pay more than smaller businesses who have less enquiries to handle, levelling the playing field.

For our Gamma Horizon customers, Horizon Contact bolts on to your existing system to give you web chat and email integration, as well as the stats that you need to track how these communication channels are used. Avaya’s Contact Centre as a Service, or CCaaS, offers the same functionality for our Avaya Cloud Office customers, and can also be used as a standalone solution alongside any telephone system, including on-premise and even legacy non-IP systems.

An even more cost-effective solution is WebRTC Kite from Wildix. Wildix offers 4 licence options – Basic, Essential, Business and Premium – and Kite is included with both Business and Premium. While not a true Contact Centre solution, when combined with the real-time stats application x-caracal, it comes extremely close at a fraction of the cost. Kite allows you to provide web chat on your website, native to your telephone system.  Chat with your internal colleagues and external customers is brought together in one application, enabling efficient customer retention and lead generation.  On top of that, you can also advertise your users’ status (Available, Away, Do Not Disturb) on your website, and escalate web chat to a voice call or a video call when needed. You can even screen share with the caller to provide an unparalleled level of support. This functionality is soon to be further enhanced by a new application, x-bees, coming in 2022 – watch this space.

To find out more about these solutions, and other ways Connexis can help improve your business communications, call 01952 528000 or email sales@connexis.co.uk.

 

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