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The Do's and Don'ts of Adding New Channels to Your Contact Center

By Mayur Anadkat, VP Product Marketing

It is time to modernize your contact center and you have a lot of options to consider to add to your current phone support. My customers are using email, chat, and social to name a few, so how should I support that? As a contact center leader you have questions about each of these channels. How do each of these channels improve the business? How will these channels help my agents? Will they help my agents? At the end of the day, you want to look back and be confident you made the right decision about the addition to your contact center.

Evolving technology and consumer behaviors suggest adding channels to your contact center strategy. Customers want to contact their favorite brands using the channel that they are most comfortable with on a regular basis. But as a decision maker you need to ask the question: Which is the best channel for my business, operational and service goals, if we are a phone-only call center?

The answer to that question is web chat. Chat is critical to contact centers, and is the clear winner over email and social when it comes to consumer preference. The reason chat is so important today is that phone and chat have a common denominator, and that is the ability to have a conversation back and forth in real time. Email and social channels have become secondary for contact centers as these expectations have evolved. Customers can send an email to a representative and receive a response within 24 hours. The same goes for social media, if not longer, to receive a response. However, chat is a real time solution with the back and forth communication a customer is expecting.

The best way to be efficient and also provide a great customer experience is to find a solution that has voice, chat, email, and social by one provider. That way the application doesn't feel like a separate tool, one for voice, a different for chat, and another for email. With one solution agents are familiar with the look and feel, they don't have to learn new applications, and can be efficient in any channel with consistency across the board. To summarize, here are the key do's and don'ts when it comes to modernizing your contact center.


  • Do keep up with the channels your customers are using
  • Do add chat if you only have voice support
  • Do find a solution that provides one application for all channels


  • Don't prioritize email over chat
  • Don't choose multiple solutions for all different channels
  • Don't keep waiting for the next big channel

To learn more about this topic, I am hosting a webinar with Justin Robbins from ICMI on January 19, 2017 at 10am PT. Register here and reserve your spot today. Join in the conversation #Five9webinar before, during and after 

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