The Changing Face of Contact Centers Series Part 2: Multimodal and Mobile Communications and Beyond


At Windstream, we’ve been honing our contact center capabilities to reflect the rising trends and increased use of mobility and multimodal communications we’re seeing. The data isn’t really surprising; according to a recent Pew Research study, 56 percent of adults now own a smartphone and the trend continues to rise. These trends have a significant impact on the way both customers and companies interact with one another for the ultimate customer experience. 

The popularity of mobile platforms

For most of us, mobile has become a way of life and the vehicle we turn to for all of our communication needs. We tend to think of mobile use as a hallmark of young generations; however, data from a recent Nemertes Research study shows that consumers across the board are increasingly dependent on phones and tablets to meet their needs. In the last year, mobile spending per employee for enterprise businesses rose 193%, while overall IT spending rose only 4%. Clearly, organizations are failing to understand customer communication preferences and make the necessary investments to talk to consumers on their terms.

Many of the contact center solutions that Windstream deploys today use mobile devices and applications internally to respond to customer needs in a fraction of the time traditional methods typically take. For example, if an irate customer calls a contact center but the customer service rep can’t respond to his complaint without assistance, the rep can text a supervisor, who can then access a mobile application to join the call remotely and instantly address the concerns—resulting in much higher response rates, increased customer satisfaction and improved overall consumer sentiment.

The popularity of multimodal communications

Hand-in-hand with increased mobility comes another consumer trend: increased multimodal access. Whether accessing apps through a smartphone or logging onto a webinar through a desktop computer, one thing is clear: the expectation that person-to-person telephone conversations will be the sole customer touchpoint is as outdated as Betamax VHS players. Twenty-eight percent of contact centers have already adopted multimodal technology to allow varied engagement options for their customers and another 44 percent have multimodal plans in the works. And the end result? Companies with multimodal capabilities have seen improved customer satisfaction rates.

Self-service options are a variation on the multimodal trend, best illustrated through a banking industry example. Many financial institutions have adopted technologies that allow customers to self-serve, with options to check account balances, make account transfers, request credit line increases and more. These capabilities empower users at their convenience, resulting in higher levels of satisfaction.

The key to success with both mobile and multimodal customer options is integration. When companies can engage with their customers on social media, through texting, or via the web and integrate these options into their business models, they’re offering a seamless customer experience on a consistent platform.

Find out more about how a Windstream contact center can benefit your organization. And stay tuned for the next installment of The Changing Face of Contact Centers!