What are Channels?

In the contact center world, channels refer to the method or communication channel a customer uses to interact with a business. Inbound phone calls were once the predominant channel, but the digital age has fundamentally changed the way consumers and organizations communicate. Now, customers expect a variety of support channels to choose from, including chat, email, text message (SMS), video, and more. Consumers can also self-serve, for example, through a company's website or app. Phone interactions are still prevalent, but digital channels are catching up.

Entities that support multiple channels are called contact centers (as opposed to call centers, which only handle voice interactions). Agents within contact centers may specialize in one channel or may be multi-channel, meaning they are able to take contacts in more than one channel. Multi-channel agents give contact centers more flexibility, as they can be deployed according to fluctuating channel volumes.

Offering multiple channels is a good first step towards meeting customers how and when they want to be met. But too often multiple channels are implemented in silos, meaning that one channel doesn't know what happened in a different channel. For example, a customer may call after already emailing a company and the phone agent may not have any visibility to the email. This makes for a bad customer experience. A concept called omnichannel solves this by allowing customers and agents to move seamlessly across channels.

How NICE can help

NICE CXone is the market leading call center software in use by thousands of customers of all sizes around the world to help them consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. We provide solutions to support any number of channels. CXone is a cloud native, unified suite of applications designed to help a company holistically run its call (or contact) center operations. CXone includes:

Omnichannel Routing – routing and interaction management that empowers agents to positively and productively interact with customers in digital and voice channels. These solutions include an automatic call distributor (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), interaction channel support and proactive outbound dialer.

Workforce Optimization – unlocks the potential of your team by inspiring employees' self-improvement, amplifying quality management efforts to enhance customer experience and reducing labor waste. These solutions include workforce management (WFM), quality management (QM), recording and performance management (PM).

Open Cloud Foundation – enables rapid innovation with an extensible enterprise-grade platform that scales securely, deploys quickly and serves customers of all sizes globally. We guarantee an industry-best 99.99% availability and offer easy customization through RESTful APIs and DEVone developer program.

CXone also includes pre-defined CRM integrations and UCaaS integrations with most leading solutions on the market. These integrations provide a holistic call center software solution capable of elevating customer experiences for companies of all sizes.