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Multichannel contact center

Looking for a contact center that lets you communicate with customers, prospects, or any other audience through different communication channels? Book a product tour to see how Dialpad's AI-powered customer engagement platform lets you do that—and more!


Today, customer service can take place across multiple touchpoints, and it's important to have a hosted contact center solution that can integrate these different channels to give your customers a seamless experience.

The digital revolution has changed contact centers pretty much beyond recognition. Whereas we used to call these “call centers,” most businesses (especially the forward-thinking ones) have gradually transitioned, or are slowly transitioning, to “contact centers.”

The main difference? Call centers focus solely on phone calls, while contact centers involve other communication channels too, like SMS and live chat.

These are also referred to as multichannel contact centers, and they’re a first step toward offering a better customer experience.

Below, we’ll cover the multichannel contact center in detail, how to manage and run one, and more. But first...

What is a multichannel contact center?

A multichannel contact center refers to a software solution that supports different customer-facing communication channels like phone calls, email, web chat, SMS/MMS messaging, video meetings, and social media messaging. However, these channels may not all be fully integrated with each other, meaning if a customer made a phone call last week and emailed with a question today, the agent may not be able to see that full interaction history in one convenient view.

Here are some essential channels and features every multichannel contact center should have:


Voice calls are still integral to a multichannel platform. But not all voice calling tools are the same. Dialpad’s AI-powered customer engagement platform uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology to make phone calls through the internet instead of a traditional phone network.

Because of this, it’s easy to set up new contact center agents and manage their phone numbers in minutes—without IT help:

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Many people still use email to reach out to businesses because it’s relatively low effort, and they don’t have to sit by their phone or computer waiting for a reply. Your small business contact center should include this channel too.


SMS or text messaging is a great channel for reaching folks today. Whether it’s your dentist texting you a reminder about an upcoming appointment or a contact center team texting a customer. Dialpad’s desktop and mobile app lets you send SMS and MMS messages, from whichever business number you want—all in the same place where you make phone calls and have video meetings!

One unique thing about Dialpad is that you can start a screen share on a mobile device with someone over text—without them needing to download any apps. For IT teams or technical support teams that need to troubleshoot with customers, this can be a very accessible way to walk them through a solution.


Grab the Contact Center Playbook, which breaks down everything you need to know, from setup to staffing to optimizing—with examples from real contact center teams across different industries.

Social media

Of course, we couldn’t forget about social media. Customers are reaching out to companies through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and more via both direct messages and public posts. Is your team monitoring these channels? With Dialpad's contact center platform, your agents can manage all of these channels alongside voice and video calls:

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✒️ Vetting different contact center solutions?

This RFP checklist covers the essentials to be aware of and why they may be important for your contact center.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel contact center: What’s the difference?

So, why do businesses have multichannel contact centers? Not only can they help increase customer satisfaction, they’re also a great way to empower your workforce to serve customers on multiple channels. But even though both solutions technically let your agents engage with customers across different channels, multichannel contact centers aren't quite as robust as omnichannel contact centers.

That's because the channels aren’t all integrated, meaning an agent who’s working the phones today may not be able to see callers’ past interactions on other channels.

Dialpad, for example, is an AI-powered customer engagement platform that gives you omnichannel contact center features and consolidates all your communication channels, from phone calls to WhatsApp messages, to live chat messages—into one convenient place for agents. It also integrates with other platforms like Zendesk and Intercom to make sure that data and activities are logged between those tools automatically. (Which means less copying and pasting and other repetitive tasks for your agents.)

Not only that, Dialpad also has self-service functionality, meaning you can build flexible chatbot flows that let customers escalate to a live phone call or video call with a human in case things get more complicated. And you can do it all by dragging and dropping—no coding needed:

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3 best practices in setting up a multichannel contact center

1. Find the right timing: Make sure you need a multichannel contact center

Here’s the thing. Not every company needs a multichannel contact center. We know, it’s not in our best interest to say this, because we’re selling a contact center platform, but it’s true.

Timing is everything. For small businesses and startups, diving straight into the multichannel realm may be a waste of time, money, and resources. (Not always, of course—there are some small businesses with big customer support teams that would benefit from having a contact center tool.)

đź’ˇ Dialpad tip:

This really depends on your customer base. If you’ve done your audience research and found that none of your customers use social media and can’t abide SMS messaging, then you probably don’t have to waste resources in giving them the option.

2. Make real-time analytics and automations your friends

Analyzing contact center data as quickly as possible (ideally while conversations are happening) allows you to make changes before a problem grows into something unmanageable.

Dialpad offers real-time analytics, so managers are able to watch customer conversations as they happen. With Dialpad Ai, all calls are instantly transcribed—as agents are talking to the customer:

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It doesn’t stop at transcriptions either—supervisors can also set alerts in Dialpad to pick out particular words and phrases that may be cause for concern by creating “Custom Moments.”

Want to understand why customers are asking for refunds? Just create a Custom Moment to track every time “refund” or “money back” is spoken on a call:

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This is a great example of how automations can be a great time-saver—you don’t have to manually track every call, and can still see analytics for how often certain topics come up over time.

(Of course, you won’t be able to completely replace human channel support anytime soon, but if you use them well, automations can be an essential part of creating an excellent customer experience.)

3. Have a self-service option for frequently asked questions

Nobody wants to wait in a queue when their question is simple and would probably take a few minutes to solve. Make sure you incorporate IVR (interactive voice response) into your multichannel experience. An IVR is basically a prerecorded voice menu that your callers can listen to and press a number on their dialpad to hear more information or get transferred to someone. Instead of your agents manually routing calls to the right department, this is a great way of getting your callers to route themselves to the information they need!

Fun fact: Dialpad also has useful analytics for IVR that show you which options are being used by your callers and which ones aren’t, so that you can streamline the menu and only provide the most useful information for your callers:

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Looking for a multichannel contact center?

With Dialpad, you get more than a cloud contact center solution. It's a full-fledged customer engagement platform that's powered by industry-leading AI and designed to be robust enough for enterprises, but so easy to use that small businesses can get started in minutes. It works well for both outbound and inbound contact centers.

With built-in voice calls (both inbound and outbound) and SMS, it already covers two significant contact center channels, and has native integrations with other tools like Intercom to include live chat too for omnichannel customer service.

Getting started is easy. You can set Dialpad up in a matter of minutes, and your team can work from anywhere—all they need is an Internet connection.

Provide a better multichannel customer experience

Book a demo to see how easy Dialpad makes it to manage phone calls, live chat messages, and more. Or, take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own!

More contact center resources

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The Frost Radar™️ Enterprise CCaaS 2022 Report

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451 Research Report on AI in Contact Centers

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The Future of AI in the Contact Center: A Fireside Chat