Multi-Channel Contact Centres

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Multi-channel contact centre technology

Firstcom is a leading provider of multi-channel contact centre solutions. In recent times multi-channel has usually meant voice, SMS, email and web chat, with video and social media being channels that are now used more and more.

Single-entity solutions that we offer include Puzzel’s multi-channel contact centre and 8×8 Contact Center.


Survey data for 2018 indicates that the percentage of inbound voice contacts that make up the overall number of contacts in an organisation has decreased for the first time, decreasing by 6% in the last year alone.  The survey data also indicates a clear shift towards digital channels such as social media, email, SMS and live chat.

While voice remains the most prominent channel today, multi-channel not only means extra channels for the contact centre to manage, it also makes the roles of advisors and managers more complex.

multi channel contact centre experts


Firstcom’s voice solutions range from simple inbound, outbound and blended solutions such as the 8×8 dialer through to voice handled as part of the broader multi-channel platforms that we offer including Puzzel and 8×8 Contact Center.


Firstcom offer a range of chat solutions……

Puzzel offers comprehensive web chat capabilities allowing agents to respond to multiple chat enquiries, all managed within one interface. Puzzel’s Chat is available as a stand-alone or as part of Puzzel’s broader multi-channel contact centre solution.

WhosOn is a smart live chat software that lets you track, chat and dynamically engage with your visitors.

Puzzel offers comprehensive web chat capabilities allowing agents to respond to multiple chat enquiries, all managed within one interface. All enquiries are queued and routed to the appropriate skilled agents and can be switched on and off automatically depending on agent availability.

Just like telephone calls, chat conversations can be easily transferred to other agents and queues. Agents can consult with other agents via private chat messages which are hidden from the customer, helping agents obtain the exact information they need quickly and efficiently.

Benefits of Puzzel’s webchat

  • Delivers faster, enhanced customer service by ensuring web chat requests are handled by agents with the right skills and within pre-defined service level agreements
  • Reflect a professional, polished image with special features such as spell-check functionality and personal dictionaries
  • Allow agents to provide a smooth experience by allowing them to co-browse with customers, ensuring efficient communication
  • Quality monitoring is made easy with Puzzel as each conversation is recorded. Customers are also given the option to have the chat conversation transcript emailed to them for future reference
  • Stay up-to-date on key metrics such as agent productivity and customer satisfaction with rapid and responsive analytics available within the Puzzel platform

Multi-device support

Puzzel’s chat is a multi-device solution, allowing your customers to interact with you via a smartphone, tablet or PC. Puzzel’s open APIs allow easy integration directly into your website or mobile app, making the customer experience completely seamless.

Design flexibility

Ensure your branding is maintained as Puzzel’s web chat interface is completely flexible allowing you to change the font, colour, shape and size of the interface as well as add your logo.

Webchat structured messaging

To get fast, accurate and precise feedback from your customers, structured messages are available to tailor the dialogue, allowing business transactions to be completed and recorded in a safe and efficient manner and incorporated right into your chat experience.

Webchat survey

Never miss the opportunity to capture the ‘voice of the customer’ by including a survey at the end of every conversation, allowing you to easily monitor the quality of service you are providing.

URL tracking

Puzzel’s chat solution allows you to understand your customer’s browsing behaviours by enabling you to track the URL history of the session. This allows you to offer a service that’s personalised and relevant every time.

Just a click away from your customers

WhosOn live chat powers quick, convenient communications between brand and web visitor, complete with a handy range of features.

Chat surveys

Pre-chat survey, to gather valuable customer data and give relevant support.  Post-chat survey, to ascertain service quality and satisfaction.  Reports on post-chat survey fields, to collate and capitalise on insights.

Canned responses

Automatic keyword detection, to speed up response windows.
Ready-made answers launched within the chat window, to eliminate manual re-typing.
Categorised, access-controlled canned responses, to suit each user’s needs.

Speed chat

Predictive text, to send the most relevant recent response within 3 strokes of the keyboard.
Recommended chat answers, to reply intuitively and immediately.
Quick tab, to switch from chat to chat with speed and ease.

Chat mood

Recognition of emotive words, to ascertain user satisfaction.
Visual mood indicators, to display chat mood to the agent quickly and clearly.
Inbuilt emoji pack, to convey feeling at a click.

Chat translation

Automatic language detection, to improve the customer journey.
Live, two-way language translation, to remove communication barriers.
Support for 43 languages, to open your website to the world.

Stacked chat

Strikingly original chat window for your website, to chat in style.
Messages stacked in a stylish, scrollable box display, to wow web users.
Customisable chat appearance, to match the client to the look and feel of your website.

File upload

Send files back and forth in real-time, to prevent channel disruption.
All common file formats accepted, to share information quickly and efficiently.
Live document verification, to reduce cost and resource.

Dynamic invites

Automatically issue chat invitations, to offer proactive service.
Create triggers based on site activity, to launch chats at opportune moments.
Send invites based on user details, to provide a personalised experience.

Mobile chat

Mobile friendly chat window, to be available to customers on any device.
Full mobile support, to ensure a robust omni-channel experience.
Supporting mobile app, to take chats on the move.

Customer history

Recognise return chat users, to greet digital customers like old friends.
Display existing chat histories, to prevent reintroductions and repetition.
Pull in relevant CRM data, to have account information instantly to hand.

Chat preview

See what the user is typing as they type, to gain insights on the chat and the customer.
Preview chat content before the customer hits ‘send’, to respond with speed and accuracy.
Flag confrontational or inappropriate language, to prevent issues before they arise.

Availability schedules

Automatically remove chat options out of office hours, to manage customer expectations.
Surface an “offline” button when all agents are unavailable, to prevent lengthy waits.
Set a standard leave message or call back option, to keep communication channels open.


Gone is the organisation’s “preferred contact channel”; it’s your customers who dictate channel preference! With an SMS service in place, your organisation can provide proactive customer service, e.g.  reminders, renewals, offers, alerts and travel updates.

SMS messaging is a powerful and highly personalized way to stay in touch: almost everyone in the UK has a mobile phone that they have with them at all times and that they check often. So it makes generating business communications and targeted communications easy.

Our high-volume SMS service allows you to send personalized SMS messages in bulk and individually.  With it come automated opt-out functionality and online delivery reporting, helping you stay compliant and measure success rates.

“Save time and money with automated messaging campaigns”

Agent-led communication is decreasing, focussing in on those areas of communication where voice-to-voice adds the most value. Digital communication, notably SMS, is now becoming the norm. Statistically, SMS messages have been proven to have the highest open rate. And they have been shown to return the most responses.

“SMS is an effective way of reaching a large audience quicker than call centre agents calling each and every contact“

The SMS text can be edited and personalised (e.g. customer name, policy number, amount to pay, etc.) quickly and easily, whether the SMS is for an individual or for a number of recipients.  Increased conversion and customer engagement is typical when the SMS contains a call-agent number or a click-to-pay weblink.  For call-agent calls-to-action you can adjust the outbound call rate in real time to optimise traffic back into your call centre.

Digital for collections

If you look at the age groups with most debt, most collection notices, if for no other reason than their population size, it is likely to be the younger age groups. And it is those groups who are most used to engaging through digital means and most likely through SMS.

Collections via SMS – why?

  • The high staff and call costs attempting to collect payments from your customers can often outweigh the results
  • Customers don’t always want to talk to agents
  • SMSs are read 76% + of the time
  • Up to 50% of customers simply can’t be reached via other channels
  • Agents can handle multiple SMS conversations
  • Consumers expect to be able to authenticate their identity, open new accounts, pay monies due, etc., all from their mobile devices

Digital for compliance

Digital communication has its advantages in the area of compliance. It is much easier to control a text than it is to control an individual operator. A pre-programmed text will not go off-script and will not be as easily subject to human error.

“Technology means control and control means fewer mistakes”


Customers want to engage with businesses via their channel of choice and receive the same level of customer service across each.  Firstcom offers a range of options for handling social media communications as part of a multi-channel offering such as Puzzel, 8×8 Contact Center and Puzzel Ticketing or in standalone mode.  So whether you are just looking for a way of handling and recording your social media interactions in isolation or looking to aggregate your social media interactions to queue and route alongside interactions in other channels, get in touch with us to discuss the options available to you.

Email Management

“The long and short of it is that unless you have a system that can provide some sort of automation, emails are just as expensive to answer as phone calls”

Some people prefer to communicate via email and some companies choose to steer their communication towards email.  So, inevitably, whether your audience is business or consumers, your communication strategy will have to accommodate email handling.

Firstcom’s email management solution, powered by Puzzel Ticketing, manages and organises all customer queries in one place. It’s an outstanding email ticketing system that lets you deliver fast and improved service to your customers.

“Puzzel Ticketing blends effortlessly with voice channels. You can also use it to blend in your SMS and social media channels”

Firstcom has deployed Puzzel Ticketing as a best of breed solution over many years to a number of sectors, including energy, retail and travel.  Our clients use it for email alone, for consolidating email, SMS and social media into one single management platform and for blended voice and email.


Simple interface: it’s very quick and easy to track and respond to queries. Puzzel Ticketing creates a ticket for each incoming email message and keeps all actions and follow-up correspondence with that record.

Automatic email routing: you decide where inbound emails should be routed within your organisation so that the right messages are dealt with by the right person or team.

Advanced filtering: inbound emails can be filtered based on keywords and either immediately escalated to the right person or team (e.g. complaints and sales) or processed in the background (e.g. utility meter reads or password resets).

Real-time monitoring and reporting: managers can track the performance of individuals and teams as well as gain real-time insight into their department’s customer caseload.

Self-service portal: our customer self-service portal allows you to quickly and easily ask questions and get instant answers automatically within your own website.


  • Rapid roll-out and no email infrastructure change required
  • Eliminates the duplicate handling problems of a “shared inbox”
  • Single view of customer: all queries and responses
  • Respond more quickly/in line with SLAs
  • Templated responses available for consistent branding and service
  • Autorespond to repeat queries
  • Reduce the cost of handling
  • Enables you to be GDPR compliant
  • Reporting lets you measure agent & team performance
  • Full visibility of where you are with emails


Our multi-channel contact centre solutions are just one facet of Firstcom’s suite of customer engagement solutions.  See below for some of our other productivity tools.

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