Are You Ready for New Customer Service Channels?
Are you ready for new customer service channels?
According to new data from Forrester Research, consumers are continuing to shift their preferred channels for customer service. The same research shows us that only a third of companies succeed at fulfilling their customers expectations when it comes to handling multiple channels.
The pressing question for every customer service organization is this, how will you handle new customer interaction channels without frustrating your customers?
We’ve been down this road before.
Remember in the 90′s when most customer service interactions were in person, over the phone (hard to imagine) or by mail? Web self-service and email both came on the scene, and companies had to rethink how they managed customer interactions.
And sometimes it was a dead end.
As companies added web self-service and email support to their customer service operations, these channels often become frustrating customer service ‘dead ends’ for the customers. For example:
- You sent an email and never heard anything back. When you called in, you had to explain your situation again.
- You needed help filling out an online form and had to start all over again when calling in.
New channels create new opportunities for frustration.
Fast forward to today. Your customers want to interact via chat, text messaging, social media and mobile applications.
If you let customer interactions on one channel belong to a specific and isolated group of people in your company or contact center, you’re liable to create more customer dead ends magnifying customer frustration. And if you deploy distinct stand-alone solutions for each channel, you may loose visibility into overall customer experience and are architecting for customer frustration.
We can learn valuable pointers from the past:
- People often need to change channels within a single interaction or problem.
- Most agents are quite capable of communicating over multiple channels – and in many cases welcome the variety in their workflows.
- Whatever plans you put in place today will change again in a few years as new channels come onto the customer service scene.
Join Forrester Research on a webinar.
For current research and strategy for multi-channel support, register for the February 27th webinar “Ending the Multichannel Frustration: Insights into Delivering Exceptional Multichannel Customer Service.” Kate Leggett, Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, will join me to share insights from Forrester’s channel usage and preference research and discuss strategies for handling the shifting preferences.
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