Philippine call centers have been adapting web-based tools and using them as non-voice customer service channels in order to keep up with growing customer demands. Aside from the phone, it s now typical for contact centers to welcome and address queries via email, live chat, social media, SMS, and even mobile apps.
Customers have a plethora of convenient points of contact to choose from, but no matter how first-rate the service businesses offer, it seems that these options still have a long way to go just to satisfy people. And this is the challenge that every evolving company must face because as they elevate the quality of their products and services, their audience s expectations similarly rise. What s best now will become the standard, and those who don t live up to the standards will fall behind. This is why if you offer multi-channeled customer support, you need to know what customers expect from your channels in order to pass their collective criteria for great customer experience.
Choosing the right channel to deliver online support is one of the trickiest part of extending customer service to digital platforms. There may be lots of free social networks to build your base on, but those sites may not be where your audience frequents.
You may decide to have all areas covered by embracing all available platforms, but some of them may end up unused, making no return to your investments. What you need to do then is study where customer engagement takes place the most. Facebook and Twitter, for instance, are safe choices since these are today s biggest social media sites doubling as customer service platforms. You can eventually branch out to other channels as you get to know your customers better and their communication preferences.
Once you have chosen the right platforms to use, you should determine which functions each channel should carry. For instance, the phone can remain as the main channel for high priority cases, while social media can take care of minor queries. Then, know whether one Twitter account is enough for all customer service concerns or if you need multiple profiles for different issues like billing, subscription, or delivery tracking.
Ideally, you should be available round-the-clock now that you offer multi-channeled customer support. But if you don t receive request for assistance after office hours, then it s understandable to keep your operations within nine-to-five. Again, a thorough study of consumer preferences is needed in order to pinpoint the correct hours to make your service available.
Keep in mind, though, that no matter the channel and operating hours you choose, you should be accessible during that period. So keep your channels responsive and reliable by doing regular maintenance and upgrades.
By speed, we mean the span of time from when the customers sent a request and the time you answered. Ideal response time varies from channel to channel:
• On the phone, it’s always best to answer right away, but if there isn’t anyone available at the moment, an interactive voice responseinteractive voice response (IVR) system must at least get the call sorted out so that the agent can get right to solving it as soon as he goes live.
• On email, the reply should be sent within the day. You might consider using an auto-responder that lets senders know that you received their message. This lets them know that you re working on their case, and you can also give a time estimate for when a solution can be sent.
• On live chat, replies should take no longer than three minutes, while tweets and other social media comments should also be posted with immediacy.
Basically, your response time should be faster than your competitors and shorter than your customers patience.