Businesses embrace the multi-channeling trend to be able to keep up with the evolving demands of their modern customers who are getting more tech-savvy every day. This is even more prevalent in the customer service outsourcing industry where solutions are no longer limited to call center services, but rather supplemented by non-voice processes delivered through web-based tools.
Once you have live chat, email, and social media tools in place to assist customers no matter the platform they choose, you might expect stronger ties with your consumer base. What you may get, however, is the opposite.
Multi-channeling has been observed to be causing customer attrition: people are prompted to switch brands after the one they originally embraced had implemented digital and social customer service.
A particular article by Marketing Week reported that brands can lose as much as 53% of their customers to competing businesses due to their unimpressive customer service delivery via digital channels. Customers from all over the world were also asked to rate their satisfaction with web-based customer service, and surprisingly, markets where Internet penetration is among the highest (UK and Japan) ranked digital customer support the lowest.
The problem is in your execution
Before concluding that multi-channeled customer service is ineffective, think why British and Japanese customers are the most unsatisfied with digital customer service platforms. Consumers in those countries are so adept with the latest digital innovations that they have high expectations from every organization that ventures their customer support function into the digital realm.
So, if your way of delivering service through your new platforms doesn’t match with how people expect to receive assistance, they get put off.
Another problem with some companies is that they get overly ambitious with their multi-channeling project. Once they have new channels installed, they tend to shun traditional means of contact, like the phone, when in truth, the majority of their audience still prefers this over new web-based tools when settling customer issues. The same study published by Marketing Watch even said that 81% of customers still turn to the phone when they have product-related problems.
The key to effective multi-channeling of your customer service function is knowing the right platform to use and delivering assistance according to how customers expect to receive the service.
For example, on Twitter where exchanges are limited to 140 characters, customers expect brief, straightforward answers when they ask a question via tweets. Promptness is likewise expected from live chat, while email is often used by people who want comprehensive explanations to their problems. Find out which among the common digital tools are most preferred by your buying public, and concentrate your approach there.
You should also make the transition smooth, but before doing that, see if a transition is truly in order. Just because there’s a high demand for SMS customer service doesn’t mean that you should put all your efforts into that channel and let go of old ones like your call center. Know if people only want additional platforms or if they want to completely replace traditional modes of communication. And to benefit from the full potential of your newly acquired digital tools, make sure that your customers are aware of these new platforms as well as how they are used.
Customer service will continue evolving along with customer demands. Wise businesses should be able to anticipate those developments and act upon those appropriately in order to stay afloat in the ever-changing global business landscape.