Are Your Company’s Cross-Channel Services Accommodating Consumers?
Because of the growth of multi-channel self-service, there has been a separation between typical employee monitoring of telephone self-service and what customers actually need. In order to minimize this separation, the company must:
+ Ensure that all desired functions are addressed by whatever channel customers are gravitating to, optimize each channel for ease of use, and keep abreast of new technologies (such as electronic signatures and online check deposits taking the place of in-person appearances at a bank branch).
+ Prioritize resources to keep all channels “up” and available.
+ Immediately handle incoming email and “snail” mail, and foster a culture that prioritizes first contact resolution (FCR) rates.
“Delivering a consistent and relevant multichannel customer experience is an indisputable essential to customer retention today.” (Mila D’Antonio, The Multichannel Service Imperative)
One of the main reasons why you should utilize multi-channel services in your outsourcing solution is to reach customers where they are at.
The percentage of customers who willingly use multiple channels to interact with a company is a large majority and growing every year. Simultaneously, customers cite the need to change channels during the resolution of a single task as a key driver for dissatisfaction. With the voice channel being the preferred escalation channel, callers are frustrated before even dialing the phone. Some other channels with strong and/ or growing use include:
1. Self-service knowledge bases, FAQs, and other customer-leveraged services: Self-services capitalize by addressing simple, repetitive problems, thereby deflecting calls and driving down service delivery costs. To be effective, they require ongoing investment in content, search, and marketing to encourage use and customer satisfaction.
2. Chat: Like the telephone, chat provides customers with assisted service, but can be used more efficiently by agents, many of whom can juggle multiple sessions simultaneously. Not only has chat made solid inroads into support organizations for post-sales service, it’s gotten a nice foothold in pre-sales situations, increasing the likelihood that customers will buy. Because chat is text-based, agents require different skillsets than phone-based support demands, so hiring and training should be tailored accordingly.
3. Email and Social Networks: A long-used alternative to the phone, email has been a very effective channel, but only when backed by response-time guarantees. To streamline email transactions, support shops take advantage of auto response capabilities, pass-thru authentication, and other features. Social networks bring users together to praise, complain, and offer suggestions about their providers’ service performance
Utilizing multi-channel service can also reduce talk time and maximize workforce resources.