As a business, varying your customer care options is considered multi-channel customer care, and more and more businesses are employing the tactic. While the Econsultancy MultiChannel Customer Experience Report found that 40% of businesses see "complexity" as a barrier to bettering their current multi-channel care methods, Dan Nordale, vice president of marketing and enterprise for Nuance says that it's now necessary.
In an article with 1to1Media.com he says, "Some companies are trying to figure out the right channel for particular transactions, but customers are using different channels. Therefore, companies have to provide choice."
With the landscape changing so rapidly, it's important that you've assessed your KPI's to determine how you can also employ methods to vary your customer service. Forrester Research found, "Smart organizations are evaluating the merits of adding chat and other interactive functions on their websites to better engage the customer and potentially increase sales." So, how can you implement them?
Reach Every Customer
According to ZenDesk.com, 62% of customers use social media for customer service issues -- however, what about the other 38%? While social is a great way to reach many customers, there is still a large chunk looking to be serviced in another way.
Whether they need to speak to you over the call center, or send an email before bed -- you have customers on all ends of spectrums. To decide how many channels your customer care will need -- you'll have to assess your customers in a number of ways:
- Age group: Your Gen Y customers may be using social media, but older folks may want to pick up a phone and reach a person.
- Niche: If you are an online business, your customers are likely assuming they can reach you online. Be sure your channels have a heavy presence there.
- Issues: What sort of problems are common among your customers? While the medical field sees more phone interaction, the financial industry fields more questions via text
Make It Convenient
Customer convenience is the number one reason why businesses are switching to multi-channel methods. Customers want to reach you at any point in their day, whether that is while they are sitting in the car during traffic or in the middle of their workday. Therefore, businesses have made the switch in order to be available at all times.
- Call center: 24/7 call center means customers can always call you when they need you.
- Live chat: Customers busy at work may still need to contact you -- no phone needed.
- Email: Without picking up a phone, your customer can still get in touch with you via computer, smart phone or tablet.
Most businesses now on the market are utilizing a multi-channel customer service tactics, and for good reason. It's imperative that you reach each and every customer, or lose them to a competitor.
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