Just ahead through the double doors is the customer service department. Behind a neat, circular desk, a tidy line of customers waits patiently—or perhaps not quite so patiently—for their questions to be answered. A man with a checkbook in his shirt pocket narrows his eyes at the woman talking, ad nauseam, to the customer service representative. From the safety of her too-large purse, a small dog growls at the man. The man growls back. He’s irritated. He’s going to be late for a meeting, it’s growing warmer by the minute, and already he feels the day slipping through his fingers…
This is a simple, if not human, snapshot of the bygone era of one-to-one customer service. Customers came to you when your doors were open, and chances were you knew their names: Henry, Mathilde, and little Fluffy.
Nowadays customer service is a lot more complex, and it can be hard to meet the ever-shifting expectations of consumers. But do we really miss the good old days?
The times, they are a-changin’
Today your door is always open, and both you and your customers can decide how best to have a conversation. Multi-channel simply means that there’s more than one way for customers to reach out to you for support—by phone, email, live chat, social media, and lightweight self-service options such as knowledge bases and online communities or forums.
The modern day Henry carries a smartphone in the back pocket of his jeans. He scans the news while waiting to buy lunch and remembers a question he had for your support team. He begins tapping out an email, but gets distracted. Instead, when he’s back at his desk, he initiates a live chat session. Henry might actually be a perfect example of a customer who’d prefer to help himself.
Here’s the thing: Henry is just one customer among many, and he isn’t thinking about customer service in terms of a multi-channel strategy. He just wants to get a quick answer to his question, and he’s got the tools on his end to make that happen.
Are you ready?
Customers both want and expect to have the ability to contact businesses in more than one way. Beyond that, they want the experience—including the quality of service and the information they receive—to be consistent no matter which method they use to reach you.
More than likely, you’re already providing multi-channel support, but how many channels are you offering, and are they the right channels? How can you know which are the most efficient for your organization? Different channels offer different benefits, and your customer demographics may favor one channel over another.
We revisited our multi-channel white paper to take a closer look at what multi-channel looks like today. Download the updated guide to:
- take an in-depth look at what multi-channel support entails
- examine how a multi-channel strategy improves efficiency, agent productivity, and increases customer satisfaction and loyalty—all of which impact your bottom line
- cover some practical strategies to help implement and optimize this approach through the use of a unified platform
- spot more Bob Dylan references (Just kidding, this is all we’ve got.)
Read the full guide now