As of late, the preferred method of customer service isn’t necessarily through the telephone. Consider the consumer habits of millennials—a generation highly reliant on Internet and mobile-based communications. In fact, a survey from the customer service tech analysis company Software Advice revealed that 56 percent of respondents aged 18-34 prefer communicating via live chat rather than phone.
These generational insights mean businesses should explore the benefits of multichannel marketing services. Nevertheless, opening up business across multiple channels does not mean immediate bolstered profit. It takes time and nurturing to provide best-in-class customer service over several platforms.
A recent report from Forrester suggests that today’s consumer takes “many paths as they solve problems, activating business capabilities in unpredictable ways.” As such, it is important that when activating these different paths, businesses are able to harmoniously maintain the volume of new inquires generated from additional channels along with those that are already set in place.
In order to provide effective multichannel customer service you must ask the same questions as you would in telecom services. Is this service reliable? Are consumers engaged? Will the chosen channel reap the expected ROI for my business?
You can guarantee the answers to the above three questions are ‘yes’ by ensuring your multichannel marketing solutions includes these three important components:
Integration: The integration of a new customer service channel should be seamless if it’s going to be effective. Solutions such as rapid response routing allow for such flawless implementation. When a customer’s information is entered through an online service, an automated phone call is prompted. While the customer is entering information a representative is already working to further handle the specific details of the process, order or move. As a result, two customer service channels are married in order to produce an even stronger customer support system.
Personalization: Consumers seek immediate engagement with Communicators as soon as the phone is picked up. In other words, the last thing they want is to be put on hold. In the same sense, when a customer sends an email a response is anticipated; it won’t benefit your brand to provide an email address with poor responsiveness. Build your brand loyalty while assuring customers that an email service, for example, really works by providing real results. Aggregate the customer’s specific information and include this in your emails. Make your customers aware of your business’s attentiveness through personalized response.
Time Sensitivity: What truly gives a company a competitive advantage in the customer service industry is timeliness. It’s a real brand differentiator when a company not only follows up, but follows through in a timely manner. If your brand is going to offer a live chat or email solution, make sure you have the workforce to support these channels. If a customer sends a message to a live chat service only to be left hanging, the likelihood of that customer’s return is slim to none. Combat poor customer retention by offering up speedy responses.
Multichannel marketing services are a great idea for any business’s customer service support. Options in addition to the telephone make way for increased customer engagement. Just remember: extra channels require extra attention in order to succeed.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE, formerly known as the ATA. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.