Why Multi-Channel Customer Service is Increasingly Important

How do you prefer to talk to other people? Over the phone? Through e-mail? On social media? Chances are you have different preferences depending on the time of day, your location, and what you’re talking about.

The same goes for your customers and how they prefer to communicate with your company. Some customers may prefer picking up the phone, while others would rather send a quick tweet to get their issue resolved. The variety of communication preferences within your customer base means that every one of your customer service channels needs to meet your customers’ expectations. Here’s how to improve each of your customer feedback solution channels so that you can continue to exceed their expectations from West Interactive.

Voice

Phone-based customer service still reigns supreme; roughly 92% of annual customer service interactions are phone-based, in fact. Customers get frustrated with phone-based customer service when they perceive agents as being unable to help them. You can preemptively address this by integrating your phone-based service with your other channels so that agents can see the full picture of a customer’s information; this will save time and prevent the customer from repeating information, making it a more efficient and pleasant interaction.

SMS/Text

An SMS or text message is widely regarded as quick, convenient way to update customers, especially as we become more and more dependent on our mobile devices. However, make sure that you’re contacting your customers at a time that’s convenient for them. Typically, that means only use SMS between 11am and 9pm; however, you can pinpoint more targeted times by monitoring the peak mobile usage times among your target audience.

E-mail

For customers who choose to engage with you over e-mail (around 60% of consumers, according to research), make sure that you set expectations for a realistic response time. Most consumers expect a correct answer over e-mail within 24 hours; a good strategy is to immediately acknowledge customer inquiries with a confirmation page or auto-response e-mail that includes an estimated time for an individualized response.

Social Media

Customers expect brands to be on Twitter and other forms of social media, and in fact, 72% of customers expect a response to their tweets within an hour. Unfortunately, very few companies meet that expectation (only 10%), and the average response time is closer to five hours. Dedicate a social media handle to customer service only; this will improve your response time and your rate of response while de-cluttering your brand’s main page and encouraging viral marketing.