The Impact of Multichannel Service in Best in Class Companies

Definition of Multichannel Service: The availability of several communications channels for customer service such as phone, email, chat, and online self service.

The Aberdeen Group recently published a study called “Delivering Customer Service via the Contact Center and the Web”. They give over 30 pages of information on how best in class companies provide multichannel customer service and what level of service is provided versus industry average and what they call laggards.

First of all, 91% of Best in Class Companies give their customers a way to track issues online. And 57% of them track call center performance across all channels.

More stats:

  • Their current First Call Resolution Rate is 75%  
    • Industry Average: 62%
    • Laggards: 53%
  • They sustain a 24% increase in productivity
    • Industry Average: 5%
    • Laggards: 1%
  • They had a 21% reduction in total support costs over the past 12 months.
    • Industry Average: 3%
    • Laggards: 2% increase in total support costs over past 12 months
  • Most telling: their service margins (profit/revenue) was 24%
    • Industry Average: Almost half that of best in class at 15%.
    • Laggards had one-third of the best in class service margins at 8%.

Best in Class companies are also more than twice as likely than the average to leverage service management systems with contact center functionality and  twice as likely to provide agents a standard escalation process or protocol and give those agents frequent training. They are three times as likely to give their customers issue resolution scenarios and multiple avenues of service.

Pretty powerful numbers. What does it take to make these kinds of numbers? Management commitment. If the support from the top is not there, the contact center cannot hope to achieve these numbers in isolation.

With the number of call coming in through other channels than phone and email estimated to increase by 3-5% as phone and email service requests go down anywhere from 3-10%, now is the time to start analyzing what channels your customers prefer to use, determine a path for implementing that channel, and start interacting with your customers as they wish.

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