Well, the very first thing you need to so before choosing and implementing any new channel for service, is to find out if your customers are even using it. It would be an utter waste of time to go to all the trouble of implementing Live Chat, for instance, if your customers prefer email and never use chat.
Once you have found out what channel your customers do like to use, then you need to do some planning, starting with a gap analysis of the current system – reviewing it for usability, effectiveness, and responsiveness.
Here is a quick checklist for a gap analysis review and some paths to improvement for the current system:
- Eliminate unnecessary or inappropriate processes that block the path to resolution.
- Make certain critical customer service incidents are escalated to the correct channel for best service.
- Give customer facing staff and the customer the right information for a fast fix.
- Evaluate each technology solution with an eye toward improving efficiency and knowledge as well as other identified business requirements.
- Mandate training and education to inform front line employees and customers of channel availability, how the channels each fit into the support structure, and which channel is best for the problem at hand.
Once your gap analysis is complete, you will want to decide which channel offers the best opportunity for a quick win…. so prioritize these choices according to need not want.
Live chat may seem to be the coolest channel to offer, but it may not be one most desired by customers and/or it may not lend itself to a quick improvement in service.
Only you can decide which will be best for your business, but you must complete the preliminary investigation and planning first so you don’t waste money and time on something that won’t be used.
What new channels are you thinking of implementing in your customer service, customer support, or help desk?