Customer Support by phone has been around forever; email support a little less so, yet now part of the support mix. But the Digital Customer has higher expectations. The Digital Customer thinks that offering customer support over multiple channels that include not only phone and email, but chat, self service, possibly even support via social media or Social CRM should be a de facto standard these days.
The challenge for you is offering your customers the right channels with smooth transitions from one channel to another with consistency of message and service through all channels.
This can be trickier than it looks.
- You have to know what channels your customers favor.
- Not everyone is a fan of chat, for instance.
- And not every channel is appropriate for all types of support.
- You have to understand how to staff for the various channels
You must have a plan. And the first step in any plan or initiative is education. Yes, research takes time, but better to take the time now than waste it later due to poor choices, unexpected handling time differences, offering a channel your customers don’t want to use, and other ways that your time and money can be spent unwisely.
Over the next month I will be publishing short blog posts about various aspects of multichannel service. I will cover who should be responsible for the channels and support plan, how other companies are starting to mix in alternative channels, what is required of multichannel service that you need to keep in mind, checklists, and other information on planning, implementing, managing, and maintaining a multichannel service initiative.
If you have specific areas you want to learn about, please leave a comment and let me know. I’ll be sure to address it in this series about multichannel support.