Mind the Gap: Gap Analysis in Multichannel Customer Service Planning

If you’ve never been to London, you need to go!

And for those of you who have gone, you probably used the London Underground as a way of getting around the vast and bustling city.

Now, just like every other subway system in the western world, the London Underground places a warning on the edge of the floor of the platform and a charming (usually feminine) voice comes over the loud speaker and gives the same warning when the train comes to a stop. In the U.S., the warning usually says, “Watch Your Step.”

In London, it’s “Mind the Gap.”

When dealing with multi-channel customer service and ever changing technology, a good business will always be upgrading new channels of service. Inevitably, when implementing said channels, there will always be “gaps” or issues to avoid or fix; but never fear, there are ways to “mind the gaps.”

The best of ways is through a gap analysis. The first thing you do on your gap analysis is make sure you’ve eliminated unnecessary processes that get in the way of a quick resolution. In other words, chuck the red tape.Simplify your processes and you have happier customers and happier employees.

After getting rid of the clutter, see to it that customer incidents go where they’re supposed to go. If an incident is critical, make sure it’s escalated to the right channel for the best service. Don’t let something get lost in the system. You don’t like it when someone loses something important to you, so don’t lose something important to the customer. You lose it, you lose the customer.

Provide everyone with the right information, which means train your employees and educate your customers. Nothing is more frustrating than being passed back and forth between company representatives who don’t say the same thing because they don’t have the right information. Besides, that takes up the customer’s time and your time which neither of you can afford to lose. When everybody knows what should happen, resolutions happen faster.

Next, you need to evaluate your technology. If your online customer service portal is running slower than a turtle, don’t you think it’s time for an upgrade?

If you don’t even have an online self-service portal and all you use is an automated phone system, don’t you think it’s time for an upgrade?

Technology is a tool made to help your business run more smoothly and efficiently –  take advantage of it!

I’m sure you can come up with more methods, but these are just a few to get you started. Taken as a whole, just:

  • simplify the processes,
  • educate your employees,
  • and check everything for efficiency.

You’ll be well on your way to a smooth running customer service department.

Just remember to…


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