Over the past week, PhaseWare’s been talking up our recently announced new eBookâ€”It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad Multichannel World. We’ve also shared some of the helpful tidbits featured in the eBook here on The PhaseWare Files. As Michael Jackson famously said, â€œDon’t stop â€˜til you get enough.â€ With that in mind, and on the less famous advice of SoulIISoul, we’re gonna, â€œKeep on movin’.â€
So far, we’ve covered strategic requirements for multichannel implementationsâ€”accessibility, seamlessness, consistency, and reliability; as well as some best-in-class characteristics for comparison. Today, it’s all about implementing your multichannel strategy.
Before choosing and implementing any new channel, customer preferences must be determined. Also, you first review the current system for usability, effectiveness, and responsiveness. Use the following checklist when performing gap analysis review and improvement of your current system, prior to beginning the actual implementation.
- Eliminate unnecessary or inappropriate processes that block the path to resolution
- Make certain critical customer service incidents are escalated to the correct channel
- Evaluate each technology solution with an eye toward improving efficiency and knowledge
- Give customer-facing staff and the customer the right information for a fast fix
- 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 task at hand
Mapping New Channels
There are several steps to determining the order channels will be added as well as the needed infrastructure changes to support each channel. As mentioned earlier, the best bet for first implementation is the one the customer wants most that also answers a business need. But how do you align those channels to customer needs and support inquiries?
- Mapping channels to customers: Studies have shown customers choose channels based on accessibility and the nature of the inquiry; preference analysis will likely determine which channels work best for a particular business
- Mapping channels to the business: Provides insight in to the best channels for the specific type of inquiries received and best fit for current customer support operations
Implementation Best Practices
Lastly, here are six best practices, things to keep in mind, as you move forward with implementing your multichannel strategy:
- Cost should not be a determining factor in and of itself
- Ensure you have an adequate number of agents with the right skills available to handle the added volume associated with adding new channels
- Consistency and continuity, along with choice, are the most desired attributes as shown by customer survey
- The best opportunities for improving customer experience come from proactive support, personalization, and cross-channel integration
- Customers must also have the ability to perform complete transactions in any appropriate channel
- Tailor options by segmenting and prioritizing call types to improve the perception of customer control
To read more on multichannel support strategy and implementation best practices, download the PhaseWare eBook, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad Multichannel World. We expand on all the listed above with great additional content on best-in-class multichannel models, some tips and best practices for implementation, as well as a bit of information on PhaseWare tools that support the multichannel experience.