Multi-Channel Customer Service Explained

When a brand’s Customer Service Team utilise a number of contact mediums, it’s known as multi-channel customer service/support.

Multi-channel support offers a more personalised service, so that the needs of each, individual customer are catered for. The aim is to offer a more complete customer journey, with an emphasis on the customer experience.

The thing to bear in mind, is that customers will more than likely move across the different communication mediums.

For this level of customer service, a top-notch CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software package is essential; allowing the Customer Service Team to record accurate and detailed information after each customer interaction, regardless of the platform.

And as far as the Customer Service Team goes, good training is key. The team will need to present a unified face to the customer- that of the brand- across all customer service mediums. They’ll also need to be vigilant and accurate in recording their data via the CRM, to allow teams from other departments to help, equipped with all relevant information.

 

Phone

For many, this still remains the first port of call. Speaking to someone directly is a tried and trusted form of contact and still attracts the most customers, with 61% reaching for the phone (eConsultancy). But, if done badly, it can have the opposite effect, disengaging your customers altogether.

To improve your customers’ experience, minimise IVRs (Interactive Voice Responses) so that they can speak to an Advisor as soon as possible. After all, it’s the reason they chose to call.

Support your Advisors in establishing a genuine, human interaction with the customer by providing full training on the brand voice and values, and be sure to invest in top-notch systems to make sure your customers don’t end up hanging on the line while the system loads (stuff of nightmares!).

 

Email

For particularly detailed or non-urgent requests/queries, some customers prefer email contact. Customers will expect a slight wait for a response- but don’t take this for granted!

Email customer service is there to take the pressure off the phone lines (or any other form of contact, for that matter), but if you leave your customer waiting for too long, they will- understandably- seek to speed-up the process and get in touch again.

Email responses should be detailed (within reason) and well-looked-into, as well as efficient and representative of the brand’s tone of voice.

 

Live Chat

Live chat is fast becoming one of the most popular contact methods. In a recent survey, 83% of consumers admitted to requiring some form of assistance before completing an online purchase (eConsultancy). With the rise of online shopping, it seems the rise of online customer contact is also on the up.

Live Chat offers the immediate helping hand customers want, particularly when shopping via a brand’s website. What’s more, in a recent survey 1 in 5 shoppers admitted to preferring online chat over any other communication method (Boldchat).

Tip: Be sure to test a number of systems and select only the best- you don’t want to lose any chats, or leave any customers waiting! Once you’ve got your system, you’re all ready to start training the Customer Service Team and really perfecting your customers’ live chat experience. If you choose to outsource, of course, this will all be handled for you.

 

Social Media

Social media is the go-to for those wanting a super-fast response. Unlike email, 3 day, 24 hour, or even 12 hour response times just won’t cut it- try more along the lines of 30 minutes max.

If done right, what you lose through the cost of resourcing this customer service medium, you very much gain through positive relationship marketing. Social media allows you to acknowledge and respond to any unhappy customers out there, and turn their situation around- right where both existing and prospective customers can see it.

A recent survey suggested that 88% of consumers are less likely to buy from companies who leave complaints on social media unanswered.

 

Want to find out how we can save you time and money when it comes to multi-channel customer service? Simply get in touch.