In the eon of digitisation, companies must ensure that they keep evaluating and upgrading their channels that they are employing not to just meet but to go beyond the expectations of their customers for optimal outcomes. In my blog, Digital dilemma for Customer Services, I touched upon the concerns companies face and the process that they can follow to freeze on the communication channels for their customers. The ultimate question that every unit head asks before giving his nod is - the quality and cost per interaction. In this blog, I shall discuss a few more.
In this digital age, companies need to develop a 360-degree view of customers’ various relationships and interactions across channels and for that, companies must understand their customers’ digital capability and psyche to share information to be able to target the different strata of customers. For instance, according to a Research Report published in 2014 highlights that Mainstreamers which account for the largest market share can become loyal digital patrons if the companies can show them tangible benefits of each interaction through any channel. Although few experts claim that generational differences may be one reason for the choice of channels, but a study by CXAct (2015) revealed that telephone calls emerged as the chosen one for baby boomers as well as millennials who still prefer traditional and more personalised services.
It is altogether a different ball game to use non-traditional channels to raise awareness and engage your customers, and to use it for service and support. Customers select channels that are quick and easy as well as where they expect the fastest resolution of their queries at the first point of contact. Failure to deliver an engaging service in real time can drive away customers; a significant (77%) of customers reported that they consider good customer service when companies value their time as was claimed by Forrester’s Report (2015). Customers can make or break businesses is clearly evidenced in the fact that the quality of customer experiences is directly proportional to the loyalty and advocacy. To be more precise, customers who receive a first contact resolution are nearly twice as likely to buy from the same brand (implying stickiness/retention/enrichment) and four times more likely to spread positive word of mouth about it (advocacy).
Companies such as Netflix and Skype have figured out which channels work for them best. In the former case, the company does not offer email as a channel since they cannot adequately provide a quick and easy resolution on first contact and instead focussed on a robust self-service help center online, with easy access to either a live person via chat or phone; while the latter manages its entire customer services through online communities and analysis based support center.
For companies, digital disruption can be overpowering and unpredictable, but they cannot ignore the potential this phenomenon stores in it to make them globally successful. Companies would have a better shot at success by leveraging this digital explosion starting with the way they reach their customers.
Author: Debaleena Debnath
Debaleena is a digital media consultant @ speradigital.
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