At least one in three customers uses more than four communications channels for contacting companies - purchasing services, receiving information or making complaints, according to the research by world's leading multichannel contact centre solution development company Genesys.
All added up, you may find that you use around ten different channels of communication on a daily basis. Therefore it is safe to say that our era is the age of the digital customer, and if companies want to not just survive, but to work effectively and build a positive reputation, they must play according to the new rules. Here are some of them.
1# Everything should happen easily and seamlessly
Research by the McKinsey consulting company shows that contact centres with a successful digital strategy increase customer satisfaction by up to 33% and save 25-30% of resources.
"Digital customers like when everything happens easily and seamlessly. Therefore, you should enable them to reach you using the communication tools they use and prefer on a daily basis. Customers may be active users of social networks, mobile apps or online tools. Regardless of the form they choose, you should use the same communication tools," says Richard McCrossan, Digital Channel Strategic Business Director of Genesys.
The expert suggests considering a single multichannel contact centre platform to communicate with customers in their preferred manner, or at least a way to facilitate the work of staff in a multichannel mode. After all - people should receive answers to questions that are important to them.
"If a company offers all possible channels of communication to the customer, but they are not linked, their management takes a lot of effort and time and does not guarantee a good level of service," McCrossan adds.
2# Frequently asked questions and knowledge base matters
The options for finding the required information online are simply astounding. According to estimates and customer surveys by Genesys, for the first time in history, 65% of customers look up the information themselves instead of calling the company.
A successful digital strategy includes the creation of useful self-service channels and a solid knowledge base, such as guides, tutorials and list of frequently asked questions to be used by your customers in search for information. At the same time, facilitate contact with the company, for example, by redirecting from a Twitter account to an application on the company's website. Such simple tools as chat or a click-to-call (web-call) are very useful.
3# High-quality self-service is part of excellent customer service
The "millennials" are so used to mediated communication that self-service without any human involvement is taken for granted. According to the research of the Centre for Generational Kinetics that analyses generational differences, people with a positive self-service experience are more likely to positively evaluate the entire customer service as such.
In addition, 70% of female "millennials" state that they feel more comfortable resolving the matter on their own, without the involvement of other persons. It is especially important to ensure a positive experience for this segment if we want to encourage return purchases, and, after all, it is known that the household purchase decisions are mostly taken by women.
Automated notifications and reminders about bills, services and news also form a part of self-service and will save a lot of time for your customers and reduce the support centre workload. It is worth noting that the delivered messages should be timely, relevant and useful. People will appreciate if they can control what they receive.
4# Social networks are not only entertainment, but also for real communication with the company
The digital revolution is a double-edged sword - on the one hand companies can more effectively reach customers, but on the other people have more opportunities to express their dissatisfaction publicly. A study by Genesys found that 84% of customers are willing to share their negative experiences on social networks or with another online community.
Meanwhile, a study by Adweek shows that almost 60% of Twitter complaints go unanswered. At the same time, 72% of those who have asked questions or expressed views on Twitter are expecting a response from the company. 42% expect to receive an answer within an hour.
This means that a company with a growing customer base has to think about its image on social networks and often should be guided by the principle that it is better to be represented, rather than ignoring them or seeing its reputation being undermined.
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