Consumers want to reach out to companies in a variety of ways: over the phone, through a mobile application, via texting, through social media and over the Web. And they want the experience to be quick and easy.
The younger demographic is driving the demand for a wider variety of communication channels. I remember as a teenager being on the phone all the time. As I watch the two teenagers in my house, they never use the phone. They are constantly on a variety of applications on their mobile devices. These applications allow them to see their friends using video or pictures. As this demographic continues to age, they will come to expect more and more to be able to get their customer service needs taken care of on their mobile devices.
As an organization, the first thing you need to do to transform your customer experience is to create a plan. Think about the short term, the next one to three years, and longer term, like five years and beyond.
Next, some things to consider as you devise your plan: How are your customers reaching you now? How many are calling on a mobile device? What is the age or demographic of your customers? What channels seem to be a good fit for your customer base? Outline how and when you will add these communication channels in your plan.
As you consider adding channels, another thing you need to take into account is the need for a platform that enables transaction knowledge to be shared among different channels. As busy as your customers are, the last thing they want to do is to give you their full information every time they interact with one of your channels. For example, if you send a customer an SMS text message that states they have a payment due, when your customer calls in to your IVR in response to the text, your IVR should be personalized welcoming them by name and “smart” enough to ask if they are calling to make a payment.
Another portion of your transformation plan should look at calls that are still being handled by agents. As comfortable as today’s consumers are with automation, ask yourself whether there are further opportunities for automation with inbound customer service calls. Perhaps there are some frequently asked questions that can be automated. Or, can you add more information to the identification/authentication process to allow for more accurate transfers? These types of transformation steps are ones that you can accomplish this year in your plan.
It’s time to get busy and transform your customer service experience. Start now and get working on your plan.