Why is Multi Channel Customer Service Important?

We live in a time of plentiful choices. Making the most of it, many organisations or start-ups in Australia are creating their impact, in the shortest possible time, by means of integrating multiple channels of customer service in their businesses.

Nowadays, integration of multi-channel customer services is one of the most important factors for a business to consider, due to many reasons. By providing a range of options to the customer, businesses in Australia are attracting and growing their loyal customer base significantly. They build high value by affecting the way in which people are making purchase decisions nowadays.

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In addition, offering abundant choices to your customers is a forerunner for a business to maintain its presence, meet the customer needs round the clock irrespective of their location, and empower customers to take the right decision. To assist you further, let’s have a detailed look at the concept of multi-channel customer service in Australia.

Business Efficiency through Multi Channel Integration

Multi channel customer service holds huge potential in delivering business efficiency and excellent customer experiences. The customer experience offered by integrating a multi channel strategy creates a more personalised, optimised and responsive outlook of a business in Australia’s competitive and transforming industries.

As per the Fifth Quadrant’s research;

The primary channels that attract the maximum investment of various small or big organisations are 83% online or self-service – digital, 62% mobile apps, 34% email and surprisingly, 57% of investment is focused on the phone or voice channel while 18% towards face to face channels.

This clearly emphasises on the potential that opens up for a business with the integration of multi channel customer service. Along with that, the level of exposure of the customer base to your business improves, as you cater to the needs of your customers by all means, and without falling short of their expectations.

Are you increasing the investment in multi channel customer service this year, to attain higher business value in your particular industry?

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If you too, plan to join the forces of digital transformation and differentiate your business from the existing competitors, then you must make the most of these consumer channel preferences, and make only the right decisions, most importantly in the right direction, to optimise your customer service experience.

The top most channels utilised by Australian consumers, to avail customer service, are through phone conversation – 62%, via self-service website – 41% and in person – 45%.

The Prospective Channels of Customer Service and their Importance

Organisations that believe in delivering exceptional customer support, reach out to their consumers through all of those channels where their customers are present. Thus:

  • If your existing customer base includes avid user of emails, opt for an instant email support.
  • If they like to reach your business on Twitter, make this platform as your potential channel of customer support to access your customers efficiently.

In continuation of the above stated Fifth Quadrant research, keeping a strong grip on all the available channels of customer support will be the only key factor in differentiating your business and moving it along to a true market leader.

Email: This is undoubtedly the most non negotiable channel for all types of businesses. Almost 91% of consumers utilise an email service, everyday. This is the easiest means of building instant rapport with your customer base.

Social Media: Social networks are now the most excellent means of accessing your customer and to grow your business. Companies who use social networks as customer support channels have 15% lower churn rates than the ones who don’t.

Self-service Knowledge Base: As the name depicts, the self-service knowledge base is extremely useful to help your customers get to know you better, without being present for their assistance, through a live channel of customer support. You can deliver exceptional assistance 24/7 with just a small team.

Voice or live Chat:Phone support is old-fashioned but considered as the fastest means of communication between your business and the customer base. In fact, phone assistance accounts for almost 68% of the speediest interactions. Similarly, 44% of customers say that having a live chat support during an online purchase creates a trustworthy relationship with the service providers and is accounted for, as the top feature a website could offer.

Related: 
How to Do Customer Service The Right Way

Multi Channel Customer Service – A mean of seamless consumer experience

Your customer wants to be able to contact you with whatever device they hold in their hands and that is what your business needs to do – make itself accessible, by all possible means, for your customer’s satisfaction.

Integrate many digital platforms and provide seamless consumer experience through different channels. If you manage to reach out to your consumer base through numerous channels, your business will be providing fantastic experience to its customers, which is hard to give up.

Gain more loyalty and trust with your instant customer service. Stay responsive to your customers and effectively provide them with updated information and flawless support.

In today’s fast paced and transforming world, a business that shows itself invested in providing exceptional support to its customers, by making the most of the multi channel customer service, will go a long way in building long lasting relationships with its customers and successfully make its mark.

AI Technology and Customer Service

Recently I wrote an article for LinkedIn titled “Can we maintain the human touch with customer service?” I couldn’t help think about how fast we are moving with Artificial Intelligence that the question still remains, I am not worried about 5 years from now or what new customer interactions will be digital, but how will businesses maintain the reality check with their customers? Surely digital chat bots and automated ticketing systems will ask random customers surveys about what they thought about their service response and the level of happiness to refer another customer. To implement is very easy but to keep the human connection with your customers will be the challenge.

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Deliver Smarter Customer Service Solutions

At Woveon, we watch and analyse through thousands of conversations all uniquely handled by diligent customer service agents who, assisted with technology, work tirelessly around the clock to acknowledge, understand, listen to and resolve the incoming customer conversation. Clearly customer service has the human touch here! Even with today’s AI technology surpassing standards in reliability, accuracy and now business intelligence the human touch in AI must not be far away? This is an important consideration looking at the technology landscape today, companies are working on delivering smarter customer service solutions, from chat bots that understand your sentiment and can adapt to your tone and writing style to automated enquiry systems that can help recommend products while you shop online. Yet still, customer service and particularly conversation management is still a human “touch”, something that is defined intrinsically in the term “customer experience”.

See also: Customer Service: Its Importance and Value

Create an Outstanding Customer Service Experience

Let’s take the example of creating an outstanding customer service experience. Data tells us that outstanding customer service increases brand loyalty. Examples include begin a conversation with a podcast, send personal messages, create a lifestyle and get back to your customers. We’re not talking about getting back to your customers via a bot or automated reply email, but rather using an actual person who understands your customers and can understand the fine details and semantics of human feelings. Remember, customer service is all about listening to your customers and putting yourself in their shoes. Great customer service professionals can quickly adapt and understand the customer’s frustrations and calm their emotions. Being present and responding quickly in human is very different to doing this via a scripted automated response. However, in the enterprise world, a study by Oracle put it at 8 out of every 10 businesses who are already implementing or about to implement AI as a customer service solution by 2020. Nearly 40% of all enterprises are already using some form of AI technology with Forrester predicting a 300% increase in AI investments, the disruptive power of AI will impact every part of the business from customer service to sales and support. So are businesses going ahead at this the wrong way?

Having interviewed several CTOs and CMOs working with the technology, there is no rushing into the game looking for the holy grail. For most, the best step moving forward is in assistive and adaptive technology or to assist with data collection and analysis. AI technology is encapsulating more and more human qualities as technology advances. Bots are often deployed to collect data based off human input and use it to optimise the customer’s experience. This is particularly applicable to personalisation. Human teams then need to help filter, sift through and make sense of all the personalisations so the system can make better judgements in the future. Artificial intelligence predicts and prioritises the user’s interests according to their searches and similar inputs given by other users. This, when compared to the pros of human service, has similar benefits to empathy and experience. For example the human touch can continue on more serious, complicated customer challenges whereas standard, mundane everyday enquiries can be handled by AI bots. An example is AI assistance to lessen waiting periods for customer inquiries. KLM, the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, used DigitalGenius’ AI system to answer customer’s questions faster. The AI units interpreted the questions and answered them with a quick edit of the preformed answer to relate directly to the language used by the customer. It was also able to adapt to the platform for the inquiries, pumping out longer responses to emails but limiting Twitter responses to 140 characters. Digital customer service seems to be directed towards matching human interaction but with the removal of prominent flaws.

So can we maintain the human touch in customer service? Having been a product manager and worked in technology since the first dot com (no I am not that old, I was just young when I first got into technology), we can expect to see customer service significantly enhanced with AI bringing the human touch to a new level. The amount of data that AI and ML will help sift through to help “advise” and “suggest” to a customer service team will break new boundaries. Customer service teams can then be deployed to work on escalated or prioritised items that result in a big sale or help close the deal. Customer service, intuitively is tied closely with the human touch, a computer cannot learn years of successful customer interactions without first being taught and guided by humans. This is a realistic fact.