digital channelsNo matter where you look and what research report you read, all roads point to consumers increasing their use of digital channels for customer service. At the same time, only a third of companies succeed at fulfilling their customers’ expectations when it comes to handling multiple channels.

The pressing question for every contact center is this:  how will you handle new digital channels without frustrating your customers?

We’ve been down this road before.
Remember in the 90’s when most customer service interactions were in person, over the phone, or by mail?  Web self-service and email both came on the scene, and companies had to rethink how they managed customer interactions.

As companies added web self-service and email support to their customer service operations, these channels often became frustrating customer service ‘dead ends’ for customers.  For example:

  • You sent an email and never heard anything back. When you called in, you had to explain your situation again as the agent had no record of the email.
  • You needed help filling out an online form and had to start all over again when calling in to complete it.

New channels create new opportunities for frustration.
Fast forward to today. Your customers want to interact via chat, text messaging, social media and mobile applications. If you let customer interactions on one channel belong to a specific and isolated group of people in your company or contact center, you’re liable to create more customer dead ends. And if you deploy distinct stand-alone solutions for each channel, you may loose visibility into overall customer experience – you’re architecting for customer frustration.

Connecting end-to-end customer journeys

When it comes to effectively managing customer journeys, keep these 3 tips in mind:

  1. People often need to change channels within a single interaction or journey – when problems arise they typically pick up the phone to speak to an agent.
  2. Most agents are quite capable of communicating over multiple channels – and in many cases welcome the variety in their workflows.
  3. Whatever plans you put in place today will change again in a few years as new channels come onto the customer service scene.

Check out the IDC webinar

The key to successful use of digital channels lies in mapping your customer journeys. If you’d like to learn more, check out our recent webinar featuring IDC’s Jason Andersson, titled How to Map Your Customer’s Journey to Deliver an Effortless Multi-Channel Experience.

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