Providing Great Customer Service, Across All Channels

It was great to meet with Guy Stephens last week, one of the forefathers of and key influencers in social customer service. I was keen to meet with Guy to get his views and feedback around what we’re planning to do with V2 of DigiDesk. But, inevitably, the conversation ebbed and flowed around various best practice, across the whole social customer service space.

It was interesting to listen to Guy and get his take on where we should focus our development of the DigiDesk platform, moving forward from 2015 and into the future. These are some of the areas that we discussed…

Provide great customer service, across all channels:

Inevitably, we focused our discussions a little more around the social media channel. But, we both understood the importance of delivering effective and consistent customer service, across all contact channels. This was one of the key outputs of OneReach’s recent customer service report, fielding views from 63 influencers.

The key here is understanding that when a customer wants to contact a brand, they may choose to reach out across a range of channels: voice, email, chat, social media etc. The choice of channel is often dependent on the nature of the enquiry and the complexity of the issue. The challenge for brands is to ensure that contact centre agents can offer a consistent level of service, across channel and across a range of customer service enquiries.

Joining up the customer experience, across channel:

Is there anything more frustrating for a customer than having to repeat the same details to multiple customer service agents? How often does a customer email a brand, then try calling a brand, then switch to social in frustration because their issue is not resolved? This is commonly known as using social media as a ‘channel of last resort’. But, with that frustration being vented in the public domain, it can seriously damage brand reputation.

Guy talked about his own frustration with customer service still being delivered in ‘siloes’ – i.e. contact centres still having separate teams for voice, email, chat and social media. This situation inevitably leads to a disjointed customer experience, across channel. Therefore, the challenge here for brands is to pro-actively join up customer journeys and ideally position blended agents to offer cross-channel customer service.

Transitions from social media to email, chat and voice:

Conversely, wouldn’t it be great if we could offer customers a seamless transition, across channel? Imagine if a voice agent could answer the phone knowing that you emailed in 2 weeks ago about a customer service issue and that you have recently tweeted the brand to say that you have a problem with product XYZ. Wouldn’t it be nice for the contact centre to know that this caller has over 100,000 followers on Twitter?!

Well… this is exactly what we’re aiming to deliver in V2 of DigiDesk. I explained to Guy how agents will be able to engage with a customer on Twitter or Facebook and then ‘switch to’ alternate channels, such as voice, email or chat. We are able to join up that conversation, across channel, and present a ‘mention’ with attributes such as priority, sentiment and social authority… along with the pre-loaded conversation history.

The future of social customer service:

Dimension Data recently stated that digital interactions will exceed voice interactions within the contact centre by 2017. But, that doesn’t mean that voice is disappearing. It means that voice is still a very useful channel for emotive and complex customer service issues. Being able to transition a social customer to the voice channel effectively would be a great step forward.

Primarily, I think Guy would agree that we need to move away from social customer service being delivered in a silo and open it up across multiple digital and traditional channels. As long as, that customer journey is tracked, joined up and a consistent level of service is offered, no matter what channel is used. The goal remains: to provide great customer service across ‘all’ channels.

Version 2 of DigiDesk is due to be released in November, as a leading social media monitoring, analysis and engagement platform. Importantly, we’re aiming to offer a seamless transition across social, email, chat and voice channels. Watch this space… and feel free to contact us for a demo of the new platform.