Being tied to one channel is a thing of the past – and this also applies to the service sector
Social networks are not the only channel that’s important for customer service today. Another important trait of multichannel customers is that they no longer rely on one channel but intuitively switch between the channels based on what is most convenient at the time. Even if shoppers are perhaps loyal to a specific retailer, they still alternate between the online shop, catalog and brick-and-mortar store of that retailer. This applies to customer service as well as the actual purchase. That is to say, the customer expects the same level of service quality everywhere – regardless of whether he or she is approaching the company via telephone, email, chat, or a social network.
Challenges for the service department – adapting processes
Today customer service is available in real-time thanks to mobile technology. Customers only see the brand and not whether the service processes are internally properly integrated. In places where service is not yet part of a multichannel strategy, people in charge keep noticing that their service departments are unable to cope with cross-channel customer inquiries. And even when this realization has been made, it still doesn’t mean that multichannel customer service is subsequently being practiced. Oftentimes, digital channel integration is done rather halfheartedly and without adapting internal processes. When customer service questions cannot be handled in a cross-departmental manner, employees usually lack the necessary overview to truly respond efficiently.