Is Your Customer Service Multichannel?


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The Challenge: Just as businesses must provide customers with a wide variety of marketing channels to choose from, they must allow a choice of multiple service channels.

Engaging in Social Media As we’ve discussed previously, multichannel marketing enables delivery of messages per an individual’s media preferences. Some customers want to engage businesses on social media, others want to receive email, and significant percentages still prefer direct mail.

If you focus on a single channel at the expense of others, you’re neglecting a significant portion of your customer base. The same holds true for customer service.



American Express has recently demonstrated the amazing value of high-quality phone service. Outstanding service leads to increased revenue and shareholder value. But not every business can enable 24/7 phone support, and not all customers want to engage on the phone.


Service operations shouldn’t try getting customers off the phone as quickly as possible, but customers should have the option to handle issues without much engagement on their part. In those cases, the most popular alternative to phone support is email.

Live Chat

SMS text and online chat are a part of nearly all your customers’ lives. Implementing Live Chat integrates this convenient customer option. Be sure your customer service team learns from the valuable Voice of Customer (VoC) data in the form of session logs.

Social Media

Regardless whether your business is on major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, your customers are—and they’re talking about you. Don’t lose control of that conversation. Lead it.

Product Guides and F.A.Q.’s

Sometimes customers simply want to help themselves. For their sake, make sure that your online documentation is current and comprehensive.


Let Customers Prioritize Their Channel Preferences

Many businesses enable multichannel service, only to bury their phone number while placing a link to their F.A.Q.’s on every page. This should be the customer’s decision, not yours. Give customers their choice of service channel by prominently displaying every option on every page of your site.

Enable 24/7 Customer Service

For many businesses, the marginal value of 24/7 phone support may be too low to justify the additional cost. But, customers should be able to engage your service team any time of the day—even by just sending a question. Enabling multichannel service allows them to do so.

Be Clear and Accurate About Response Times

Effective call center operations include wait time estimates, a form of transparency that significantly reduces customer frustration. The same should be true of all your service channels: immediately send customers an automatic response from all channels, and include a clear and accurate statement of when they’ll get an answer to their question.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ernan Roman
Ernan Roman (@ernanroman) is president of ERDM Corp. and author of Voice of the Customer Marketing. He was inducted into the DMA Marketing Hall of Fame due to the results his VoC research-based CX strategies achieve for clients such as IBM, Microsoft, QVC, Gilt and HP. ERDM conducts deep qualitative research to help companies understand how customers articulate their feelings and expectations for high value CX and personalization. Named one of the Top 40 Digital Luminaries and one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing.


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