Join Jeff Toister for an in-depth discussion in this video Developing your service channels, part of Managing a Customer Service Team.
- The number of communication channels companies use to serve their customers has increased considerably in recent years. This video will give you an introduction to managing multiple service channels and provide some guidance to help choose which channels are right for your organization. To start, I'd recommend downloading the Service Channels Worksheet. Once you have it in hand, we'll go through a few short exercises together. Okay, let's start by taking a look at some of the most popular service channels. Take a look at the list on the Service Channels Worksheet and mark which ones your organization currently uses.
Now think about which department owns each channel. For example, it's not uncommon for Operations to own In-person service, Customer Service to own Phone, Email and Chat, and Marketing to own Twitter and Facebook. It's important to identify the owner for each channel so we know who is serving our customers. There's a place on the Service Channels Worksheet where you can identify the Owner for each one. The next exercise will help you see each channel from your customers' perspective. Try to contact your organization through each of your service channels.
If possible, use the same request, such as a question about a product or a service. Make a note of a few things for each contact. First, think about how easy it was to find the channel. Did you have to dig around on your website to find a phone number or was it prominently displayed? Next, identify how easy it was to contact your company using the channel. Did you have to answer 20 questions just to send an email or was it fast and easy? The third thing to note is how quickly you received a response. Were tweets responded to in a timely manner? Was there a lag time on chat? Fourth, ask yourself if your question was answered and answered correctly.
If you asked the same question via multiple channels, was the question answered consistently? Finally, think about whether your experience was consistent with your organization's customer service vision. As a reminder, this is how your organization defines outstanding customer service. Every channel will be a bit different, but these tests will help your understand how they're working together. If your channels are optimized, it should be easy for customers to get service using the channel they prefer. If your channels are not optimized, I'd suggest working with the department that owns that channel to create a more consistent customer service experience.
The one thing we haven't yet covered is adding new service channels. Here are a few things to consider if you wanna add new ways for your customers to connect with you. One consideration is whether there's enough customer demand. It might be tempting to try every new thing, but each new channel takes up valuable time, money and resources. Another consideration is, can you serve your customers effectively using this new channel? If the answer is no, then you shouldn't implement it. Finally, ask yourself if you can serve your customers in a manner that's consistent with your customer service vision.
Again, if the answer is no, then you shouldn't implement it. Many people get excited about new technology. As you evaluate your service channels, I encourage you to think instead about effort. The latest and greatest technology won't help you if it frustrates customers and drives them to another channel. With each service channel, your goal should be to make the service experience as easy and as pleasant as possible for you customers.
- Clearly defining outstanding service for employees
- Evaluating service quality
- Identifying obstacles to outstanding service
- Aligning resources to optimize service delivery
- Calculating the cost of poor service