Multichannel Customer Service Is Falling Short (Report)

While multichannel can improve customer experiences overall, there are some persistent gaps when it comes to customer service.

Personalization and creating seamless multichannel experiences are two of the driving forces in social media and marketing this year. These efforts can improve revenue, but they also provide a more coherent customer-service experience. A report from The Northridge Group, a provider of customer experience solutions, examines gaps in service that still persist.

Customers are reaching out to companies using every platform available to them, but one of the key factors behind their choice is ease of communication. Fewer than 40 percent those surveyed said social media was an easy way to contact a brand for customer service, and 21 percent said they received no response; less than one-half received both a response and a solution during their contact.

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Social media also suffers from poor response rates, with 17 percent of respondents saying they had to contact a company four or more times before they got a response. Online customers don’t have the patience for response rates like that: 31 percent of all respondents will switch to another channel within an hour if they aren’t getting satisfactory service.

Providing an easy experience between all channels should be a priority, according to the report:

In business, we think about channels, but customers just want to fix the problem they are trying to address. They begin a conversation with a brand in one channel and may attempt to continue it in another. Making that transition as seamless as possible through easy navigation, timely response and a consistent brand voice drives the most satisfying customer service experiences.

Telephones and call centers are still core elements of customer service. Nearly 50 percent of survey respondents reported that phone calls were their preferred method of seeking customer service, and that’s unsurprising given the high satisfaction rates.

For advice on best practices to bring your company up to date and more information on user behaviors, download the report.