For the Best Customer Experience, Treat All Communication Channels Equally
October 04, 2013
By Mini Swamy
, TMCnet Contributor
Technology is marching forward, the communication landscape is transforming, and customers’ needs and attitudes are changing. But, one thing that has remained constant is the importance of good customer service. While everyone agrees with this, there is a disconnect when it comes to actually delivering on such service, as research from KANA Software shows.
Granted, social media channels are currently being views as the most appropriate medium to cater to customers’ need for immediacy, but does that necessarily mean that e-mail deserves to be relegated to the class of a second class citizen? KANA’s study revealed that 59 percent of organisations currently take more than eight hours, or one full working day, to provide an e-mail response.
It isn’t as if e-mail is a half baked product; it has evolved to become a very mature communication channel that certainly doesn’t warrant such neglect. In fact, no channel does, and that’s what today’s customers expect: near-instant responses, no matter what channel they choose to communicate over, especially if it’s e-mail.
As a matter of fact, according to the report, although social media was an important channel used by customers, e-mail was the most common channel for lodging complaints with a company. Customers clearly want to continue using e-mail and will do so for the foreseeable future, concluded Steve Thurlow, head of product strategy for KANA Software.
Understandably, it isn’t easy for a business to respond quickly to e-mail complaints. Their inboxes are inundated with mail, each claiming a high-priority and demanding prompt replies. With no solution to automate and assign e-mail responses and manage e-mail, response times could lag. And that could cause damage to brand reputation, customer dissatisfaction and perhaps defection, something all organizations can ill afford.
Thurlow cautioned organizations and noted that they must remain aware of the continued role e-mail plays within customer service.
No channel of communication is less or more important than another one, and that’s what customers must be made to feel. It’s the small things that add up in the larger picture of good customer experience.
Edited by Blaise McNamee