Once upon a time, when the shift from a product towards a service and experience oriented economy was made, inevitably customer service became more important. With the rise of new channels, even more ways of interaction have been demanded and created. By offering toll free numbers or @customerservice handles, organizations are trying to please the customers’ ever increasing demand of 24/7 contact and interaction. But are they doing the right thing?
From Channel to Touch points
Customers are giving businesses a hard time. They are not only talking back via multiple channels, even worse, they are talking when nothing has been asked and expect a timely, personal and correct response. The average consumer does not think in channels or “moments of truth”, but wants interaction with (a representative of) a company at any time. Forrester outlines this in their “touchpoints-model”; this model links and mixes diverse ‘old’ channels such as TV, stores and websites to new interactions via apps or social media in different stages of being a customer. Every phase knows its own touch points.
The challenge for companies is to adapt and optimize their way of working around this new customer behavior on all interactions and touch points, to make each contact with the organization relevant to the customers. And that is easier said than done. Recent study by SAP shows that although organizations state they should use social tools for customer service, they don’t put the money where their mouth is: over 75% of surveyed organizations have invested less than 50K USD in social customer service.