6 Critical Mistakes When Implementing a New Service Channel

Quality customer service plays a major part in keeping your audience satisfied and loyal to your brand, but phone support alone doesn't cut it anymore. According to a recent study by ICMI, 74% of consumers use three or more channels while resolving their issues. When you implement a new service channel, there are six critical mistakes you need to avoid to ensure a high-quality customer experience.

  1. Focusing on the wrong channels. Are you using the channels your customers frequent? If you set up a Twitter profile but your customers prefer live chat or a self-service option, you're approaching your customer service in the wrong way. Engage with your customers and find out what their preferred service channels are -- or explore demographic information to find out whether they're social media fanatics or mobile lovers.
  2. Failing to serve channels correctly. Customer service isn't a one-size-fits-all proposition, so you need a specific service style when you switch between channels. The customers looking for help on Twitter have different needs than those contacting your phone support, so you need to treat each audience appropriately. Look through your data for common issues and prioritize implementing solutions to serve these critical needs and keep call center performance high.
  3. Lack of technology support. If you have an extensive call center software solution for phone-based support, why would you skimp on the technology for chat, social, email, or other channels? Implement the technology each service channel needs to measure actions and create reports for each channel. It's impossible to determine channel effectiveness if you don't have a solution in place to track it. Today's customer support technology can track real-time information on representative activities, customer touches, call volume, and resolution.
  4. Customer support representative mismatches. Your best customer support reps may be amazing on the phone, but if you switch them to social media or live chat, they could falter. You need the right type of individuals for each service channel, with the appropriate training so the customer experience remains of a high quality. You may need to adjust your hiring policies or job descriptions to cultivate the candidates who are most promising for your new channel.
  5. Lack of appropriate business processes and policies. Your phone and live chat support policies can't cover every situation occurring on email, ticket, or social service channels. You need to create channel-specific business processes and policies to ensure a standardized support experience instead of trying to make incompatible policies work across all channels.
  6. Failing to identify and measure appropriate metrics. You have metrics set in place for existing service channels like call centers. Before you implement a new service channel, you need channel-appropriate metrics for measuring performance. If you offer customer support on Twitter, you need to adjust the key performance indicators (KPIs) for the environment. It takes more than one customer touch to resolve issues on this channel, and the response times may be slower than they are when interacting with customers via phone calls. Additional metrics such as whether the customer contacted the company directly or if social listening tools found their complaint can also be important to track.

Multichannel customer service is a necessary part of today's customer experience, but failing to correctly implement a new service channel reflects poorly on your company. If you need help expanding your service channels or optimizing your existing multichannel strategy, contact Five9 to talk about our multichannel contact center software.

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