Multichannel Customer Engagement = Stellar Customer Service

Multichannel Customer Engagement = Stellar Customer Service
One would imagine in 2014 we would have stellar customer service online when it comes to banking. How difficult is it to get proper (read: on-time and on-target)  customer support?

The answer: Quite Difficult.

In a world where we want near real-time replies, and top-notch customer service, we have to make do with delayed replies and fragmented delivery. Having interacted with literally 100+ banking websites,  I’ve seen one crucial element that is missing from a majority of all banking websites that I have visited: A multichannel customer engagement help desk.

Not just any help desk, but an amalgamated application that would tie everything into a singular repository to address (and redress) the needs of a customer.

Most banks in the US are now averaging 3 business days before you even get a reply. In Europe, the number averages to nearly 2 business days. In South Asia, it is 5 business days, and in South East Asia, it is 4 business days.

These are results tallied from a personal survey on online customer interaction we conducted. It shouldn’t surprise you that there are banks that never bothered to reply back.

If you go shopping, the customer engagement tools offered today are nothing short of amazing. From email, to Facebook to Twitter, and other social media outlets, they can open, track, monitor and service client engagement, no matter what the channel of engagement was.

If you were to contact a new start-up, you’d be surprised (and pleasantly amazed) at the engagement process.  The same is true for more established tech startups (think Dropbox, Evernote, etc.)

It does not take rocket science to implement it, nor does it require complex integrations. Engaging with customers today, can be done on a frugal budget and does not require bloated budget allocations. What it requires is someone at the bank to take responsibility and stop complicating their job description. Just use the tools that matter and serve customers. Period.

As a user, when I interact with a company, there should be a cohesive environment for the company to track my existing and previous engagements. Not just from the form I may fill out via the web, or email, but all available social media channels. Most banks cannot even track in real-time if I have interacted with them before? Many have the option to track this, but most don’t bother or don’t know how.

Another equally important aspect is the ability to provide a tracking number and acknowledgement.

Many a times, the absence of acknowledging receipt of a customer query yields to confusion. Add delay to the response and you introduce anxiety:

  •      You don’t know if they got the email?
  •      Are they are looking at it?
  •      Did they have an autoresponder?
  •      What if my question / query was not answered how do I escalate it?
  •      Is there a tracking number?
  •      Can they see my previous communication trail? Etc.

Venture Beat magazine has done a great job of compiling a list of 10 cloud based customer service help desk software.

Investment in not only the tools, but in Human Resources that do multi-level engagement can propel a bank’s online image way more than any advertising dollars.

As a bank, if you are serious about engaging with your customers (which by the way, more and more are engaging online and via their smartphones), you need to be on the same playing field and pursue them with the same level of sophistication as they do with you, via the different channels they opt for. It is your duty to keep them engaged (via any delivery channel) and always look at the bottom line:

  •      Did we engage well with the customer?
  •      Did we answer their query (Yes or a No, there ought not to be any maybe)
  •      Will this customer ever re-engage with us? Happily or not-to-happily?
  •      Can this customer increase the value of our brand, by word of mouth?
  •      What can we learn from this engagement?

Remember, the customer is king. It is your duty to serve them.

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