Many in the customer service industry have talked of a multichannel environment for service where social media and other new channels start taking the place of the traditional call to a voice-based contact centre. Many have even predicted that non-voice customer service enquiries will soon become the most popular way for consumers to reach out to a brand.
Of course, many of these predictions are unproven, but a recent press release from a major British telco shows some statistics that strongly support the idea that customer service channel preferences are changing.
The telco has found that compared to two years ago they now receive a million fewer calls per month to their voice support service, but requests for help and information via social media channels have increased eight times during the same period. A great example is how customers checking their latest bill are now using the online service over nine million times a month.
I’m certain that more and more brands will start reporting a similar shift. Customers are happy to serve themselves if self-service is easier than calling for help and customers reporting a minor problem are happier sending off their comment using social media than calling and waiting for service.
This is now more than just a trend, it’s an expectation of customers to be able to reach a brand through many channels – now the brands need to understand and reflect this in the customer service they offer.
Photo by Jeff Meyer licensed under Creative Commons