One of the biggest changes to the customer experience in the past half-decade has been the explosion of channels that customers can use to communicate with brands and the freedom of choice. By freedom, I mean that customers will often make a comment or complaint about a product on a public channel – such as Facebook – and expect the company to respond even if there was no message sent directly to the brand.
This is very different to the flow of information that used to exist with customer services in the past. A ‘customer care’ phone number or email address existed so that comments could be directed to the organisation. On receipt, the customer service team could then respond appropriately.
So the entire process flow has changed. Now when a customer has a question, they don’t call a specific phone number, they just Tweet or post the query on Facebook. But even though there has been some stability around Facebook and Twitter as the most popular social networks, new channels are emerging all the time.
This creates two major issues that have to be addressed. How does your organisation deal with new channels? If you don’t adopt new channels quickly then a swell of questions and complaints may be growing and unanswered. Perhaps even giving the impression that your brand doesn’t care about these customers because they are not communicating in the “right” way.
But even if you are flexible and ready to adopt new channels as they grow in popularity, how do you start measuring them? Checks, balances, and performance indicators are always required. You need to know if the team is doing a great job and different channels have different measures.
One thing is certain, this dual question of how to quickly adopt new channels and how to flexibly measure them is a question that will be asked more frequently in the year ahead.
Photo by Khalid Almasoud license under Creative Commons