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Blog

Aug 31, 2014

Do You e-Care? The Digital Experience for Customers

Categories:
Customer Service

open laptop on a table demonstrating the digital customer experience

Digital customer service, dubbed e-care, is already heavily adopted in the banking and financial sectors but, with its lure of efficient and effective delivery, other industries are jumping on the bandwagon too. Particularly when McKinsey & Company research suggests that up to 70% of traditional call centre interactions could take place through digital channels such as websites, SMS, social networks and mobile.

But experts warn against companies rushing into implementing an e-care-only model or falling into the common trap of introducing new digital customer service channels without fully understanding their customer’s journey or their needs. As with any other large project, careful consideration and planning needs to be put into your e-care strategy. Also, if your company relies heavily on upselling through your customer contact centre, a poorly planned e-care offering could reduce, not improve business.

76% of telecommunications customers are satisfied with a customer service journey that is fully digital, compared with 57% satisfaction for interactions through traditional channels.

What do your customers want?

Do your homework. Or at least do some research into what customers in your market want. It might be that they still want to talk to someone for service issues, but they would prefer to update billing info via an app. You won’t know until you ask.

It’s also pointless to add channels that your customers won’t use. If your customer demographic shows low take up of SMS, then this might be a lower priority to implement and you can focus on, for example, live chat.

Migration to e-care can reduce call volumes and operating expenses by up to 30%.

What channels are used for e-care?

The list seems to be growing daily, but the current major digital customer service channels include;

Live agent chat
Your customers talk to a ‘real’ person in your contact centre by typing their messages into an embedded tool on your website, or social media page.

Virtual Agents
The first point of contact for customers with many leading organisations, virtual agents can be used by mobile and web customers as well as internal customer-support staff to quickly locate relevant product information. Learn more about Astute Knowledge Web Assist and AgentAssist.

Social
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, blogs etc. Customers interact with your brand through social sharing posts and updates, liking, conversations, pictures and videos. Learn more about Astute Social Relationship Management (SRM).

Mobile
A mobile application is downloaded to a customer’s smartphone or tablet and enables them to interact with your company whenever and wherever they choose.

SMS
Customers can send messages to your contact centre and receive replies about their queries.

41% of service interactions with telecommunications companies begin on an e-care platform, just 15% are digital from start to finish.

How can I ensure a successful e-care roll-out?

Each company is different and the needs of your customers might change over time, not to mention the constantly evolving technology. But, according to the McKinsey & Company report, there are a few things you can do to help things along;

1. Review what’s not working.
Are customers frustrated with the channels, or lack of, that your company offers? What types of queries are the most common and how are they currently being raised?

2. Build your e-care strategy map.
Delivering an excellent digital experience should remain at the heart of your plan, but what about the other needs of the business, such as cross and upselling?

3. Build a dashboard.
Get an overall view of your customer so you know where to prioritise your efforts, and hopefully see the savings.

4. Set goals.
Savings for the contact centre and increasing self-service usage for customers are good starting points. Think about longer-term goals too such as headcount, cost per interaction etc.

5. Mix it up.
Push and pull strategies are the best way to give value to customers and drive them to multi-channel adoption. This must be carefully balanced with being able to deliver the service and still meeting the needs of your consumers. Incentives and offers always work well here.

6. Plan the change.
Like any other change management project you undergo, the digital experience for customers needs to be taken seriously by all team members and have visible support of your c-suite.

At Astute Solutions, we are committed to helping clients define and implement the right e-care strategy for them, and for their customers.

Talk to us today about how we can help you e-care.

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