Multi-Channel Customer Service: Better Quality, Higher Satisfaction

by Helen Barton, SVP, Operations and Customer Care Leader for Public Sector

Along with the floppy disk and VHS tape, 9-to-5, landline-based customer service is a thing of the past. Forrester Research says 41 percent of consumers ages 18-46 prefer online customer service to the telephone. Today’s customer is technology-focused and prefers digital forms of communication via channels like text messaging, email, social media and online.

In the modern world of customer service, government agencies need to give customers more communication options based on the kinds of technology they already use daily. A Google study found that 98 percent of customers move between devices in the same day. And according to Ovum, 25 percent of consumers use one to two channels when seeking customer care while 52 percent utilize three or four channels.

Given current technologies like web self-service, online chat, text messaging and email, smart agencies offer a variety of communication touch points for better, more immediate customer service. If individuals can reach out in their own timeframe using their preferred channel and receive quality service, it maximizes customer satisfaction.

And customer satisfaction is essential. A report released by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found a direct relationship between trust in government and customer service satisfaction; when satisfaction declines, so does trust. ACSI also found that satisfaction with federal government customer service is at an all time low.

Quality mobile customer service can have huge benefits to your agency, helping you:

  • Efficiently address customer needs,
  • Improve customer experience,
  • Increase self-service rates,
  • Reduce costs,
  • Increase agent efficiency and
  • Reduce agent turnover.

For example, Xerox’s “My Time” mobile app proactively connects consumers directly with a customer service agent within the app. This means consumers don’t have to leave the app to call a contact center if they have a question or issue. The app provides a seamless experience with less friction and lower customer effort.

If your customer service approach limits your citizens’ choices for contact, it’s time to take a second look at your options. Government agencies who focus on quality, understand evolving expectations and use innovative, intuitive technology to enhance customer satisfaction will exceed citizens’ expectations and ultimately build a better future.

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