From “Channel Chaos” to “Channel Harmony:” Five Steps to Future Proof Your Multi-Channel Strategy

Tomorrow at 11am PT I am speaking on a webcast entitled, “Multichannel, Mobile, and Social Customer Support: How Consumer Electronics & Technology Companies Can Go from Chaos to Harmony.” Please click on the link to register. Even if you aren’t available for the live event, by registering you will receive a link to download all presentation materials and view the recorded version of the webcast.

Multi-channel has always been a hot button issue with TSIA members: what channels do customer want, how to build adoption for one channel over another, what is the cost and satisfaction per channel, etc. A few years ago I did a lot of writing and speaking on “channel islands,” meaning companies tended to add one channel at a time from different technology providers without the required integration work. As a result, most companies have knowledge, interaction history and customer data stored in a dozen or more systems, one for phone, email, chat, self-service, etc.

I’m sorry to say we have not made a lot of progress in fixing that problem, and from where I sit, the situation seems to be going downhill fast. There are hot new interaction channels emerging, such as intelligent agents; mobility and video are forcing companies to develop additional self-service sites and content optimized for smart phones and tablets; and social media and online communities are adding even more avenues for customer interactions. And none of it is integrated.

The last time I surveyed members, there was an average of 13 separate systems routinely accessed by front-line support techs to support customers. That’s a heck of a lot of “alt-tab” to move from screen to screen, and you know exactly what that means:

  • With so many applications to navigate, some data and functionality are just overlooked or underutilized, preventing ROI for the technology and negatively impacting productivity.
  • Without customer data integration, there is no true “360 degree view of the customer,” so no one really has a handle on “the big picture view” of customer attitudes, consumption or loyalty.
  • Customers have a disjointed experience, with agents from one channel not having visibility for incidents in another channel, and duplicate and conflicting knowledge depending on channel used.
  • Entitlement is inconsistent across channels, meaning expired customers receive support for free, and priority customers don’t receive the service levels they are paying for.

In tomorrow’s webcast, I’m going to build out the actual picture of a multi-channel environment and talk about the missed integration points. I’ll also give a simple five step plan to begin consolidating channels, and discuss how to add new channels thoughtfully so as not to exacerbate the problem. The webcast is sponsored by eGain, and you’ll also hear from Don Muchow, eGain’s Product Marketing Manager, about the advantages of consolidating channels to a single–or at least fewer–platforms. eGain has done a lot of work building out their channel strategy, now with ‘best of breed’ offerings for enterprise/federated search, social media channels and monitoring, as well as phone, email, chat, virtual agents, and a single knowledge management platform across every channel.

See you tomorrow, and thanks for reading!

Explore posts in the same categories: Best Practices, Consumer Support, customer support, Enterprise Support, knowledge management, self-service, social media, Technology

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One Comment on “From “Channel Chaos” to “Channel Harmony:” Five Steps to Future Proof Your Multi-Channel Strategy”

  1. Allan Grohe Says:

    Hello John and Happy New Year!—

    Do you have a webcast archive and/or slides from this event available?


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