The clever folks over at McKinsey just published an excellent article all about Why Companies Should Care About e-Care.

ecare-channelAs a provider of digital customer service to business, we recognise why you need to care about e-care, but what does e-care actually mean for you?

We’ll be using the definition of e-care from the article: “e-care is the delivery of customer service via web-based user accounts, social networks, mobile phone, and the Internet rather than call centers or facilities open to the public such as retail stores or service counters.”

First things first.


You’ve got to have the channels

From my own experience, I know that I chop and change channels, often to solve the same issue or understand if a product or service is right for my needs. I might email, then live chat, send a tweet – all to get an answer to the same question.

It may sound simple, but in order to take advantage of e-care, we need to offer the e-care channels that our customers want to use. The fact that most companies don’t is highlighted by the fact that in their case study “41 percent of service interactions with telecommunications companies begin on an e-care platform, just 15 percent are digital from start to finish” meaning that:

  1. Customers are often choosing to mix and match channels

  2. Customers have to move out of e-care channels often as companies fail to offer the range of e-care channels customers desire.

 


Why do I need to ensure that people can remain in e-care?

What’s important is that all digital journeys (the ones where customers remain in e-care channels) result in higher customer satisfaction. In the case of Western Europe, all digital interactions resulted in a 76% customer satisfaction, compared to 57% for traditional contact means.

If you don’t have the correct digital channels in place, that allow your customer to remain within e-care, it’s likely you’re giving them no choice but to move back to traditional contact methods. And that means less happy customers. Boo.

 


What are the correct channels for me?

So we know that:

  1. e-care makes for happier customers

  2. You need to have the right e-care channels to enable customers to use and stay in e-care

We therefore need to make sure that there are the correct digital channels available for your customers to remain in digital channels of their choice.

Here you should map your current channels on offer. Specifically, focus on channels within e-care and map the customer journey through. Can the customer enter an e-care channel and utilise other channels within e-care during that same journey from start to finish?

Explore new channels provided by new technologies that you aren’t currently employing. Trialling these channels with your customers to determine the uptake should be your next step.

Once you’ve got a number of e-care channel options, that enable customers to mix and match whilst remaining in e-care, we need to look at how they work together.

 


The channels have to work together

“The problem is that companies from customer-facing industries that deploy multiple customer service channels too often assess the effectiveness of e-care by measuring individual channels, when customers today often move from one channel to another as they try to resolve service issues.”

 

It’s great customers can Tweet and email and live chat with you, but who knows what’s happening across each?

For our client The British Film Institute’s BFI Player service, we deliver an all digital solution, managed by our team. This enables us to have a coherent view of issues and the customer journey across email and live chat.

By keeping customers within e-care channels, and managing both centrally, the BFI Player customers can have a single contact point, over channels of their choosing.

From a service perspective, the BFI Player team can easily understand issues causing problems, as well as measure the resolution and satisfaction rates across both.

How can you do the same? Technologies like Zendesk offer a great starting point for the smaller business, enabling you to sync up various contact methods into one location. The great thing about something like this, is that you can use the software modules you prefer per channel, and integrate them in. Many of the market leaders now offer this integration out of the box.

 


3 Takeaways
  1. e-care results in higher customer satisfaction

  2. As such, you should assess your current e-care offering and begin to add channels to give a wider breadth of options for your customers

  3. Measurement must occur not only in channel, but across channels in order to map the overall customer journey

 

Our customer service programme is an excellent option for organisations wanting to explore the benefits of live chat as an addition to their e-care channels. 

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