The growth of digital communication technologies—particularly messaging and social media—has clearly created a dramatic change in how we all communicate. As traditional channels , such as voice and email, decrease in overall popularity, newer channels have had a dramatic impact not only on communication, but on human behavior as well.
That impact goes beyond merely personal communication. As the usage of these channels has grown, it’s become clear that customers are building a powerful and sustained voice that demands to be heard–not just on social issues, but on any topic that concern them. In particular, they’re using their voice to talk about your company, what you are—and aren’t—doing well, and your products and services.
Unfortunately, many companies are failing to meet customers on their new channels of choice. Instead, they opt to force customers to communicate using the brand’s preferred channels, often relying on more traditional methods such as voice, email, and live chat. Not only are these companies missing out on tremendous opportunities to strengthen customer relationships, they are overlooking the issues and concerns customers share via digital channels. These days, that means being on a much wider portfolio of digital channels than many realize.
As I explain in my book, The Convenience Revolution, the companies that are excelling and winning in their marketplace are doing so because they are recognized for good service. A key part of that is reducing friction and making it easier for customers to do business with them. In the process of my book research, I came up with “convenience principles,” which center on the concept of making it easy to connect with the company.
Digital channels uniquely enable this, as illustrated by the enthusiasm for asynchronous communication apps such as messaging. Using these apps, customers gain the freedom to start—and even temporarily walk away from—a conversation, while soliciting an immediate response. Not only can customers initiate, leave, and return to these conversations at their convenience, they can move between devices—such as their laptop and smartphone—as they do so.
Companies that satisfy customer expectations stand to gain market share, because omni-digital customer experiences can positively impact Net Promoter Scores (NPS), a key metric that gauges how likely customers are to refer others to your business. According to a recent CITE Research survey, 97% of respondents agree that the more channels organizations use to engage with customers, the higher their customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score. To create amazing customer experiences every moment, every email, call, tweet, and live chat matters.
If you’re convinced that digital customer engagement is the way to go, but are unsure of the best way forward, continue reading this series for a step-by-step approach to establishing, alunching, and continually improving your digital customer care strategy. Or download this guide on “How to Build a Modern Digital Customer Service Strategy.”
Customer Service and Experience Expert and Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations
Originally published Jun 25, 2019, updated Oct 20, 2020