Today’s customers demand more than one – or even four – options for customer support. In a world once dominated by in-person returns, written correspondence and telephone conversations, organizations committed to delivering an unparalleled customer experience today are expanding connection points to deliver service and support in the medium their customer wants. Technologies like IVR and phone trees, which were once viewed as innovative and cutting-edge, are now considered annoying by a growing segment of the population. And, while some customers simply want to speak with a live person, others will do anything to avoid it, instead preferring self-service online options, engagement through live chat or connecting through social media platforms like Twitter. In the world of customer service, leaders aren’t focused solely on wait times and call resolution performance, but also delivering a customer experience across support and operations that effectively and efficiently meets and exceeds the needs and wants of the entire customer base – a daunting task for sure.
Aside from the expansion of customer support to the online world, trends around moving to a paperless environment are also continuing to gain traction. Banks, credit card companies and utility providers have been aggressively pushing customers to online statements for the past decade, but recently e-statements have expanded in their use. Electronic statements offer incremental value to both the organization and their customer base. For customers, e-statements offer a more convenient way to receive a traditional paper invoice. Online storage is more easily accessible with less filing or manual record keeping required. And, by eliminating the costs associated with printing and mailing paper invoices, companies are enhancing their statements, using color, varying text treatments and even interactivity to provide a more complete view of the related detail.
For the corporation, they are able to deliver a better support mechanism for less cost. And, many companies are also actively promoting ‘green’ initiatives, focused on protecting the environment through the elimination of waste and an overall reduction of their carbon footprint, so moving anything from paper to electronic delivery is viewed as an opportunity.
Of course, e-support and e-statements aren’t for everyone, but there’s no denying the move to online for customer support and account management. Self-service portals, e-communications, live chat and other new mediums are just a few of many gaining traction with consumers as well as the companies providing services and products. In order to succeed and maximize the effectiveness of the internal support and operations teams, investing is technology and providing a full suite of options is a must.