Building a Successful Digital Customer Service Strategy

Posted by on June 17th, 2021 in Blog Posts, Customer Experience

Every interaction a customer has with a business can influence their perceptions of the company and determine whether they will become a return customer. Companies must carefully consider how they engage with customers to promote customer retention at each touchpoint along the customer journey. Developing a comprehensive digital customer service strategy is an essential component of ensuring a positive overall customer experience. 

What is digital customer service?

Digital customer service moves the traditional customer service modes (e.g., physical location, call center) to digital channels. As people communicate less by voice communication and more by messaging, digital customer service allows customers to receive support via email, text, instant messaging, social media, and other similar channels. Customers can access support and receive quick responses through their preferred mode of communication. A digital customer service strategy helps make these interactions more intentional, personal, and strategic, promoting customer retention.   

Considerations for a Successful Digital Customer Service Strategy

Promoting digital channels for customer service requires careful consideration and a thoughtful strategy. Below are some of the key areas companies should consider developing a successful digital customer service strategy.

  • Alignment: For a digital customer service strategy to be successful, it should include clear customer service standards that reinforce its broader customer experience strategy goals. Without this alignment, customer service will be disconnected from the rest of the customer journey, causing gaps in meeting customer needs.
  • Responsiveness to Customer Needs: Customer service is only beneficial if it meets customers’ needs. A digital customer service strategy should put the emphasis first and foremost on the customer by considering how a company can reach out to customers to understand customer needs better, how they can meet these needs, and which digital channels customers prefer. Furthermore, the strategy should delineate protocols on how companies will quickly and sufficiently respond to customers’ comments and queries over their digital channels. 
  • Processes: With so many different channels customers can now use to access support, a digital customer service strategy should provide transparent procedures and guidelines for customer service agents to follow when responding to customers across multiple channels. These processes should consider any characteristics specific to each channel (e.g., character limitations on some social media platforms). It helps agents identify how to route messages (e.g., to the appropriate agent, to a different channel, removing from public comments to direct messaging, etc.) and responding to them. These processes will help keep customers happy by reducing their handling time and promoting quick resolution. 
  • Identification & Consistency: Digital customer service increases the number of ways customers can access support, and some customers might choose to communicate over multiple channels. A successful digital customer service strategy will ensure that the same customer using various media can be identified. Customer service agents can access their conversations from multiple channels. This ensures that they—and all customers-receive seamless, consistent service regardless of whether they use one or multiple channels.
  • Analyzing Data: As with many business decisions, a successful customer service strategy should utilize existing customer data. Considering customers’ purchase history, when and how customers required customer service in the past, and other such data points can help identify what digital channels and support current customers may need. As a company rolls out its digital channels, it should continue collecting and carefully analyzing data on customer service interactions to modify its approach and strategy accordingly to meet customer needs best. 

As customers increasingly prefer communicating over digital channels, providing customer service over these channels is crucial for promoting a seamless customer experience. Those companies that invest in creating a thoughtful digital customer service strategy responsive to customer needs are bound to see their business returns.  

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