The cost of customer service failure
Failing to answer customer service queries has an obvious impact on an organisation – customers and prospects get upset and vote with their wallets, leading to a loss of sales and a dent to the brand. Nowadays more and more consumers also broadcast their concerns on social media, generating further impact on company reputation.
What is less well-explored is the other consequence of customer service failure. Essentially if customers aren’t satisfied with the service they receive through one channel and they need an answer they will switch to another. So, if you have booked a holiday, have an urgent query and don’t get a response to an email you have sent (or feel that the timescale you have been quoted for a reply is too long), you are likely to pick up the phone and call.
Not only does this increase the contact centre’s workload, it has a direct impact on costs as customers migrate to more expensive channels (such as the phone) from lower cost channels (such as email and the web). In many cases agents don’t have a multichannel view of the customer’s history and have no idea that the customer has tried to get an answer through another channel – and that their question is still live in the system.
The result? A double whammy – an angry customer and dramatically increased costs, as customers make repeated attempts to get satisfactory service. Avoiding this scenario is simple. Companies need to make sure that they get it right first time by optimising every channel. Otherwise, when one channel underperforms it has a direct effect on the others, overwhelming them with additional, unnecessary queries. This doesn’t just impact their reputation but will hit them financially through the cost of essentially having to answer the same question multiple times.