Living in a 24x7 world
However companies need to balance the desire to provide 24 hour a day customer support with the cost of having contact centre agents on call throughout the night. Call or email volumes will be lower but those that do contact you are likely to have real issues that can’t wait until morning.
Australian telco Telstra has come up with an interesting answer to the conundrum of delivering 24x7 customer service in a cost-effective manner. As part of its ongoing strategy to deliver excellent customer service it has just announced that it will provide support through its social media team – 24 hours a day. Customers can reach the team through live chat on Facebook, tweet or post a question to get a response via email within two to four hours. As Telstra points out 20 per cent of the tweets that it receives are after business hours already, so the demand is definitely there from both local and international customers.
Cleverly, Telstra is also embracing the wisdom of its customers within social customer service as well. It has launched online CrowdSupport, where customers can provide answers to specific questions on products and services in response to queries. This opens up customer service, reduces the load on agents and actually helps develop a loyal user community, which can only help customer retention.
While it is early days for Telstra’s initiative it could well give some pointers to how social media will help extend customer service in a 24 hour a day world.