Today, Genesys announced the results of its commissioned study by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The study found some very profound customer service “gaps” – especially in relation to new social media and mobile channels. The report confirms some suspicions that I’ve always held when visiting large enterprise customers. Specifically, companies 1.) Aren’t clear on who owns these emerging channels and 2.) Haven’t effectively integrated these new channels within their existing customer service environments. These gaps illustrate four salient statistics and points to reflect upon:
Who is in charge? Fifty-eight percent of C-suite executives view the CEO as responsible for the social media and mobile channels, but only 28 percent of middle managers agree. This disconnect between top-level and mid-ranking executives might be explained by the novelty factor of social media.
Marketing not Customer Service drives the agenda: When it comes to driving the customer conversation, the marketing department, not the customer service or C-suite, is driving the response to new channels with 44 percent of executives saying the marketing department has dominated the dialogue between company and customer. This disconnect creates a “disconnected” conversation for customers when they jump from social to phone channels or escalate to live customer service agent from within a mobile customer service application.
Time to remove the social media training wheels: The report also found that 43 percent of companies only began using social media in the last year and only 11 percent of businesses have been using social media to communicate with customers for three years or more. Companies are clearly struggling to find the right formula with social media and mobile across existing customer service, marketing and communications operations. In their initial social media foray, most companies have thrown junior – but social savvy – resources at the problem. In fact, the report found that 60 percent of companies that have set up new communication strategies put millennials in charge of these new media channels.
Reliant on the web to deliver the magic: Today, social and mobile are legitimate customer service channels. Yet, only 48 percent of organizations use social media and networking sites to communicate with customers and only 20 percent use mobile applications, whereas the majority continue to lean on the company website (90 percent) and email (88 percent).
Where do we go from here?
Genesys has always advocated creating a “cross-channel” conversation strategy across voice, web, mobile and social channels. Now that mobile and social media are legitimate customer service channels, companies should take the three steps to “close the gap” that I’ve described above.
- Appoint a “customer interaction czar:” Companies that appoint a single person, instead of a team, to manage all communications were more successful. Thirty three percent of executives within companies that have appointed a team to manage social media/mobile channels felt that there was a disconnect in the way they are managed. In organizations that had appointed a single individual, just 9 percent perceived the same disconnect.
- Break down the silos: It goes without saying that separate mobile, social and contact center/customer service organizations are going to create a “tower of babble” when interacting with customers. Companies need to put aside the political and organizational issues associated with managing these channels and put the customer first.
- Make customer service a priority: This Economist study has clearly shown that customer service is not yet weaved into the fabric of social and mobile channels. The C-suite feels that the buck stops with the CEO. If this is true, the CEO should then flex some executive muscle to help close the gap, break down the siloes, take off the training wheels, appoint an “interaction czar,” and make social and mobile mainstream channels within the existing customer service infrastructure.
What do you think? Is there a gap in today’s customer service with respect to emerging social and mobile channels?
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