While plenty of evidence suggests that digital care reduces costs and increases shareholder value, most companies are still very much in the infancy of their Social Messaging journey. In a 2016 study, McKinsey found that while more than two-fifths of service interactions with companies begin on an e-care platform, but only 15 percent are digital from start to finish.
Let’s examine the four reasons change is hard and how brands can achieve it faster:
1. Poor CX Infrastructure
The same McKinsey study also found that when some brands launch digital care, their inbound call volumes increase–precisely the opposite of what they had hoped for. This is known as the boomerang effect and it has everything to do with how much these brands invested, or rather, underinvested in digital care.
According to McKinsey, “The experience in most e-care channels does not match high customer expectations. And when customers find their expectations are not resolved through digital channels, they pick up the phone.” Poorly executed digital care, then, might be worse than none at all.
To meet customers’ expectations for digital support experiences, brands must offer:
- Simplicity - Minimal design and few clicks to reach an answer
- Convenience - Single point of contact and ease of interaction
- Interactivity - Links to alternative digital channels and services
- Continuity - The ability to resume conversations and for agents to know customers’ cross-channel histories
Digital Customer Care, and the Social Messaging channels that make up Digital CX delivery, is all about a seamless experience for both the customer, and the agent handling the customers inquiry.
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2. Fear of losing revenue
Some enterprises don’t commit to Social Messaging because they’re afraid of jeopardizing revenue and the status quo. They know that traditional support channels are expensive, it's safe known entity. But this is a counter productive view. Social Messaging can break to what we refer to at Conversocial as the CX Equation.
The CX Equation: Customers fundamentally want a better customer experience, generally driven by inquires being resolved in-channel in a timely and convenient manner. Brands, and contact centers particularly, are driven by lowering the cost-to-serve, among other KPIs. The two ‘wants’ are counterproductive and there is a trade-off in meeting one over the other. But Social Messaging has the power to break the equation.
Today, consumers demand support on messaging platforms which are still one-to-one interactions with agents. Agents can upsell just as easily via Social Messaging channels as anywhere, but for a fraction of the per-resolution cost. And because McKinsey finds that digital channels receive three times as much traffic as traditional channels, that’s a lot more opportunities to upsell.
Plus, with chatbots, brands can recognize and route potential inbound upsells based on the issue. Customers looking to cancel, for example, can be connected directly to an agent whereas customers with a more simple inquiry can be handled by a chatbot.
3. Unclear migration strategies
The same report from McKinsey found that fewer than 20 percent of organizations that deployed digital care had a clear migration strategy. This means that for those brands, stakeholders didn’t agree internally upon a roadmap within other business units of their brand, leaving their digital CX journey uncharted and separated from their traditional care structure.
A lack of strategy leaves customers and employees confused. If traditional channel teams and digital channel teams don’t talk, or don’t have a direct link to higher level management, customers get transferred in circles and are left upset and angry. This is also true for the marketing team, who will feel they have deserved their seat at the table and have ownership of online brand tone.
Digital care works best when brands have a migration strategy. That means defining where Social Messaging fits into the support hierarchy, training agents on the goals and parameters of new and traditional channels, having a migration budget, and having clear executive buy-in.
4. Haphazard implementation
Sometimes, poor digital care implementation comes down to a lack of organization. Many corporate digital care initiatives don’t have dedicated digital teams with a direct line to top management. Only 40 percent have clear digital targets and fewer than 15 percent have the ability to clearly track customer journeys.
Without detailed metrics and a sense of the cross-channel journey, digital support is likely to flounder. Both agents and customers need clarity on where digital support begins and ends, what it provides, and what it doesn’t. And once it’s implemented, brands need to promote it and encourage customers to take advantage of the new digital channels.
The key to better implementation is to do the hard thing and sit down and plan. The rewards often more than repay the investment. A study by Forrester found that companies that successfully implemented Conversocial increased their revenue by $945,000 over a three-year period.
The payoff of care-full planning
The lesson for big brands is clear: Social Messaging isn’t just the future. It’s profitable at present, but especially so if it’s implemented thoughtfully. Brands must offer outstanding digital experiences, write down their migration strategies, arm agents with the tools they need, and commit to the migration – no half-measures.
Whether in support or transport, technology is advancing. It’s up to brands to decide whether they’ll take the lead or drift along in their competitors’ shadow.