Find the right balance between efficiency, accessibility, and human contact in your channel strategy
Be where your customer is and adjust where possible.
It sounds good, but unfortunately, in practice, this is not always feasible everywhere. As a company, you want to use as many communication channels as possible to serve your customers well. However, be careful, a poorly chosen channel strategy can cause severe irritation and even drive your customers to the competition. What is the danger of excessive channel steering, and how does it work against your customer?
Example: Getting stuck in an online self-service process
Let’s be honest, we have all gotten stuck in an online self-service process at some point. Imagine you have a problem with your internet connection, and you decide to contact your provider’s customer service via live chat on their website. Unfortunately, you end up with an automated chatbot that doesn’t understand your specific question or issue. You receive generic answers that are not relevant, and frustration starts to build up. After several unsuccessful attempts to resolve your problem through the chat, you decide to look for a phone number to have personal contact with a representative. And to make matters worse, you have to go through that same chatbot to get that phone number…
The danger of an oversteered channel strategy: When your customer is lost
And here is where the danger of excessive channel steering comes into play. When customers are forced to navigate through a sequence of channels without finding a satisfying solution—because certain channels are cheaper for the company (more on this later)—they become frustrated and lose trust because they don’t feel acknowledged. This can lead to customer loss, negative word-of-mouth, and a diminished reputation for the company. An overly steered channel strategy can cause your customers to get lost and eventually seek better, more personal, and streamlined customer service from your competitors.
The cost hierarchy of customer interaction: From face-to-face to automated solutions
Let’s take a moment to consider the costs of customer interaction. It is a fact that communicating face-to-face with a physical person is more expensive than talking to someone on the phone. A live chat conversation is again more expensive than interacting with an automated chatbot. Even email has its price tag, which is higher than the costs of non-human forms of contact. Understanding this cost hierarchy is crucial when shaping an effective channel strategy.
The need for balance: Customer-centricity and efficiency in the channel strategy
While striving for cost control and efficiency, we must never lose sight of customer-centricity. An excessive channel steering, where the emphasis is on directing customers to certain channels, can lead to customer frustration and even loss. It is essential to strike a balance between customer-centricity and operational efficiency. By providing diverse channels and offering accessible and user-friendly solutions, you can increase customer satisfaction and create a positive brand experience.
Listen to your customers to understand which channels are most valuable and effective for them. By developing a channel strategy that considers the needs and preferences of your customer, your company can improve customer satisfaction and create a positive brand experience. It all comes down to finding the right balance between efficiency, accessibility, and human contact in the channel strategy.
A poorly chosen channel strategy can be detrimental to customer satisfaction. Designing a successful channel strategy requires a good balance between achieving business success and ensuring customer satisfaction. Excessive channel steering can lead to irritation and customer disengagement. It is essential to listen to the needs and preferences of your customers and find the right mix of channels. Continuously evaluate and adapt to provide an optimal customer experience. Remember: the customer is at the center of your channel strategy! de juiste mix van kanalen te vinden. Blijf continu evalueren en aanpassen om een optimale klantervaring te bieden. Onthoud: de klant staat centraal in jouw kanaalstrategie!
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Do you want us to help you implement the right channel strategy? Please feel free to contact Karine Copier.
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