Multiple consumer care channels should have a single solution

When companies offer their products, services and consumer care over multiple channels, they need to offer the same advantages as businesses that are singularly focused. In a recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of consumers, respondents said multichannel companies can provide a greater variety of products than brick-and-mortar businesses, but they don't feature the same caring and committed staff.

Many consumers who interact with multichannel support have problems when it comes to resolving issues and getting answers to questions. To satisfy these inquiries, consumer goods manufacturers must finds ways to offer consistent care across all channels.

Problems with multichannel consumer care
Companies that offer services through phone, email interactions and social media often have solutions in place for each platform, but these strategies don't always work together. When businesses invest in call center training and social media monitoring; the consumer care solutions need to be unified or managers should expect frustrations.

Internet Retailer shared the results of a Northridge Group survey that found 61 percent of consumershad to use more than one company channel to find the solution to a problem. This means multichannel organizations were able to resolve issues through first contact less than half of the time. In 20 percent of the cases, consumers had to make contact over three or more channels to find resolution.

The disconnect between consumer care channels forces people to move from one platform to the next before they find the representative ready to deal with their issue. A lack of unification leads to other consumer complaints like having to repeat themselves with each new contact and inconsistent levels of employee knowledge and empathy.

Find solutions to turn multichannel into omnichannel
Companies can't afford to dissatisfy modern consumers. In the current market, consumers have plenty of options and will quickly abandon a company for a competitor at the first sign of trouble. Multichannel Merchant said businesses must provide consistent service across every phase of the buying journey and every employee must speak from a unified brand message.

Consistency is the most important element to great support over each channel. In fact, many industry experts advise consumer care centers to focus on omnichannel support over multichannel strategies. EContent Magazine described the difference between the two approaches: Multichannel focuses on each platform as separate lanes, while omnichannel puts the consumer at the center of the strategy and finds ways to get the channels to work together to provide optimal satisfaction.

Consumer care centers need to find ways for channels to coordinate. Employees who focus onsocial media reputation management need to have the same data as representatives who take calls. Each care agent who interacts with a consumer must have access to a centralized solution that allows them to capture information from the engagement. Data collected from each channel can indicate why consumers use each channel and make the benefits and flaws of individual platforms visible to managers.

If care centers prioritize consumer needs over focusing on individual channels, they should provide a more unified experience. Consumers will receive optimal care no matter how they make contact.

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