StrategyMultichannelFive brands nailing multichannel customer service

Five brands nailing multichannel customer service

Multichannel customer service is a must in 2016. Who's doing it best?

Multichannel customer service is a must in 2016. Who’s doing it best?

If digital has disrupted the marketing industry, that’s nothing compared to how much its complicated customer service. There are now many more ways for brands to reach consumers, but the reverse is true as well. And whichever method they choose, they expect it to be seamless.

According to the 2015 U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report from Microsoft and Parature, today’s consumers regularly use four different channels when interacting with a brand. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 92 percent expect brands to have self-service customer support pages and even more factor customer service into their brand loyalty.

Cross-channel customer service has never been more important. Which brands are nailing it? Here are five examples.

1. Amazon

A few weeks back, I contacted Amazon after failing to receive a package. Full disclosure: the whole thing was totally my fault; it was my first order after moving and I forgot to update my address. Still, the situation couldn’t have been easier to resolve. On Amazon’s customer service page, you enter your phone number. Less than a minute later, someone calls it. Problem solved.

User experience is a facet of customer service and Amazon’s is designed to make life as easy as possible for shoppers, right down to the “Buy it Again” buttons on your previous orders.


2. Lyft

Lyft is extremely user-friendly from the first second. As soon as you open the app, you see the different car options with both corresponding times and explanations of what they are. Making an inevitable comparison, I can’t be the only one mystified by terms such as uberT, uberXL and UberRUSH, right?

Lyft goes multichannel by having a driver call you to confirm his or her location, as well as yours. Given how most ride-share users tend to be concentrated in big cities, it’s a nice touch that eliminates a lot of potential confusion.


3. Nordstrom

In the retail world, Nordstrom is well-regarded for its customer service. Looking at the brand’s Twitter feed, it’s easy to see why. All tweets, whether positive or negative, seem to get prompt responses in the kind of conversational language that really makes you think they were written by an actual human.

Rather than simply say the item wasn’t available, Nordstrom volunteers a similar item, taking the onus off the user to find a replacement themselves.

Going beyond social, the retailer’s website also has a Live Chat features with several options, depending on what you need to discuss.


4. Southwest Airlines

Delta sends emails reminding you to check in, but only seems to respond to the positive comments on social. Virgin doesn’t send those reminder emails, though it does call to check on you if you’re late for boarding (Sorry, everyone on my flight to Las Vegas!) But of all the airlines, Southwest’s customer service is the most well-rounded.

The airline’s Twitter feed is almost entirely comprised of tweets to consumers – there have been four new ones since I started writing this section – and it reminds you to check in and it emails you to let you know of changes to your flight. According to J.D. Power’s 2015 North American Airline Satisfaction study, the average airline scored 717 out of a possible 1,000 points; Southwest’s score was 781.


5. L.L. Bean

Between August and October, StellaService administered a survey and found that L.L. Bean has the best customer service of any brand (from this list, Nordstrom and Amazon-owned Zappos also placed in the top 25). In addition to a very responsive social team, the Maine retailer has a very involved website.

Like Nordstrom, there’s a chat option and like Amazon, you can enter your phone number to have someone call you. But L.L. Bean minimizes your need for either of those services with its detailed FAQ page, a one-stop shop for everything from order tracking to a sizing chart based on measurements.


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