While we will all agree that Social and Mobile customer engagements are all the rage, I would argue that few of these are integrated onto the processes that matter to the customer experience they are supposed to enhance. Many of them are currently driven by marketing or business as a “me too” or catch-up strategy just to be out there with an mobile app, Facebook page or twitter feed. These are normal reactions to the frenzy that says customers are clamouring to engage in a more personal and connected way.
The trick comes in really delivering on that engagement channel. When you offer customer service via email or call centre, that back office is normally prepared to engage with you on your need. A social channel created by marketing may be perceived as one way, i.e. to the customer as information but what happens when they demand engagement back via that channel?
The successful social and mobile channels for customers will consider the long journey and be prepared to integrate those engagements tightly back into the processes that make a difference to the users. A mobile app for banking is great, but it better do more than show me the nearest ATM. I’ll want to do payments, apply for products, and get real service on my account in near real time. Keep me posted via social and mobile on the real things happening in the back office like my home loan progress, status of my insurance claim etc.
Social and mobile are very personal channels so they need to deliver a very contextual experience , not just be an outlet for the mass market message. If these channels are actually connected to the back office and allow me some self service that otherwise takes a phone call during working hours, then I have a reason to engage and to stay connected for further products and experiences.
Have you ever tried to send Amazon a help email? You’ll find it’s quite difficult as they drive you first to a myriad of self service forms that shape the reason you need help. This drives the information directly to the right person or system who can actually help you, while processing emails will always be slower and require intervention to decode.
Why do they do that? Because they are dealing with massive volumes and to deliver service at that scale you can’t drop any balls. They connect your web experience back to the systems. They understand the value of process and systems to customer experience. There are no shortcuts, and a social and mobile veneer on bad process will leave customers even less satisfied.