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Email failing as customer service channel

20th Jul 2010
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While nine out of 10 UK consumers have made customer service queries via email, too many brands are currently failing to manage communication via this channel effectively.

These are the findings of research undertaken by analyst houses Datamonitor and Ovum on behalf of telco Aclatel-Lucent’s software unit Genysys. The study found that, while many organisations already used email to interact with consumers, in many instances customer expectations were not being met.

The problem in this context was that, while voice calls were often handled by call centre agents, messages such as email were frequently handled by back office staff. This situation made it difficult to escalate queries mid-transaction, which meant that the context of the conversation was often lost, thereby leading to customer frustration.

Lucille Jackson, senior marketing management for Northern Europe at Alcatel-Lucent’s enterprise market group, said: "Businesses need to realise that in the current consumer market, it is not enough to offer a range of contact options as customers now want to converse across multiple channels for a single interaction. Therein lies the problem for many businesses, which treat communication channels in a siloed manner."

The secret to success lay in enabling customers to begin their interactions on the web or via an email query, but providing a means of escalating the situation to a live agent if required, she added.

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