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The key to customer service success: Avoid Chinese whispers with a unified strategy

There’s a famous quote that says ‘communication works for those who work at it’. Whether that’s an elderly relative Facebook to communicate with grandchildren, or the Co-Op bank using Twitter to communicate about its work with charity partner Hospice UK, it’s important to not be left behind as methods of communication continue to evolve. From email and webchat to social media, this blog will outline how brands can make sure they deliver on new platforms.

As businesses scramble to remain relevant by keeping pace with customers across an ever-expanding range of channels, there’s a problem looming on the horizon. Many people reading this post will have played ‘Chinese whispers’ as a child, learning how difficult it is to retain a clear message when there are a number of touchpoints in the communication process. Similarly, if when new communication channels are introduced they are simply piled on top of each other, it could well have a similar effect on the message that is shared with customers.

If customer information is passed between different platforms such as email and live chat in a variety of forms and styles, it is almost inevitable that inaccurate information and a fragmented experience will emerge as a result. Brands cannot simply counter this by communicating over a fewer number of channels, however, as industry application of technology simply does not stand still anymore.

The train is moving too quickly to make getting off an option, so what steps can brands take to ensure customer experience is not derailed as it passes a new platform?

United we stand, divided we fall

Put simply, the only way brands can maintain high quality levels of customer service across this ever-growing number of platforms is to rip up the rulebook and adopt a unified approach.
This means ditching a short-sighted multichannel approach, where new platforms are stacked on top of each other, as this leads to an inconsistent customer experience, and churns out unreliable data, meaning it is damaging in both the short and long term. Rather than just keeping pace with the creation of new channels, they must adopt an omnichannel approach, focusing on providing optimised and unified data.

A model example for this approach is Vauxhall as we have been working with the car giant to create a unified communications strategy. This allows it to scale communications activities up across a range of platforms without compromising the quality of customer experience.
To find out more information about our work with Vauxhall, explore the case study here.

Once a brand has a unified experience in place, the days of being fixated on short-term wins will be a thing of the past. With access to a richer set of customer data points, they will be able to work on developing longer-term relationships, providing a more stable and profitable business model in the long-run.