Great customer service leads to happy customers, higher retention, and more revenue. But today, delivering “great” service means supporting customers wherever and whenever they need help—and giving them an easy way to share feedback after they get it. Here’s how service teams can use omni-channel feedback in Service Cloud to create better customer experiences across every channel.
The Rise of Omni-Channel Service
Customer service looks very different than it did just a decade ago. In 2007, you might call or email a company for help. Today, you can tweet, text, or even video chat your way to a solution. While all this modern technology has made it easier than ever to seek out help, it’s also made delivering great customer service a lot harder. Fast, friendly email support is no longer enough. Modern customers want great service wherever and whenever they engage with a company.
The response to these rising expectations is omni-channel service: an approach that focuses on delivering seamless, consistent customer service across channels. Omni-channel service recognizes that the modern customer needs modern help—on the go, on any device, no matter the time or place. These days, not offering omni-channel service can cost companies too. Salesforce found that 73% of consumers would likely switch brands entirely if a company provided inconsistent levels of service. And research indicates that poor customer service in general costs U.S. companies as much as $41 billion a year.
Companies are taking note and investing in service like never before. They’re buying up technology, developing their self-service resources, and hiring more customer service agents to fill the gaps. Those investments are well spent, as the Harvard Business Review found that customers who have positive customer service experiences are three times more likely to recommend a brand to friends and family.
But hiring the right people and implementing new technology isn’t sustainable without a solid service strategy. If you’re pouring resources into customer service blindly, you’ll quickly break the bank. Instead, savvy customer service leaders consistently examine service quality by channel and prioritize investments based on their return on investment.
Modern customers expect cohesive customer service, no matter the time or the place. It’s all about omni-channel.
What is Omni-Channel Feedback?
The majority of companies offering multi-channel or omni-channel service use some sort of customer service solution to manage cases from many channels. For example, Salesforce Service Cloud gives customer service teams a Lightning Console, where they can view and respond to support requests regardless of where they came from. These solutions give teams the tools to manage a diverse case queue efficiently.
But as companies introduce new channels, they also introduce many more customer touchpoints. Customers will judge your brand as much on your social media and mobile support as they do on your email and phone support. In order to refine each channel and deliver consistent service across all of them, customer service teams can adopt an omni-channel approach to customer feedback too.
Omni-channel feedback gives customers an opportunity to share feedback seamlessly across many channels. For example, if a customer talks to a live chat agent, they can rate the interaction right there in the chat window.
Omni-channel feedback helps companies measure and manage every customer service channel.
Why Is Omni-Channel Feedback Valuable?
The value of customer feedback naturally declines as time passes. Customers are less likely to offer quality feedback tomorrow or next week. Plus, if a customer has a bad experience, you have a brief window of opportunity to fix it. Miss it and you may lose their business. However, ask a customer about their customer service experience right after it happens, and you can capture feedback in time to act on it.
We’re all used to the random survey invitation. “Please take this 50-question survey. It will only take 30 minutes.” It’s a huge investment of energy for customers, especially if they don’t expect to get anything in return. On the other hand, ask two questions in the same channel, and you give your customers an easy route to share their thoughts. They don’t have to switch windows or devices, and the contextual ask makes the purpose of the survey obvious: You want to improve their service experience.
Omni-channel feedback means your survey tool and your customer service tool are working together. This gives you more power to decide when and how you ask customers for feedback. For example, GetFeedback for Service Cloud enables customer service teams to limit email surveys to specific case closures, so customers aren’t over-surveyed.
Most importantly, omni-channel feedback paves the way to real change. Customer responses live alongside other customer data, so service teams get a complete picture of customer happiness when they approach each interaction. If a customer was unhappy with the way their last case was handled, the next agent who speaks with them can avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Measuring Multiple Service Channels
In addition to these benefits, omni-channel feedback makes it simple for companies to measure and compare service quality between channels. That doesn’t just mean efficiency metrics, like average handle time or case reopen rate. It also means customer satisfaction by channel, customer effort by channel, and customer communication preferences in general. With this data in hand, customer service leaders can prioritize channel improvements strategically.
Let’s examine the top channels service teams are measuring with omni-channel feedback.
Phone and Email Support
As the two most common service channels, phone and email support have a huge impact on customer relationships. However, many companies only measure their service teams on efficiency metrics like case and call volume, time to resolution, and callbacks or case reopens. Important as these metrics are operationally, focusing on them too much can actually damage service quality. The more management prioritizes efficiency, the more agents feel the need to rush, and service quality suffers.
That’s why customer-centric teams focus on customer-reported metrics, like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Score. The best way to capture this data is by sending email surveys after phone calls and email cases. They don’t have to be a slog—just two or three questions that ask customers to rate their service experience and share any additional feedback. Teams that use Service Cloud can even automate the distribution process using a Case Closed Workflow that sends surveys whenever agents close cases.
PRO TIP: Embed the first survey question into your email survey to boost response rates. Customers can respond right from their inboxes.
On-site chat is becoming a favorite among modern consumers. It gives people convenient access to support and makes the service experience more conversational—you can chat through issues quickly and casually. However, Live Agent as a channel is a bit tougher to measure using conventional service metrics. Much like a phone call, live chat details can get muddled by the stream of conversation, making it tough to analyze service quality. On top of that, service teams often don’t know who they’re chatting or how they can contact them to follow up, if necessary.
To make the feedback process just as convenient over Live Agent, you can plug a Customer Service Satisfaction survey right into the chat window after the conversation is over. The benefits are twofold: Response rates increase because customers can share feedback immediately after chatting with an agent, and you can collect feedback from anonymous visitors.
PRO TIP: Add a form question to your Live Agent survey to collect contact info from visitors. You can create even create Salesforce leads and contacts this way.
Social Customer Service
Asking for help over Twitter or Facebook is increasingly common. Not only is social support convenient (most of us have social apps on our phones and check them regularly), but it adds a human element to service interactions that other channels lack. However, social customer service can be daunting for companies. Interactions are out there for all to see, which puts your brand reputation at stake. One misstep can become a viral horror in no time. But as long as social media is around, social customer service will be too, so it’s important for companies to do it right.
When measuring social customer service quality, remember that no customer wants to switch channels. As with Live Agent, you’ll get the highest response rates and the most valuable feedback when you ask for it through the same channel. Whether you’re assisting customers over a direct message or a public post, you can easily share a survey link to capture some feedback after the conversation ends.
PRO TIP: Like with Live Agent, agents may not know much about the person they’re talking to over social. Add a form question to your social survey to collect more info, and be sure to update existing customer records with the new social info you discover. Having a customer’s username or handle on file will help prepare your team for success the next time they tweet at you.
For many businesses, the most important customer interactions happen offline. Technicians and consultants perform all kinds of services for customers that don’t necessarily get logged in the same way online interactions do, but they matter just as much (if not more). These face-to-face experiences can have a profound impact on a customer’s perception of a company and their willingness to do business with them again. However, asking for face-to-face feedback can be, well, awkward.
Instead of relying on subjective feedback collected on the fly, companies can follow-up field service interactions with email surveys, giving customers the opportunity to rate their experience candidly. With GetFeedback for Service Cloud, companies can even automate this process so the survey sends right after a field service rep closes a case in the Field Service Lightning app. That way, the customer has an email waiting for them and the technician doesn’t have to bother with forms.
PRO TIP: If you send out work order confirmations via email, you can add the Field Service Survey to make the process even simpler. For bonus points, embed the first question into the email.
Mobile is more important than ever. We know that well. As consumers, we’ve come to expect great mobile experiences because the majority of our interactions with brands happen on our phones. And as the generations that grew up around mobile technology become consumers and business buyers, the mobile expectation will only become more pronounced. According to Salesforce, over half of millennial consumers say they already “run their lives” from their mobile devices.
Many companies now offer customer-facing mobile apps with built-in support features, from click-to-call to mobile forums to video chat. Since customers expect phenomenal mobile experiences, it’s important to collect customer feedback through mobile apps just as you would other service channels. Historically, that meant building out an expensive, advanced system, but today you can embed a GetFeedback survey into your app with a bit of code.
SMS support is probably the newest of the service channels. Like Live Agent or social support, it excels at the contextual, conversational approach to customer service. It also leverages a channel consumers know well: texting. Similarly, companies are using Facebook Messenger for direct support more and more. It’s particularly useful for retail, food & beverage, and other B2C industries that sell or advertise products and services on Facebook.
Since this is a relatively new channel for any company and consumer, Live Message feedback can be particularly enlightening. Customer service agents can send survey links directly to the customer after a conversation ends, giving them the opportunity to rate their experience in just a few clicks. This channel-specific feedback can reveal opportunities for process improvements, not just in the service department, but in the organization as a whole.
According to Salesforce, 59% of consumers say that a company’s self-service options significantly impact their overall loyalty to that brand. The fact is, modern customers don’t want to waste their time with a call center when they can seek out solutions themselves. But that also means that customers hold self-service resources to a higher standard. If they look for an answer on your knowledge base and can’t find it, they’ll either give up entirely or contact your support team even more frustrated than they were before. For a knowledge base to deliver real value, it needs to reduce support costs through case deflection and leave customers satisfied.
Examining knowledge base analytics or getting a yes/no answer on article helpfulness can only tell a company so much. On the other hand, when you embed a survey on a knowledge base article, you can ask readers for a helpfulness score and open-ended feedback. If they rated an article poorly, what was missing? With that info in hand, service teams can refine articles and maximize their case deflection potential, ultimately cutting down on repeat questions and support costs. Using a native Lightning Component, Salesforce admins can add a multi-question survey to every knowledge base article in minutes.
PRO TIP: You can feed respondents different questions based on their responses using survey logic. This is super helpful for knowledge base surveys, since you may only want to present a follow-up question (like “What was missing?”) if the reader rated the article poorly.
Like the knowledge base, a customer community can act as a highly effective self-service tool when executed well. Communities are particularly popular among big brands with active customers who want to connect with their peers, and the collaborative mentality can even build brand advocacy organically. However, like any forum, a community needs some oversight. User threads can erupt into brand-bashing quickly without close moderation, so companies typically assign service team members to keep an eye on them.
This moderation process is made easier when you give customers the tools to share feedback on their own. By adding surveys within a Community, service teams can collect direct feedback from customers and identify escalating product or service issues before they catch fire. Plus, gathering feedback in a Community setting can help companies identify potential brand promoters who might be willing to refer friends or even share testimonials.
Omni-Channel Feedback with GetFeedback for Service Cloud
As service expands and customer interactions cross many channels, it’s important for organizations to view service as a holistic, ongoing experience—not just a series of fragmented conversations. The modern customer expects more on every device, at any moment, in any place. The companies that can give them that won’t just gain their business—they’ll earn their loyalty.
By monitoring and improving your omni-channel service, you’ll develop a much clearer picture of customer experience from top to bottom. That clarity can help your customer service team adapt to an ever-changing audience and deliver the kind of service that drives long-term customer loyalty. It can start with one channel or many—as long as you’re prioritizing the customer service experience as a whole and using data-backed processes to refine that experience, you’re on the right track.
Learn how GetFeedback for Service Cloud can arm you with the insights you need to supercharge your customer experience. Contact us for a demo today.