How do I find out the customer’s preferred channel for customer service and how do I give consistent excellent service across all those channels when there are many CSR’s?

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Question from Avi Y.

Abraham Venismach

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Moshe Davidow - December 26, 2017

The easiest way to find the preferred channel is to ask customers. This may vary according to need/situation. Most CX/CRM software allows you to set up a matrix of channel X situation per customer so any CSR can see the preferred channel Consistent excellent service is a byproduct of an awesome customer focused culture. Every CSR must be committed to solving the customer problem or need, above and beyond, thus leaving the customer no choice but to become your advocate, thus becoming a WIN/WIN.

John DiJulius - December 26, 2017

It is great that you are willing to be where the customer wants you to be. But be careful, crawl, walk and then run. Unless you have the proper resources, i.e. people to monitor all the different channels of communication, which are endless (i.e. facebook, chatbot, website attendant, twitter, Linkedin, Instragram, snapchat, text, email, etc.), you can do more harm than good. I believe offer website attendant is a great place to start. Again everything is dependent on if you have the staff.

Jeanne Bliss - December 26, 2017

Hi Avi. In today’s world, customers want to have choices. So expect that over time, you will need to be flexible in the options that you offer. I agree with John’s approach – make sure you are executing well – reliably and with people who can really answer and solve customers’ needs before jumping into new mediums. Many customers, for example, are still underwhelmed by basic 800 number experiences. Make sure you’ve got at least one reliable outreach before you layer on more

Errol Allen - December 26, 2017

May I suggest the following options: 1. When a customer becomes a customer, ask what is there preferred method of contact – both in regards in how they would like to be contacted and through what channel would they like to be able to reach your company. 2. In regards to the channels you currently have available to customers – measure traffic across all available channels to determine the customers preference and staff accordingly. Be careful in attempting to be available on all channels.

Shep Hyken - December 26, 2017

You are on the right path. You want to be where your customers are and communicate with them the way they like and want. But, do you have to be everywhere? If there is an “outlier,” who is the only one (or part of a very small group), on a channel you don’t serve, it may not make sense to be there, but don’t be absent from the main channels. The company that doesn’t participate in social media channels or offer a self-service option is going to potentially alienate the customer.

Marco Houthuijzen - December 27, 2017

Do YOU have a preferred channel to communicate with companies?
I understand the need to know a customer’s preferred channel, however, choosing a channel of communication is often led by circumstances. When a customer is at home watching TV, sending a Whatsapp-message or Facebook- or Twitter-message is the easiest way to communicate. When the customer is driving his car, calling is. When the customer wants to tell you everything, he’ll send you an email.

Paolo Fabrizio - December 27, 2017

Hi Avi, first off ask your customers which channels they use more often and which ones they’d like to have for support (they might not be necessarily the same!). Then, check inside your organization whether you’re ready to integrate new ones by answering the following three questions:
1. Do I already have an omni-channels platform / dashboard?
2. Is my staff skilled to handle conversations via digital channels?
3 Considering answers to questions 1. & 2, how much time / money do I need?


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