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A Growing Need for Multi-Channel Consumer Support

I recently purchased a stuffed animal for my six-month old baby called My Pal Scout, which has a USB port and requires a software download. Curious about the set-up process, I turned to Google and found many search results with terms such as, “HELP ME set up My Pal Scout” (see illustration).

My preference for support is to find like minded parent’s and learn from their experiences.  I am not inclined to call into a call center.

Over the past decade, there has been a fundamental shift in the product marketplace with focus moving from the development of tangible products to the creation of a variety of services and features that can be accessed through existing platforms.

This shift changed customers’ expectations of where and how they will locate support from your company.  Along with it, there is a tremendous strain on companies, evident in the continued growth of call centers.

After observing and evaluating the consumer support experience for hundreds of customers across industries, it is clear that I am not alone and one solution is not enough for providing customer support.  There is significant opportunity for improvement across many channels.  Only by understanding where customers want support and why will you truly understand where to concentrate your efforts to provide what your customer considers superior support.

Regrettably call centers are only a single solution in the overall matrix customers look to for support and increasing the scale of just call centers is not enough.  Call centers are not the preferred route for all consumers who desire support and are costly for companies to run.  The desire for great customer support has expanded across a variety of channels (online, in-store, mobile) and you must engage customers where they are seeking help and when they need it.