Getting Right-Channeling Right

Right-channeling often gets a bad rap. Many eBusiness professionals interpret right-channeling to mean railroading customers into the lowest-cost customer service channel. But that is only half the picture. Cost savings are certainly an objective — but not at the expense of customer satisfaction. Right-channeling means providing customers with a satisfying service experience through the most cost-appropriate channel.

Today, effective customer service right-channeling is challenged by limited channels. Mediocre site search and static FAQs result in unsatisfactory self-service with little option but slow motion email or the most costly channel: the telephone. Luckily, there are many variable cost-per-contact online customer service channels to consider: virtual agents, click to chat, mobile, and social. eBusiness professionals face the challenge of determining what customer service channel(s) to introduce and to what extent these new channels will deflect volumes from existing channels.

I have recently written a document called “Selecting Online Customer Service Channels To Satisfy Customers And Reduce Costs” to address this challenge. In this document, I look at how to select new cost-appropriate customer service channels that will satisfy customer needs and how to estimate the impact that introducing new channels will have on existing ones. This process begins with:

  • Determining what proportion of your current customer service contacts originate from your Web site.
  • Identifying what proportion of your customer service contacts are low-, medium-, and high-complexity.
  • Deciding which customer service channels align with your customers’ needs. 


I hope that you will find some actionable advice in this document. As always, I’m happy to hear about your experiences around this or other online customer service topics.



right channel...

Great post here - i cringe when I think of sellers jamming customers into the channel that best only for the company. I always think of the old adage - "treat others as you wish to be treated!"

Try to leverage and use intelligent business rules to determine the right communication channel for each visitor at each point in time. "Right" for both you *and* the customer!

From there, effortlessly escalating from email to chat and from chat to voice, etc, becomes a glorious thing!


Totally Agree

Diane, I am thankful for professionals like you. You are so spot on with this post. I just wanted to thank you for trying to "right" the ship on right-channeling. Totally gets a bad rap. I agree that with a little guidance and the right information at the right time, we can all be guided towards a useful channel for certain information. Thanks for your post! Be well.