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Your Channel, On Your Time: Embracing Omni-Channel Interactions to Deliver Exceptional Customer Support

Finding a Support Partner That Fits The Needs of Everyone in Your Organization


While at a conference, Zappos co-founder, Tony Hsieh, dared a group of executives from Sketchers to order pizza from Zappos’ customer service number. Bemused, the executives called the number and were met with a representative that responded, “One moment, please.” A few moments later, the representative returned with a list of viable options for pizza delivery that were near the conference.

Why did Zappos, a well-known online retailer, provide an answer about pizza delivery—an area so clearly outside of its purview?

Zappos prides itself on delivering a quality of customer care that is unrivaled by its competitors. Since the company’s founding in 1999, outstanding customer service has been a pillar of its differentiation. Its unique customer service philosophy requires that agents solve customer problems—even if a customer’s question isn’t directly related to apparel.

This retailer is a shining luminary for what has become a sweeping, customer-centered movement. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator1. At the same time, customers are engaging with brands through an increasingly diverse array of digital channels. This omni-channel reality isn’t simply germane to quick service restaurants and their guests. It permeates virtually every customer-company interaction. Customer support is no different.

In restaurant technology, as in retail, there is room for a customer support leader. Establishing mind-blowing support begins with a commitment to meet franchisees right where they are, and to provide consistent, high quality assistance through a variety of channels.

Meeting Crew, Managers, and Franchisees Where They Are

According to HelpScout, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent when reaching out to customer service for support2. That’s because, traditionally, many technology service and support teams force all inquiries to enter through a single, crowded channel—usually a traditional phone call.

By selecting a technology partner that applies an omni-channel philosophy to customer support, restaurants can tap into rapid time-to-resolution with far greater convenience. Let’s take a closer look at how omni-channel applies to support interactions:

Channel 1: Voice

Despite rising favor for text-based support options amongst millennials, phone-based support continues to transcend the introduction of new channels as a widely-used method of contacting support. In a recent survey conducted by Bizrate Insights, 31.9% of respondents said they prefer to speak with a customer representative over the phone3 rather than other forms of communication.

There’s something about voice-based communication that is best suited to resolve a complex challenge. Make sure your technology provider enables you to converse with knowledgeable support reps, and that this voice-based support is available around the clock.

Channel 2: Text or SMS

Alternatively, many millennials opt to avoid phone conversations altogether. With 41% of millennials preferring to communicate electronically4 in a professional environment, SMS provides a ready channel for restaurant professionals to pose support questions via their favorite medium.

Best suited for simpler issues that can be solved remotely, SMS-based support offers outstanding convenience and immediacy. Moreover, SMS messages can be readily exchanged with support from inside the restaurant during lulls so as not to interrupt the quality of the guest experience.

Channel 3: Live Agent Webchat

Today’s customers interact via a wide variety of internet-connected devices. Live Agent Webchat offers round-the-clock assistance to customers from virtually anywhere that has an internet connection. While Live Agent Webchat is particularly powerful for fielding quick and commonly asked questions, it is also capable of exchanging technical information for more complex technical issues. Unlike voice, Live Agent Webchat enables both the customer and the support agent to ensure all of the information exchanged is accurate and complete.

Channel 4: Web-to-Case

Where immediacy is less critical, Web-to-Case forms empower restaurant professionals to open a support case then return to tending the restaurant. While this channel does not provide immediate feedback to the customer, it requires the least amount of customer time to submit and, therefore, mitigates a crew member’s time spent away from their other duties.

Channel 5: Email

Last, but not least, is email—the preferred medium for many Gen X and Gen Y cohorts. Like SMS, email is readily available to customers from their personal devices, and enables them to transition conversations from mobile phone, to tablet, to laptop and back again. In addition to serving as a medium to submit support requests, email provides a bi-directional forum for technology providers to proactively notify customers of upcoming events that affect their technology landscapes.

Different Customers, Different Channels

Having a full scope of customer service channel options is especially critical in the quick service, fast casual, and food service environments, where employees range from school-aged seasonal workers to mature managers and franchisees.

That’s because each generation prefers to interact with customer service providers in a distinctly different way. Established personnel may prefer to call into customer service when a problem occurs, while a younger staff member may opt to use SMS.

Rather than adapting your business to your support, your support should be about your staff, your questions, and your operational demands. Many overlook the importance of support in selecting the right technology provider, but it is among the most critical and enduring aspects of any restaurant technology decision.

SICOMSERV

With a team of expert support representatives using the latest support technology to serve more than 25,000 QSRs in 62 countries, SICOMSERV delivers the omni-channel, round-the-clock support your restaurants need to elevate the guest experience and maximize return on your technology investments.

SICOMSERV Customer Support

Serving you, so you can better serve them. 

Contact SICOM Today

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Scott Meyer
May 25, 2018

As the head of operations at SICOM, Scott is integral to ensuring we deliver scalable services and support to our customers with a level of agility that keeps them always ahead.

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