It should come as no surprise to hear customers have preferences when it comes to communication.
The availability or otherwise of preferred contact methods makes a difference to everything from customer satisfaction to repeat purchases and revenues.
Despite this clear evidence it's surprising how many companies either limit the channels on offer or have them working in discrete 'silos'.
The classic example of this is Social Media, which straddles the divide between customer service and Marketing/ PR in a rather awkward fashion, allowing some customer contacts to 'fall through the cracks'.
If a client has made fruitless complaints via Twitter or Facebook and then have to call a contact centre, they are likely to question your brand commitment to customers (and whether they want to be one of them!)
A well-organised, joined-up approach however, turns irate consumers into advocates and champions of your organisation.
Think about what contact channels you currently offer your clients. Are they centralised or fragmented? Do you know who is accountable for different interactions via each format?
We are operating in a multi-channel world and brands ignore this at their peril!
In this day and age of multi channel access, how easy do you make it for customers to contact you? If you offer voice (telephone), web, e-mail, fax channels do you actively promote them? I am delighted as a consumer to see companies like AT&T printing all their contact details in just one place on their statements – now that makes sense! What do you do?