Last week on my train journey into London my train was held unexpectedly at a station en route. Over the intercom we heard the message that there would be a delay due to an incident and that train services into and out of London were suspended.
All around me passengers reached for different devices in an attempt to get more information about the situation. Some phoned the customer service line, some spoke to the train and station staff, some visited the website and I used Twitter to ask for information.
Interestingly enough, the answers my fellow passengers and I received through these different channels all differed slightly. One heard that the delay was due to a passenger incident on another train, another said that it was due to a man sat on a bridge!
Once services resumed there was an announcement on our train that a train on another platform would leave first and we could transfer to that one. However, the staff on the platform were under instructions to allow no one onto that train.
This tense situation lead to some amusement and definitely created a bond between people who in other circumstances would not have exchanged a single word with each other. We actually had a good time exchanging and comparing all the different answers. However, it certainly did not enhance our customer experience from the railway company!
For me it was the perfect example of the necessity for unified communications and customer service especially when things go wrong. Then it is more important than ever to ensure you are responding to customers who may be searching for answers through multiple communication channels. And even more important that they all get consistent information.
With todays technology you can easily prevent your customers from experiencing your customer service as fragmented and unaligned by bringing all of your communication channels together into one single platform. This enables your users to respond in the best way possible wherever they are and on whatever device and channel they are using.
For example instead of operating multiple systems you can integrate one platform with Office 365 to replace your PBX, mobile and contact centre software and transform the way you work. The benefits you will get from unifying all of your communications will hugely increase your efficiency and customer satisfaction enabling you to gain real competitive advantage.
If you would like an informal chat on what you can do to unify all your communication channels then contact me, Dave Clarke, via this link and I'll be in touch.