Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[INTEGRATION STRATEGIES] Online-offline cohesiveness is s sign of good  customer service 

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Being available and transparent about when companies and their experts are available is also a sign of good customer service. Customer service in the healthcare industry is  called patient experience. The same principles apply to both areas of customer service.

In 2016, patients and customers expect full integration across all channels. For example, I expect to be able to reach companies and healthcare institutions through online means – whether that’s social media, their website or a traditional email. I expect organizations to respond to their web contact us forms. Interestingly, that’s still often hit and miss and many organizations still do not monitor  those forms – or at the least don’t respond. Thank you if your organization does pay attention on all channels.

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The picture you see with this story was taken at a Target store. I was stopping by that store on a Saturday afternoon to get new glasses. I’ve actually gone to the same eye doctor for number of years and really have no plans to switch eye doctors. But yet, I took my prescription to the Target store to get new glasses-mostly because the Target store’s hours were really convenient on a Saturday afternoon. I wanted to go then and they were open.

The only reason I had thought of going to Target was because my wife had scheduled an eye appointment at that same store earlier in the day. She texted that they had a 25 percent off sale. That helped, too, in making my decision. When I arrived at the store I saw that sign with the schedule of openings. Now it appears that to schedule an appointment I have to still go online. But it was great to see and what times the appointments are available. Plus the sign right there at the store for all to see is a great advertising tool, showing that there are openings to get an eye exam and there are openings soon.

I thought it was a fantastic way to integrate the different channels:

  • It reminded us of when there are openings.
  • It reminded us that scheduling could happen online.
  • It also reminded us that the store actually offers eye exams.

I mentioned the sign to my wife and shared some of these points with her, which prompted her to say “oh yeah, of course I scheduled my appointment online.”

So why is this even worth mentioning? Because it’s a good example of integration. However, in 2016 there are still plenty of organizations across many industries that are not fully integrated across all channels used by customers. Of course, those channels include online and offline. And sometimes they change. One gets added and sometimes one gets subtracted. The relevant masses decide what channels should be important to us. 

Often, the reason I hear that full-channel integration is not there yet is because it’s working the way it currently is set up. And that might be true. It is working just well enough. We’re making enough money, have enough customers and the business is going well. But it could be going even better when we fully integrate channels.

Integration across all channels shows a customer-centric approach. Organizations that respond on Twitter, that let me book or schedule online, and that responded to my phone calls show what true customer service in 2016 is about Thank you to all who are doing this for their customers and making our lives easier.

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Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I'm Christoph Trappe. I've written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs. If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I'm always happy to chat! Thanks for reading! - Christoph 319-389-9853

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