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Evolving consumers and contact channels: Transcom interprets change to guide its clients

Access to new means of communication has revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers. From the traditional Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor, to the more theme-based Pinterest, Foursquare and Gogobot, consumers are increasingly interested in developing a rapid and loyal relationship with brands that they can influence through their needs and behavior.

Therefore, more and more companies turn to these channels and invest a larger portion of their communications budget in them.

analytics

It is interesting to analyze a few general trends over the last two years, as described in the survey undertaken by Brent Leary in 2014 - The Social Customer Care Engagement Index:

  1. A growing percentage (34%) of companies has been using social media in their customer service for over two years.
  2. 18% of the companies interviewed say that they manage over 25% of their requests through social media (in 2011 this percentage was 9%)
  3. 45% of the companies interviewed have integrated social care into the traditional customer service process (compared to 36% in 2011).

Based on these figures, it becomes increasingly important for companies to have in-depth knowledge about their customers. The full potential of traditional technologies (web, CRM, multi-channel…) needs to be exploited to develop customer insights through the analytics tools best suited to correctly interpreting consumers’ needs.

Transcom has defined and implemented a clear strategy based on the awareness that the traditional outsourcing model used by contact centers must develop and be innovated. The challenge faced by contact centers is to structure and organize themselves to manage consumers and contacts through multiple channels in an integrated way, exploiting the technology that is ready today to support this change.

Gartner forecasts that non-voice services (web, chat, sms, Twitter, Facebook, …) will surpass the voice channel (telephone) by 2017, with significant growth resulting from the evolution of mobile technology and the diffusion of smartphones.

Transcom percentage of non-voice services has grown significantly over the past year, revealing a sharp acceleration of this trend. Transcom is ready to work with companies that intend to offer their consumers a valuable customer experience by endorsing the customer’s multi-channel and social preferences.

Customer service – a strong growth driver in e-commerce

In recent years e-commerce has reported staggering growth worldwide. In June 2014, Ecommerce Europe published its 2014 report on European e-commerce in the Business to Consumer (B2C) market for goods and services, offering an updated picture of the market size in Europe and the rest of the world.

According to the report, total turnover for e-commerce in the European market in 2013 was EUR 363 bn (+16% on 2012), a figure which is expected to grow to EUR 425 bn in 2014. The Asia-Pacific region is the global leader, with EUR 406 bn, while North America ranks third after Europe with EUR 334 bn.

Global 2013 b2c e-commerce data

Source: Ecommerce Europe Association

The biggest e-commerce markets in Europe are the UKGermany and France. Together these three countries make up more than 60 percent of the entire European market.

The fastest acceleration in recent years has been in Eastern Europe, with Russia rising by nearly 50 percent compared to last year.

In 2013, Italy reported sales of EUR 11 bn (+20% on 2012). Although, this figure is lower than in other European countries, the Italian market is regarded as one of the most promising, as demonstrated by the steep rise in the number of online buyers, which over the last three years has grown from 9 to 16 million.

Europe 2013 b2c e-commerce data

Source: Ecommerce Europe Association

In such a dynamic global context, competition is based on the ability to offer a simple and consistent buying experience across all touch points. Accessibility and continuity are the keywords for the modern consumer: the web, product comparisons and careful consideration of reviews are the starting point for all purchases. Nonetheless, many ‘e-shoppers’ want the option of human contact and demand quality, competence and availability.

This is where Customer Service plays a key role. By providing quick and consistent answers (by phone, chat services, social media and email) to questions about products, payments, delivery times and return procedures, Customer Service is transformed from a cost center into a profit driver by exploiting the true value of e-commerce: establishing a relationship with the buyer. But the solidity of relationships is put to the test when problems arise (delays, undelivered products or other unexpected events). And this is where Customer Service can show its mettle by restoring customers’ trust (and loyalty) through service that is consistently first class and integrated across multiple channels.

Transcom has long experience of working with leading brands that offer various goods and services online. For example, clothing, fashion accessories, consumer electronics, travel, financial services and online payments. During the years, we have used our expertise to become a global outsourcer specialized in the ‘e-customer experience’:

  • Innovation: We develop personalized customer care apps and automated self-care, automatic call-back solutions for our clients to improve the customer experience.
  • Multilingualism: By offering services in many different languages, Transcom has helped many of our clients to expand into new markets.
  • multichannel approach and social customer care: We have agents who are specialized in the delicate process of managing online customer service conversations (Facebook, Twitter, chat etc).
  • Flexibility: we can cater for seasonal peaks without compromising service quality, which is guaranteed by strict control procedures and ongoing training.
  • Sales orientation: by using  specialized teams and best practices tested worldwide, we know how to encourage retention and reacquisition, which translates into growth and value for the client.
  • This value is also generated by cost reductions resulting from the mix of onshoring, nearshoring and offshoring services offered by Transcom.

Our clients confirm that they have achieved results which are both important and measurable. As the experts’ estimates demonstrate, e-commerce has huge potential. In this increasingly global, mobile and connected world, Transcom serves digital companies in all sectors with one goal in common: to become a market leader within their industry.