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Multi-Channel Customer Support


by James Townsend

Customer service automation is evolving rapidly, and I experienced this myself this week.  Here is an example of excellent use of multi-channel customer service from SiriusXM Satellite radio.  The entire transaction went smoothly even though it switched between four channels.

Channel 1: Mail

I received a letter telling me that my SiriusXM Satellite Radio subscription was up for renewal, and my credit card would be charged for another year.  I no longer owned the car associated with the subscription and had forgotten to cancel it.  

I called the phone number on the letter.  My phone number was associated with the account and used to look up my account information.  I was told that to avoid a wait for a customer service rep I could switch to text message (SMS) support.  SiriusXM sent a text to my phone number.

Channel 2: SMS Text Message

The text message told me it was from SiriusXM and asked me to confirm my account number and vehicle information.  I was cautioned not to enter this in the text chat, but directed to a web page with a link.

Channel 3: Web

The link took me to a page on which I entered my account information.  After I submitted the form I was notified that the lookup was successful and directed back to the text message chat.

Back to Channel 2

I received a text confirming the account lookup.  Two questions later, my cancellation was complete and I received a final confirmation message and invitation to complete a satisfaction survey.

My company InfoStrat helps customers implement CRM and customer service, so it was interesting for me to experience automation as the end user, especially when the result was a smooth transaction that likely was faster and more painless than I would have experienced just using a phone call or the website as a single channel.  Having options to choose and switch channels is another way to empower customers and raise customer satisfaction. 


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