My house is the world headquarters of Trash Amps. Adam, one of our kids, is the CEO of the company. They make very cool speakers that you can put into soda or beer cans to rock out to your favorite music with.

Today, it’s a small company, Adam and his friend, Ron, a couple of twenty something digital natives, serving an all-digital native customer base.  These guys truly and naturally live in the digital world:

  • When they needed to raise capital, they used Indigogo, a crowd sourcing operation similar to Kickstarter.
  • They have a Facebook page with a good following.
  • They use MailChimp for their email campaigns.
  • They do almost all of their sales through the web-they tried a kiosk in the mall but found the process very painful.

Digital Natives and Digital Customer Service
Adam and Ron quickly learned that when you communicate with your customers on digital channels, you also provide service to your customers on digital channels. They started fielding support questions from their Facebook page, and posting “how to” videos on their website. They even saw escalations form one channel to another:

  • Emails coming in from the web or Facebook
  • Phone calls to them as well

If you live in the greater Sunnyvale area (south San Francisco Bay), there is a good chance you could talk Adam into coming to your house and troubleshooting your speaker. (The batteries will get you every time.)

Digital Customer Service for the Enterprise
Genesys is seeing a similar evolution with our customers, but this evolution is much less natural and happens at a much larger scale. Companies struggle with how to take advantage of the power of mobile applications and how to project the right brand image in the social sphere. During this process they often find themselves unexpectedly providing customer service across a new set of channels:

  • Responding to Facebook posts or tweets asking for help
  • Getting calls from customers who were unable to solve their problem on the web
  • Aggravating customers who can’t do what they need in their mobile application

Enterprises who want to use these new digital channels as a way to differentiate their brand need to see them as tools for communicating with their customers and prospects. Enterprises need to understand that their customers will see the company as a single entity across all of these disparate channels and applications and that an inconsistent experience will cost them loyalty and cause customer churn. In order to succeed across these digital channels, your organization will need to do the following:

  • Make it easy to do business with you by being consistent across all of the channels.
  • Respect the “human touch”. Don’t ignore the reality that sometimes customers will need help from a real person and how you handle the need the need will greatly influence how your organization is perceived.
  • Understand that when you take a holistic approach to what we call “digital customer service,” you not only deepen relationships with your customers, but you can also drive efficiencies into your business that represent significant savings across your organization.

So, Trash Amps has learned to deliver Digital Customer Service on a small scale. To find out more about how companies succeed on a larger scale, you can read about Vodacom in South Africa and how they use social media to build strong relationships with their customers.