• 05:58:22 pm on June 3, 2008 | 6
    Tags: , , , ,

    Little did I know when I started writing my last post and some other people also had strong opinions about email. Since I published that blog, I found entries related to using Email in support organizations in two other places.

    As you probably figured out, mine is a positive blog entry. I do believe that Email has its place in the customer service organization, that is quite powerful when done properly, and that it does not take much more than a commitment to do it right. However, others are not so convinced.

    Glenn Ross writes in his latest blog about diversifying your communication with your customers, including really taking a survey on what email does and whether and how to continue. While he does emphasize he is a believer in email, he also says he believes more in new communication tools and technologies, social networks, and Web 2.0 methods. While I don’t disagree, I don’t see the value that it brings to customer service – yet.

    On the other end of the spectrum, my good friend John Ragsdale over at SSPA wrote an entry about the death of support email. Well written article, and he does make some valid points. I responded to him that the problem is not in the tool, but rather the implementation of the tool. That most companies don’t take the time to do it right.

    Alas, I truly believe this. I find that any technology or tool could be useful, in certain circumstances, when properly implemented. I truly, honestly believe that if more people were to advance their email implementations (auto-responses, structured web-forms, specific transactions, knowledge repositories integration among other things) we would not be having this discussion.

    Now, consider this before you respond to my question… in a recent survey we discovered that email’s growth rate is 28% year-over-year, just a smidget below web self-service (29%) and Chat at 35% (these are CAGR 2007-2009). Now, with that in mind…

    What do you think? Is Email dead? In life support? Thriving? please, let me know what you think… either comment below, or email me (ekolsky at evergance . com).

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Comments

  • Haim Toeg 6:59 pm on June 3, 2008 | # | Reply

    Esteban,

    I’ve been reading your blog, as well as John’s and Glenn’s (might as well start one for myself too). It seems that making a sweeping prediction about the future of e-mail as an channel for any service maybe too much. Segmenting based on industries and markets may be more valuable and possibly actionable.

    Also, I’d be curious to hear about the global perspectives of e-mail service vs other channels.

    Haim

  • jragsdale 9:27 pm on June 3, 2008 | # | Reply

    I definitely think Haim should start a blog!

  • Esteban Kolsky 12:04 am on June 4, 2008 | # | Reply

    Here… Here!

  • Esteban Kolsky 12:07 am on June 4, 2008 | # | Reply

    BTW,

    Haim makes an extremely new point in this debate. We are keen to think that outside of the US there is no customer service, obviously very wrongly, and we never stop to think of other places.

    I would love to see, if anyone has it, some examples of overseas use of email in customer service that will aid in this discussion.

    I will believe that there is something going on in EMEA, at the very least, that would surprise us. I also believe that APAC is closer to where Glenn’s comments are (i.e. into newer technologies), but there may be something there to learn as well…

    anyone reading who has a good example to contribute on the global aspects of this issue? how about the US implcations we did not cover?

  • Glenn 3:13 pm on June 4, 2008 | # | Reply

    Estaban,

    Thanks for including my post in the discussion. One of my favorite business quotes is by the late Robert Guzieta (sp) former CEO of Coke. “In real estate, the three most important criteria are ‘location, location, location.'” In business, it’s ‘differentiate, differentiate, differentiate.'”

    If your customers are using social media, or a younger demographic will soon age into your customer segment you better get there before your competition does and become expert at using those channels.

    Or to quote an even older saying, “Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

    Glenn

  • Esteban Kolsky 7:22 am on June 11, 2008 | # | Reply

    Glenn,

    Many thanks for your comments and interest… I am working on a series of entries, potentially developing into something bigger, on these exact theme.

    You want to talk about challenges for service? Try mastering the new world where most of these people never even heard / used a call center… talk about a different setup. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogs, Wikis, etc. They all become interfaces for customer service…

    are you ready?


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