E-care: Delivering Customer Service Digitally Without Reducing Profits
By: McKinsey August 19, 2014
A European telecommunications company wanted to lower the cost of its customer service operations but worried about the potential loss of revenue from the cross-selling that its traditional call centers did so well. So-called e-care solved the problem.
In investigating its options, the company learned that 70 percent of existing customer-service contacts could be delivered through digital solutions that had proved effective in other industries. By migrating part of its customer-service operations to similar digital-care programs with a smart strategic approach, the company lowered the unit’s costs by as much as 30 percent, with no loss of revenue.
Already well established in banking and financial services, digital customer care – known as e-care – is now making inroads in other industries. E-care involves the delivery of customer service via web-based user accounts, social networks, mobile phone and the internet rather than call centers or facilities open to the public such as retail stores or service counters. Such digital services are increasingly demanded by customers, who are already using digital platforms to research and review products, as well as broadcast their service frustrations. And it makes sense from a financial perspective, too: e-care has the potential to significantly lower the cost of customer service operations while increasing customer satisfaction.
Of course, it’s not simply a matter of adding digital options to traditional customer-service channels.