What is Digital Customer Service?

What is Digital Customer Service

When defining digital customer service, it may be easier to say what it is rather than what it isn’t. In order to do that, let’s define the opposite of digital customer service as “traditional customer service.” Traditional customer service takes place over the phone or after waiting in line to speak to someone face-to-face. On the other hand, digital customer service means serving your customers across digital channels. These channels would include email, SMS / text messaging, live chat, Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, and more.

Digital or online service channels have exploded. Consumers love having a wide variety of ways to reach out to a company, because it means they can pick the channel that is most comfortable or accessible to them – versus being forced to make a phone call. It means companies can deliver a great experience, with less work, and that means a lot.

The asynchronous nature of digital service means that agents can handle multiple simultaneous conversations. Customers don’t expect an immediate answer, which gives agents the ability to address more than one inquiry at a time. It also gives customers the freedom to set the pace of the conversation.

Digital Customer Service Solutions Today

Digital channels that once were new and novel are now the norm, like email and Facebook. However, digital channels continue to expand, as well as the technologies that support them. For example, Apple and Google have taken plain text messaging and made it rich. Rich messaging allows for secure payments, scheduling appointments, and the ability to share more sophisticated content. Also, chatbots can be part of nearly every digital interaction and can be deployed as a great compliment to human interactions.

The ubiquity of mobile devices to research, browse, shop, and purchase products has created the need for more web-based service channels that offer assistance without requiring customers to find time to pick up the phone and call a company. Thus, we have seen the the increase of digital customer service solutions and the ability to assist your customers on their digital channel of choice.

Your customers expect a seamless, convenient, and easy digital experience whenever they engage with you. Whether they are looking for help while shopping on your website, trying to book an appointment in your mobile app, or contacting customer service through a Twitter direct message with a question about their order.

Digital customer service can go by other names such as digital customer experience, digital customer care, or digital customer support. Regardless of what you call it, the definition is the same – serving your customers across digital channels and platforms such as SMS/text, live chat, and social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WeChat.

Increased Demand for Digital Customer Service

There are four main reasons companies pursue a digital customer service strategy:

Customer Preferences

Forrester’s executive report, The Digital Customer Experience Improvement Playbook, succinctly sums up the current state of affairs for customer service:

“Customers demand that their digital interactions with your brand be seamless and span devices; that they be able to engage with your brand whenever and wherever they’d like; and that every encounter meet their needs in the moment.”

Companies are adopting a digital-first approach to meet customers wherever they are. Customers demand their channel of choice, whatever that channel may be, to engage with a company. That’s why so many service and support leaders across all industries, in companies of every size, are offering digital channels like SMS, WeChat, and Facebook for customer service and support.


As consumers seek companies that are easy to engage with, competition continues to offer more options. Customer service organizations are rapidly adopting digital channels and capabilities to meet customer needs and set them apart from their competition.


Gartner estimates that live channels such as phone, chat, and email can cost an average of $8.01 per contact vs. $.1o to serve on digital channels. Service and support leaders who use these channels as their primary customer contact methods are under pressure to reduce the cost to serve customers.


The 2019 holiday season saw mobile sales via smartphones break the $3 billion mark according to TechCrunch; up from the $1.5 billion spent on Cyber Monday a year prior. Scaling resources to meet increased demand, especially from consumers that instinctively reach for their mobile device to engage with companies throughout their entire purchase, is another reason digital customer service is on the rise.

Leaders facing these challenges turned their focus to improving how, when, and where they serve their customers across digital channels with the intent of putting the customer at the center of it all.

And by doing so, they have impacted their business by:

  • Engaging with customers they normally would not have reached
  • Differentiating themselves with easy and convenient access for customers
  • Reducing costs with the shift from phone calls to digital
  • Increasing customer satisfaction with much preferred digital channels

Digital Customer Service – Who’s Doing It Right

A quick glance through the client section of our blog will give you an idea of just some of the diversity we see in industries and use cases. But let’s take a closer look to see what a few of these companies are doing and the results they’re achieving,

Increased Engagement

Overstock.com has seen a 98% open rate when communicating with people through texts. As of today, over 15% of all contacts that used to come in via the phone are now coming into the contact center via text.

Aspira, helps people book and manage outdoor recreation reservations. They receive about 300 to 400 texts a day. The ability to text for help is particularly helpful since their clientele is usually in transit to, or already on-site, at a campground or park facility.

Higher Customer Satisfaction

The Laundress has been able to offer a more personalized, “high-touch” experience for the customers of the high-end brand of soaps, detergents, and cleaning supplies. Since implementing Quiq, the retailer handles everything from questions about scents and order status to product recommendations all through text.

Reduced Costs

Outdoor gear and apparel retailer, evo, has successfully reduced their volume of phone calls by implementing Quiq Messaging and chat. Since using the Quiq platform, average call volume has dropped from 70% to 50% of total contact volume.

Optimized Resources

Tailored Brands, known for men’s suits and outstanding customer service, added text messaging to their arsenal of digital channels. Text messaging enables agents to handle 5 text conversations at a time and upwards of 8 during peak demand.

The First Step In Your Digital Customer Service Journey

Let Quiq help you navigate the possibilities and potential of digital channels like SMS / text messaging, rich messaging, web chat, Facebook, and more.

Quiq is an experienced partner who delivers consistently jaw-dropping customer experiences across SMS/text messaging, rich messaging, web chat, and social channels. Quiq’s Conversational Engagement Platform, easily orchestrates commerce and service conversations involving both bots and humans. Let’s connect to better understand your business priorities and objectives so we help you make an impact with digital customer service.

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