Your customer has a problem. This problem will lurk in the depths of their subconscious mind for hours, perhaps even days before it finally goads them into taking action. And that action is to find some way to get in contact with you.
As problems go, theirs is not the simplest to resolve. If it were simple your customer would use your online portal. Instead this is the kind of problem that falls between the cracks of automated customer service. It is the kind of problem that requires a telephone conversation with someone from your organisation.
While your customer suspects a phone conversation will be required the idea of sitting in a queue waiting for their call to be answered is thoroughly unappealing to them. So, they send you an email. The email flows through your system and is automatically distributed to one of your employees - Peter. Peter sees that this problem really needs a phone call to resolve it, so he sends an SMS back to the customer which allows them to schedule a time they would be available to receive a call. The customer is really grateful for the swift response and much prefers to be called back rather than waiting in a queue.
At the time defined by the customer Peter is freed up so he can call your customer. The system dials your customer but unfortunately at that time they are on the phone and can't take the call. No problem! 15 minutes later the system retries and soon Peter is talking to the customer.
As Peter talks to the customer his computer screen shows him relevant data pulled from the various systems your company uses, which Peter can utilize to get to the heart of the issue more quickly.
However, Peter still needs to check up on things a couple of days later. An SMS has been scheduled to be sent two days after the phone call to ensure the customer is happy now that the problem has been resolved completely.
Two days later and all is well. The customer is happy. So happy in fact that what was once a niggling problem has become a warm, positive feeling about you and your service. This leads them to want to contact you again to get more of the service that you provide.
So your customer contacts you once more, this time via inbound web chat. An automated chat responder identifies the customer in your database. This in turns identifies the specific need they have. As he has communicated with this customer in the past Peter is identified as the best person for them to speak to. So, Peter is blended into a chat conversation with the customer. A combination of Peter´s good relationship with the customer and the fact that his screen is showing him relevant information about the customer means he can easily ensure they get more of what they want.
There is no longer a problem lurking in the back of your customer's mind. His good experience has replaced it, with a recommendation.