Modern life is getting busier, customers want to be able to choose how they communicate with the companies they do business with and perhaps more importantly when they want to communicate.
Giving customers access to knowledgeable and helpful people 24 hours a day rather than a recorded message or an over-complex Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) system is surely the basic starting point for convenience and customer experience.
Customers also want to communicate from any device and via their preferred method 24 hours a day - web chat and social media are both seeing a dramatic increase in usage by customers. Offering all of these methods as a starting point certainly adds to the customer's experience and makes it much more convenient for them. Start as you mean to go on..