- CINDY MACEWEN VP, Global Solutions, Minacs
Driving the Omni-Channel Customer Experience Every Time
Customers have a choice where they do business. And much of that choice depends on their experience—every experience—with your company. They don’t categorize your company as separate departments (sales, customer care, support, etc.). They see you as one company, one brand.
Interactions have changed, making omni-channel customer service a necessary part of life. You need to make sure your outsourcing provider can service your customers in their channel of choice anytime, anywhere, across any device.
MOVE FROM A CHANNEL-CENTRIC TO AN EXPERIENCE-CENTRIC APPROACH
Today’s tech-savvy customers are reaching out to your contact center using a variety of channels, such as phone, email, chat, video—the list just keeps growing.
According to Ovum, 25 percent of consumers on average use at least two channels when seeking customer care, while 52 percent utilize three to four channels. How many times have we all used a chat feature on a website while shopping, only to be interrupted by kids, dinner and work? When we resume the experience later that night or the next day, we want to pick up where we left off and not start the process all over again. That’s omni-channel from the customer point of view.
Customers don’t view their journey as a channel; they look at it from the objective of what they are trying to accomplish. The last thing customers would want to do is start a conversation in one channel and repeat the information when they switch to another.
Customers are moving quickly, and whether they begin their journey at home and then transition to the car, they expect the channel to shift seamlessly with them. For example, a customer logs into the customer support section of your website. After clicking under a certain product heading for a few minutes, a proactive chat box opens, offering assistance. Once the customer clicks on Yes, she is greeted by a live agent who recognizes her either as an existing customer (the log-in information is matched to the customer’s account in the enterprise database); a fairly current customer (who purchased a product two months ago based on warranty information in the database); and a customer who has been online in a certain product section of your site (based on tracking software on your website that is integrated into the CRM). Giving your agents access to the collated information starts the phone call on a positive note.
An omni-channel approach to customer service closely reflects how customers really behave. It helps you engage in real-time contextual conversations and initiate the right action based on customer context, preferences and needs. Your omni-channel environment should be designed to provide customers the ability to switch between channels seamlessly, while delivering a consistent brand experience.
The omni-channel approach has been proven to drive loyalty and revenues. According to Aberdeen Group, delivering a seamless experience can give enterprises over 7 percent lift in customer retention rates. The same report stated that companies with “strong omni-channel customer engagement saw a 9.5 percent year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4 percent for weak omni-channel companies.”
ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVE: INCREASE BRAND LOYALTY
In an omni-channel world, you want your customers’ experiences to be effortless, personalized, and efficient to make conducting business with you on the whole easier. To support your goal of increasing brand loyalty, these suggestions on working with your outsourcing provider will help to implement best business practices:
Drive consistent messages across all channels, both inbound and outbound—all roads lead to the same goal regardless of the channel.
Empower your agents by providing technology and performance enhancement tools to support the seamless omni-view and productivity.
Give agents access to data across all channels so they have a 360-degree view of the customer relationship and can deliver consistent customer experiences throughout the customer’s journey and lifetime.
Incorporate analytics into business processes to enable relevant and meaningful conversations with customers and prospects. This knowledge will help predict customer intent and provide tailored responses to inquiries, sometimes even before the customer knows she has a question.
The foundation for delivering omnichannel customer experience includes technology, access to data, and advanced analytics tools and capabilities that provide your enterprise real-time and predictive insights into what your customers want. To help customers achieve their objectives in real time, departmental systems across the organization must be automated with algorithmic logic to deliver “neurally” and appropriately to complete their overall experience.