One of the hottest buzzwords in discussions about customers today is the ubiquitous and nebulous term “omni-channel.” The contact center industry has adopted this phrase developed in sales and applied it broadly to customer experience management. When enterprises answer the question about why to pursue an omni-channel strategy for customer communications, the simple answer is: because customers expect to have a seamless interaction with a brand regardless of channel.They want to be able to communicate in many ways and with little effort, and these expectations are ever increasing. Any enterprise that wants to make its customers happy—and keep them—is making the creation of that experience a top priority.
The more complicated answer, and one that reveals the benefits and challenges of setting up an omni-channel strategy, is that customer experience has a major impact on outcomes such as sales and loyalty. Executives face the challenge of making the right decisions and investments to impact these business outcomes, while looking beyond the concept of channel interactions to engage with customers in a personalized and consistent way. Omni-channel has been touted by software and service providers as the universal remedy for poor customer experience, but there are more questions than answers: Just what does the term mean? Does true omni-channel experience even exist? And if it does, where should a service provider or enterprise start? In order to answer these questions, we need to define the strategy and then change the dialogue