According to Contact Babel’s 2019-2020 Decision-Makers Report, the top challenge facing call centers is not having a single view of the customer across all channels. In fact 71% of the companies surveyed identified having a siloed view of the customer journey as a pain point in their current contact center operations.
When companies invest in different software for different channels or partner with legacy “multichannel” vendors, they create channel silos with siloed customer data, making it impossible to see and report on the entire customer journey. The buzzword “omnichannel” was introduced with the promise to solve multichannel and silo issues by creating a unified agent desktop and single conversation queue. This blog will go into detail about the importance of omnichannel CX and what defines a good omnichannel CX.
WHAT IS AN OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
A few decades ago, customers were accustomed to calling into support centers and waiting on hold anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Customers today demand more from companies and are more likely to switch brands when they experience poor customer service. With this shift in consumer expectations, companies began to use customer experience as a differentiator and as a way to retain loyal customers. Today, customer experience is the key differentiator (above price and product quality) for more than 40% of companies.
As consumers began utilizing more communication channels with friends and family on their mobile devices, they also began expecting their favorite brands to allow communication on these channels. These new channels include text messaging, web chat, chatbots, social media, mobile apps, and other digital channels. Companies that added these additional channels had multichannel contact centers.
Omnichannel contact center software allows you to connect with customers seamlessly over a variety of channels used by your customers. Omnichannel customer experience allows your customers to utilize the channels they prefer and provides the ability to switch to an alternative channel without having to repeat their issue with the representative. Omnichannel software allows call center representatives to view all historical interactions of the customer they are speaking with regardless of the channel.
The latest report by Contact Babel states: “Recent years have seen the word ‘omnichannel’ introduced as describing the goal of customers being able to contact (and be contacted) through any channel—switching between them during the interaction as appropriate, while taking any relevant data and history along with them—with a single, unified view of the customer’s journey being available to the agent.”
WHAT DEFINES A GOOD OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX)?
PROVIDE A CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BASED ON YOUR CUSTOMER’S CX PREFERENCES
If your customers are on social media, your company should be as well. If your customers want to reach your customer support team in-app on their mobile device, you should consider adding it into your omnichannel experience. Consider adding different channels and look at all the individual channels your customers use to understand how they fit into your omnichannel approach.
PROVIDE A CONSISTENT EXPERIENCE
Provide a consistent experience across all channels by monitoring the entire customer journey. Most companies will have quality management and quality assurance for their voice channel, but it is necessary to monitor the entire journey across all channels.
PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AND REDEFINE YOUR OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY OFTEN
Make sure to keep up with communication trends so that you are ready to implement new channels as they emerge. If you are high-tech, it may be more critical to add new channels swiftly without creating new silos in your contact center. By partnering with an innovative vendor, you can ensure that emerging channels will become available when consumers start to utilize them for speaking with companies.
A RETAIL USE CASE FROM SEPHORA
Sephora has become a leader in the cosmetics industry for providing an exceptional omni-channel customer experience. Sephora, from the beginning, recognized that shoppers expect variety. Not only do they expect a variety in product selection, but they also expect variety in forms of communication.
Sephora has created an omni-channel experience by connecting a shoppers online experience with its brick and mortar store offline experience. Sephora also provides frequent communication with customers via text message, email, in-app, and more with effortless and seamless wish lists and purchasing options.
AN OMNICHANNEL USE CASE FROM BEST BUY
Amazon pushed a lot of electronic retailers out of business, but Best Buy was able to stay in business by creating an omnichannel approach for its shoppers. Best Buy updated online shopping to be competitive with Amazon’s two-day shipping and improved mobile accessibility to include a “favorites” list and the ability to load credit card information for quicker mobile purchasing.
DELIVER A CONSISTENT CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE WITH BRIGHT PATTERN’S OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PLATFORM
Bright Pattern’s omnichannel contact center platform gives companies the ability to communicate seamlessly with customers over voice, email, video, web chat, text, chatbots, mobile apps, and social messengers. The customer service representative is able to view all historical customer information because the Bright Pattern omnichannel contact center platform maintains context and relevant information across all channels as if it were a single continuous conversation.
BRIGHT PATTERN OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PLATFORM BENEFITS:
- Seamless customer experience
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Increased loyal customers
- Call deflection to cheaper channels
- Streamlined customer engagement
- Agent empowerment
- True omnichannel routing engine
- Customizable journey builder
- Robust omnichannel analytics and quality management
- Personalization of customer experience
- Reduced wait time
About the author:
Having spent over 20 years selling technology and services to companies like Goldman Sachs, Dell EMC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and more, he is passionate about helping organizations achieve desired business outcomes with cutting-edge technology and strategy. Certified in Cloud Economics and ROI through AWS and having successful stints at Interactive Intelligence and Genesys, Peter brings a unique perspective to service-based companies that are striving to move away from legacy technology infrastructure and processes toward a true omnichannel CX model.