Just like the showstopper McEnroe, famous for his outbursts, digitally empowered customers have reset the bar on acceptable customer experience. The left-hander opposed many empires’ rulings and in doing so exposed a flaw/opportunity in the system. Today the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, allows players to contest the line call of a point, which allows a much fairer ruling.
Frequently used within the industry, omni- and multi-channel mean two very distinct things. However from the customer’s perspective, it’s the same goal – the delivery of ‘ace’ customer experience.
To put it simply: Customers view their experiences with a brand, not with discrete channels. But choosing the right technology will allow for an omni-like customer experience.
According to Forbes, *86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% feel that brands consistently meet their expectations, highlighting the opportunity for brands to create a lasting competitive advantage.
The grand-slam challenge then to outrank competitors is customer experience, especially at a time when loyalty has diminished in many industries, with digital channels making it easier for customers to research and switch to competitor offerings.
Creating experiences that are consistently applause worthy remains a difficult challenge, as customers want interactions with a brand to be seamless, integrated and consistent regardless of the contact channel.
New balls please
Brands that are serious about building a compelling customer experience know that not all multi-channel technologies are equal, as each brand face their own unique challenges. However when it comes to investing in online customer service, many businesses don’t make it past the first round. They rally in long winded conversations or deliver inconsistent information across different contact channels.
Some technologies offer brands the ability to open up new communication channels with their customers, but these should not be mistaken as alternatives to the sophisticated, intelligent, powerful, adaptable, and continually improved as consumer behaviour changes, integrated multi-channel solutions. It’s like comparing tennis players with cricketers, both sports require players to be accurate to return/hit a ball, but the rules and lawns are worlds apart.
Having a well implemented customer service strategy with a centralised knowledge-base at its core, is key to meeting the following challenges facing companies wanting to deliver exceptional customer experiences. Multiple contact channels that don’t feed into the same knowledge-base will not serve ‘first contact’ resolution with consistency and continuity across engagement channels.
A centralised and shared knowledge management solution will ensure that the same information is given to customers across all contact channels, helping to improve satisfaction rates.
Clearly sign-posted on a home and contact page, a knowledge management solution will enable customers to find answers to their own questions. But having an extended knowledge-base into your contact centre will ensure that agents give customers consistent, accurate and timely answers to their questions regardless of channel, and that customers receive the same accurate answers whether they’re provided via self-service search, a phone call with an agent, automated email responses, web forms, live chat, SMS, or social media.
This will help to reduce agent-training times and increase conversions, whilst improving the overall customer experience.
Game, set, match
To improve the customer engagement experience and keep consumers loyal, brands must place more importance on understanding the relationship between support interactions, channels, and the changing tides of consumer behaviour. This will be the tie-breaker in choosing the right technology to support their strategy, separating the professionals from the spectators.