Don’t Make Me Tell You Twice
THE BIGGEST “DON’TS” FOR SUCCESSFUL OMNICHANNEL EXPERIENCES
If you read the above headline and thought, “Well, we have customer service channels across chat, text, phone and email – with a few more channels on the way – I think we’re covered,” you should keep reading.
Truth is, omnichannel experiences are still in their infancy among call centers. A majority are late to roll out the experiences that customers prefer and, worse yet, the existing channels don’t talk to one another.
With 75 percent of consumers rating customer service more important than brand, you can’t afford to get your omnichannel strategy wrong.
One problem: many leaders still confuse multichannel engagement with omnichannel experience.
Sure, multichannel tactics DO connect customers to preferred channels, like email, web and text, but they DON’T allow for data to move freely between channels, which creates blind spots across the customer journey.
Omnichannel strategy requires a centralized system of record to turn rich customer intelligence into cohesive customer experiences.
Equipping agents with holistic data gives customers the service they expect. But it takes work.
Here are the biggest DON’Ts to consider when crafting omnichannel experiences to match customer expectations.
- DON’T MAKE CUSTOMERS TELL YOU TWICE
- DON’T ISOLATE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
- DON’T GO SILENT ON YOUR CUSTOMERS
- DON’T STOP IMPROVING EXPERIENCES
Let’s dive into each!
DON’T MAKE CUSTOMERS TELL YOU TWICE
Year over year, consumers highlight an increasing desire for seamless experiences across channels. This requires eliminating repetitive steps from the customer’s journey.
If your agent is responding to a customer service call, the consumer expects you have access to a complete history of that relationship – right at your fingertips.
Consumers are especially galled if they’re forced to repeat themselves, with 54 percent saying they would rather spend the day in wet socks than tell an agent something twice.
Imagine having to reenter purchasing information or detail the purpose of your call again and again. It creates real friction between your customer and your services, and it degrades trust and long-term loyalty.
It takes highly-skilled agents and centralized technology to create fluid experiences across channels. Even the most dedicated agents will fall short if they lack a complete view of the customer, allowing many repetitive tasks to sneak through.
DON’T ISOLATE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES
If you’re connecting to your consumers across one channel, that’s great – but is it enough?
Consumers surveyed seem to think not.
85 percent of consumers want agents to know about previous engagements, but only 24 percent experience it.
76 percent expect simultaneous interactions across multiple channels, but only 19 percent have it.
Adding a channel that doesn’t speak across every consumer touchpoint is like building a home addition on a separate lot.
The more connected the consumer feels across customer service, the more connection they’ll feel to your brand.
DON’T GO SILENT ON YOUR CUSTOMERS
To go a step further, the connectivity of your channels directly feeds into the strength of your communication with customers.
Every channel working together is a tremendous advantage, but it also requires that every channel is performing at a high level simultaneously.
A restaurant can offer a six-course meal and still be judged harshly if one item underwhelms. It’s no different with your business’s connected channels.
With an average of three channels used to communicate with your brand, consumers expect seamless engagement, convenience and rapid resolution. And the stakes are high.
84 percent of customers will switch providers after as few as three poor experiences – and more than half of these customers will leave without any warning.
If a prospective customer reaches out and is dissatisfied with the service they receive, they’ll simply seek out your competition.
Just consider these preferred response times, straight from surveyed consumers, to understand how high customer expectations have become:
Email: 3-4 hours
Social media: 30 minutes
Phone: 5 minutes
Chat: 1-3 minutes
(*Source: 2019 Customer Expectations Report, Gladly)
This speaks to the old adage that the best marketing is service, with two-thirds of consumers saying they’ve switched to a competitor that offered them better attention.
DON’T STOP IMPROVING EXPERIENCES
The importance of quality assurance (QA) and quality management (QM) across the customer journey can not be understated.
The degree of your call center’s service will influence not only if a customer will purchase but how much they’re willing to pay. Consumers are also more than willing to step away from your company if you fail to deliver on their expectations, with no chance to rectify the mistake.
Leaders need to prioritize technology that serves the customer and is built to elevate the customer experience long term.
Your QA teams must establish what is required to best serve customers, while QM teams develop the roadmap for emerging expectations, as channels grow and reveal themselves across industries.
The best brands include Amazon, Walmart and three cellular providers (Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile), according to consumers.
These logos succeed because they offer ubiquitous product offerings while continually increasing innovation, convenience and customer service beyond their competitors.
It is no longer a luxury to dedicate resources to improving the omnichannel experience — it’s table stakes.
Brands need to allocate dedicated experts to guide these programs if they want to keep pace with customer expectations.
HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW
If you want to drive true omnichannel experiences, there are many things you should and should NOT be doing. Are you confident your customers are connected across your brand’s channels with excellent and engaging customer service?
If not, consider a cloud-based vendor partner that can immediately leverage their expertise across the customer journey and help you integrate your multi-channel approach into a full omni-channel experience. This will allow your business leaders to focus on additional areas in your organization to optimize, once they know the customer is being cared for.
Let Cloud Call Center Search and our collection of industry experts find a vendor partner that is an exact fit for your needs. Just fill out the form for a free consultation.
It’s no risk. It’s free. And it will highlight the areas your customer service may be falling short.