What does customer experience mean in 2020? With consumers more technically-aware than ever, digital tools will have a key role to play. Indeed, with more options than ever for customers to contact businesses, from email and phone to newer services like chatbots and social media, organisations need to make sure they have a presence wherever their customers are.
The need for an omnichannel approach
The first step for any contact centre in this environment will be ensuring they are offering the channels today’s users expect, and this may well be different for each customer.
For example, some customers may turn to email or contact us forms as their first port of call if they have an issue, while younger millennial and generation Z customers who’ve grown up interacting with the internet primarily through social media may expect to simply tag a company in a tweet and expect a swift response.
However, regardless of how interactions start, the chances are an issue is likely to involve multiple channels before it is resolved. Indeed, according to figures from Ovum, the majority of customers believe it will take five or more interactions to solve a problem.
This is where the value of an effective omnichannel strategy comes in, but if this is not implemented properly, it’s also the part of the processes where inefficiencies and frustrations are likely to be seen.
Meeting customer expectations with a seamless experience
Customers moving from one channel to another can quickly become frustrated if they feel they have to start over again or repeat details they have already provided, whether they are moving to a completely new channel or to a different agent within the same channel.
For instance, going through multiple authentication steps can quickly become tedious, while if a person has to explain the problem they are having to new people, this greatly increases the time taken to resolve the issue and can leave customers feeling they are not being listened to.
To avoid these issues, it’s vital that the omnichannel process is as seamless as possible. For example, if a person has begun their journey using a chatbot, it’s essential that a human agent that steps in has immediate access to the entire conversation history so far, so there is no need for any repetition.
Similarly, if a consumer is getting in touch with a contact centre by phone from email communications, it’s hugely helpful for agents if they have the existing records at their fingertips, including the customer’s messages and any notes from other agents, so they can pick up from exactly where the customer left off.
This means integrating all channels into a single contact centre solution that allows for details to be easily recorded, shared and retrieved in an instant. Get this right and many of the frustrations that customers experience when contacting a business can be eased, and they will be able to seamlessly move between agents and channels without any disruption.
Find out more about the evolving expectations of customers and how to meet them in our new white paper.