Connecting the Dots in Omnichannel Customer Service

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Customer Engagement
Customer Service
Customers aren't just multichannel. They're increasingly cross-channel as they use a variety of different touchpoints to find information about product and services they're interested in. So while customers don't necessarily think of themselves as omnichannel, they do expect the companies they interact with to know which touchpoints they were last using before reaching out to a customer service agent for additional help. The last thing a customer wants to do is to have to repeat whatever information he or she had shared in a prior channel.

Customers aren't just multichannel. They're increasingly cross-channel as they use a variety of different touchpoints to find information about product and services they're interested in. So while customers don't necessarily think of themselves as omnichannel, they do expect the companies they interact with to know which touchpoints they were last using before reaching out to a customer service agent for additional help. The last thing a customer wants to do is to have to repeat whatever information he or she had shared in a prior channel.For many companies, following customers across the various channels they use is a big challenge. But it shouldn't be. For instance, according to a recent study conducted by LogMeIn and Ovum, even though 60 percent of consumers say they use the web all the time or most of the time to find information before contacting customer service. However, just 9 percent of managers believe that customers use the web frequently before reaching out to the contact center.

It's not as if the technology isn't available for agents to track customer interactions across channels. There are several vendors that provide these capabilities. Last week, I was talking to Liz Osborn, vice president of product and solution marketing at Five9 about the company's recent Freedom release which includes a new user interface that enables agents to access the most relevant customer data from across channels.

"We believe the agent experience is just as important as the customer experience," says Osborn.

Osborn raises a great point. If an agent is unable to find the information they need to support a customer quickly and easily, they're going to be frustrated. And that frustration is going to transfer over into the experience that the customer receives.

Nowadays, customers expect companies to know who they are and the paths that they're taking. In other words, show me that you know me. Companies that aren't able to connect the dots on the omnichannel customer experience will find themselves on the outside looking in.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION