Since customer experience (CX) was coined back in the 90s, brands have progressively increased investment into this concept. And yet, as technology keeps shifting this landscape, many of these same brands are still struggling to deliver the CX that today’s consumers expect.
According to a PWC report, 75% of US consumers said that CX was important when making a buying decision. This figure stands at 72% in Canada, 65% in the UK, and 74% in Australia. Wherever you are in the world, CX can make or break your bottom line.
However, the unfortunate reality is, most brands are severely struggling to meet consumers’ CX expectations. Only 10% of customers strongly agree that most brands deliver on what they consider a “good experience.” Even worse though, most brands think that they are achieving these CX levels. 82% of marketers of director-level and above believe they are meeting CX expectations.
So what can brands do to close this gaping dissonance and get the other 90% of customers to feel that they too are enjoying a ‘good’, or better still an excellent, customer experience’? The first and key step is adopting omnichannel customer engagement.
How omnichannel customer engagement is redefining the CX landscape
Customers aren’t marketers. They don’t think in channels. What they count on is a seamless, convenient connection with brands when they need support. When consumers interact with a brand online, 90% say they want a convenient experience. To deliver this, a range of digital channels is absolutely essential. Whether live chat, email, chatbot, social, or even SMS, offering consumers the choice to get support on their preferred channels is key to delivering good CX.
However, for many teams, handling all these channels across various different platforms is unmanageable. Many also fear that offering such communication choice will result in an onslaught of customer support volume that their current team size won’t be able to manage. These concerns are legitimate, but wholly unnecessary.
With omnichannel customer engagement, every support channel is connected into one platform. Whether a customer sends an email, speaks with a live chat agent, or posts a question on Facebook, the message is funneled into one agent console, marked by the relevant channel. The support agent can then simply pick up the conversation and respond accordingly.
Perhaps even more importantly, all the information from every conversation across the various channels is also connected. This means the support agent has access to a wealth of information, from previous chats to purchase history, empowering them to provide the most helpful support. In today’s world, this seamless, fluid environment is crucial. 73% of B2B customers and 53% of B2C consumers expect a “connected experience”, and rising each year.
For Thompson Rivers University, the need to offer a seamless experience to their students was critical. As TRU’s Lachlan Todd, Communications and Systems Coordinator explained: “Everybody has their preferred way of communicating. Some people want to reach out via live chat, some social media, and others via email. The beauty of Comm100 Omnichannel is that every channel can be connected into one platform so we can connect with and support more students, more efficiently.”
Adding AI into the mix
Automation is a crucial ingredient towards achieving CX excellence too. AI chatbots allow teams of any size to offer cost-effective 24/7 service that consumers increasingly expect. Just as Thompsons Rivers University adopted omnichannel engagement to meet their students’ CX expectations, they too added AI chatbots across five departments so their students now receive instant, around-the-clock support. This has directly improved customer satisfaction (CSAT) which now sits at 4.28 out of 5. On the other hand, when staff are online, the bots also help to relieve support volume. In TRU’s Future Students department, the chatbot handles 83% of all incoming chats without any human involvement.
In today’s ever-demanding CX landscape, omnichannel customer engagement is becoming an essential strategy and technology. As consumer CX demands rise, as well as shift, omnichannel ensures agents have the power to provide the fast, accurate, and connected support that consumers now expect.