Delivering a Unified Service in Today’s Omni-Channel World


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Businesses are constantly being challenged to boost the efficiency of how they increase service capacity while boosting customer satisfaction. But all too often, the reality of the service experience can fall well short of expectations.

As a customer, I expect exceptional customer service. Regardless of whether I’ve made a purchase in-store, online or over the phone, when I talk to a customer service representative I want them to be fully informed about my past purchasing history, my most recent purchases and service bolt-ons, my payment plan and any previous service issues I may have had. In other words – I want them to know everything about me.

Photo Credit: PEXELS

I also expect them to be knowledgeable enough to deal with my query in one call – after all, my time is precious. I don’t want to play phone tag or get handed off around various different departments because no one person has a complete picture of the information they need to help me.

And if there’s a faster way to resolve the issue – online chat for example – I’m probably going to want to use it. But only if that gets me a resolution – fast.

The customer service imperative

Every business knows that customer service is the bedrock for winning and keeping customers.
But transforming the customer experience journey depends on being able to break down the organisational silos that typically get in the way of achieving an end-to-end view of every customer interaction. Literally, from the beginning of time!

That got me thinking about how the ability to deliver a unified service experience is becoming a make or break capability, especially when it comes to building brand reputation and market share.

But what does a unified service experience look like? And what technology platforms need to be in place to deliver it?

Joining the dots

It goes without saying that a CRM suite that features a dedicated customer service solution is going to ensure that individuals across the service organisation are equipped with everything they need to know about a customer’s current and past history.

When integrated with other systems – like billing – data and information associated with a customer’s account is instantly available to service agents. Everything’s in one place – and accessible to all. Suddenly, a 360-degree view of the customer is an achievable reality.

Connecting service channels

Today’s customers often prefer to solve issues on their own using web portals, forums or other web resources to quickly find the information they need.
That’s well and good. But what about when they can’t – or things don’t go as planned?

What’s needed is a platform that not only makes it possible to offer all the channels customers want to use – including self-service portals, or live assist and web-chat – creating the guided process flows that help customers to get their issues resolved fast.

That includes enabling agents to jump in interact with customers in real-time – whether that’s initiating co-browsing sessions, or IM with website visitors or mobile app users.
In other words – a unified service desk is fast becoming the pre-requisite for delivering a personalised service across every channel.

Leveraging customer insights to boost customer engagement

Forewarned is forearmed. The ability to view a customer’s journey through a single dashboard that brings together multiple data sources so that the health of a customer relationship can be evaluated is worth its weight in gold.

Giving frontline employees easy access to intelligent insights means you’ll not only get to know your customers better – you’ll also able to better predict their needs and optimise their overall experience.

Solutions like Microsoft Dynamics now give front line staff the predictive insights they need, without having to rely on a team of data scientists.

Making it possible to analyse your customer’s demographics, purchase history and interactions – so that you’re able to fine-tune offers that are relevant to them and deliver personalised content in real-time.

Even better, armed with these customer insights you’ll be able to spot at risk customers and initiate interventions that win back loyalty.

So, if a customer keeps going over their allocated data allowance – and paying the penalty in terms of higher charges – you can offer a cost-effective data boost that takes that problem away for them. Or drop them an email offering a service option that better suits their needs – perhaps giving them one month free as an incentive or in recognition that you understand this might be causing them an issue.

The world of service and support is becoming infinitely more complex. And the proliferation of channels that customers use is adding to the challenge of maximising the delivery of unified and personalised support.

Equipping the service organisation with the right tools to resolve customer issues – and provide a consistent engagement experience across every touch point – is going to ensure your organisation becomes a winner when it comes to keeping customers happy and delivering a great omni-channel service experience.

Sandra Kaminska
All-round marketer with a passion for online marketing, technology & new media. 3 years experience within digital marketing & PR industries. Fascinated about social media, communications and quality content.


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