The Evolution of Omnichannel Customer Service


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Tailoring your customer service approach based on customer preferences is not a new concept. Brands have long realized the value of meeting individuals where they are—whether in brick-and-mortar stores, app-based or online platforms, or over the phone. But understanding where to prioritize and how to create the most impactful experiences is imperative. Seeing that 77% of consumers are likely to end their relationship with a brand or business due to a poor customer service experience, it’s one organizations can’t afford to get wrong.

Effectively Meeting Customer Needs

The voice channel is one of the most tried and true service channels, and one that organizations may wrongly overlook in our digital-first world. Data has shown that despite some reluctance to pick up the phone, nearly 70% of people still prefer to speak to live agents on the phone when receiving customer support.

Increasingly, automation strategies in the customer journey consume the mindshare of contact center leaders as omnichannel efforts are being developed to connect effectively with customers. However, an element of this transition is that many companies continue seeking a breadth of services at the expense of phone calls—a means by which many customers still seek to receive customer service. Despite the omnichannel approach designed to enable more seamless experiences, organizations must ensure that no individual medium is deterred due to various automation integrations. Within an omnichannel environment, organizations can ascertain that customer service needs are being met and investments remain strategic by fostering an environment of empowered contact center agents.

Given the increasing focus on bolstering agents’ skill sets across the customer service network, technological developments are being made to enable adequate processing and interpreting of customer behavioral signals. Businesses can leverage the data and utilize it across their contact center to have a more informed, comprehensive perspective on the customer experience.

Ensuring Resilience for the Long-Haul

According to one study, existing barriers pose as inhibitors to a flourishing omnichannel ecosystem. While formidable, they aren’t insurmountable and can be incorporated into an omnichannel approach if addressed efficiently. The most common barriers organizations face include:

  1. An insufficient budget makes it challenging to carry out the required changes. Nearly a quarter (23%) of businesses face budget challenges that stifle their potential.
  2. Siloed business processes keep channels disjointed. Businesses will need to evolve from channel-focused point solutions previously put in place to handle a specific need.
  3. The overall vision for what the omnichannel can deliver is lacking. It is crucial to utilize a services architecture that is extendable to different channels in the future.

Businesses must implement technologies that are agile and able to readily adapt into other core systems. This will enable all systems to communicate with each other and streamline this process so everything is in one place. It is vital to establish this technology so that it can serve as the primary resource for customers and agents to reference.

Considering 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a greater customer experience, we must start anticipating an influx in omnichannel customer service strategies. While much emphasis is placed on integrating technological solutions that rapidly respond to queries, greater focus should be placed on improving actual platform capabilities and supporting employees handling these interactions to ensure teams can optimize each experience.

How are you approaching the omnichannel experience?


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