A Sustainable Customer Experience

CX

What used to be a “nice-to-have” or an after-thought has now become a necessity. Yes, we are referring to ‘Omni-channel Customer Experience (CX)’. Small wonder that CX figures at the top of every organization’s list of things to achieve and deliver. CX has become all the more important now that the ‘power to contact’ has shifted to the consumers. And this ‘power to contact’ is through so many new and emerging channels that an omni-channel CX is the need of the hour to bridge all the silos and offer seamless transition across the customer journey. That’s why the event on “Shaping the future of Customer Experience – Vision 2020” by Zendesk and Trescon was so relevant and we were so glad to be a part of it.

So, what exactly is omni-channel?

A true Omni-channel Customer Experience is all about ensuring a consistent customer experience across any channel that the customer chooses to interact with a brand/company. In other words, it’s about providing a seamless, unified and a connected customer journey across channels without losing any context.

What are the driving forces that are enforcing organizations to plan for an omni-channel customer experience?

There’s a paradigm shift in the customer buying behavior today. The shift is from the traditional Offline mode to more of an Online/Offline mode with more focus on self-service as shown below:

As per a report published by Dell in a recent report, the key drivers for organizations are:

Needless to say, it’s important to embed the changing customer buying behavior into your omni-channel customer experience strategy to stay in the game and to keep your top-line intact.

Top 5 recommended strategies to implement an omni-channel customer experience

A true omni-channel customer experience touches all parts of the organization, from IT to marketing to customer services, and sometimes even external partners. Achieving the omni-channel promise requires an ongoing investment in people, processes, and technology, along with a long-term vision of how you want to treat your customers when they interact with your brand.

Here are our top 5 recommended strategies:

1. Analyze your customer personas, their channel preferences and how a typical customer journey looks like when they interact with your organization: Who are your target users? What are their demographics and channel preferences when they interact with your brand/product/service? Which platform do they use for performing the key transactions – do they call, email, request a chat, or take some other avenue?

Your first goal should be to understand your target customer’s preferred channel and a typical customer journey. Then work towards supporting context-sharing among those channels your customers frequently use to accomplish a single task.

2. Define channel-specific business strategy: The success of an omni-channel customer experience depends on the clarity about your customers’ needs and then aligning the business objectives.

  • Is there an opportunity to close more online sales with web chat? If yes, then can we leverage AI Chat bots so that we can provide sales support 24*7?
  • Are text-based communications more effective for technical help? If yes, then can we leverage AI Email Bots to smartly find the right answers and communicate back to customers?
  • Is your goal to automate routine inquiries through effective self-service?

Having such clarity and goals would allow you to adjust your organizational strategies to optimize omni-channel goals and align resources more effectively.

Here’s a Cost vs. Value Creation comparison across various channels:

3. Empower agents with 360 degree view of the customers prior to their interactions, and train them to handle priority callers more effectively: Customer adoption of digital channels doesn’t undermine the importance of the voice channel. Instead, the role of this channel changes and its importance increases to promote customer loyalty. It becomes a medium for handling complex interactions. So empower your agents with the right information in real-time through the right technology and systems. Evaluate if there’s an opportunity to leverage Chatbots/Artificial Intelligence to assist agents with Support Requests to provide faster and accurate response.

4. Evaluate agent performance across all touchpoints: Invest in a customer support solution that is capable of call or chat routing, recording and evaluating quality across channels. Also ensure that the customer support solution you choose has certified integrations across all commonly used applications in your organization. This ensures personalized and contextual interactions which is the prerequisite/foundation to enable a true omni-channel customer experience

5. Ensure that your customer support application vendor has the right experience and reputation: Do your research, opt for their trials and evaluate their value propositions vs. your requirement. Look for vendors who have SaaS offerings. Look for customer success and failure stories to objectively take an informed decision.

Final Thoughts

Given the fact that IoT is one of the emerging channels of customer engaging with products and services; it’s a no holds barred game that enterprises must win to stay relevant. Knocking off or slighting over existing multi-channel investments isn’t an option. Customers prefer dealing with enterprises that provide a memorable experience and all have some sort of game plan to handle it. So what’s your CX story?

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