According to an ICMI trends report on Journey Mapping and the Omni-Channel experience, “CX has…
- Customer Experience
Omni-Channel: Your Presence is Required
- Christa Heibel
- 26 October 2017
If Customer Experience is the new battlefield, where the fight for profitability, growth and customer loyalty is won or lost, then a strong omni-channel strategy is your plan of attack. I know I’ve talked about this in the past, and I know you know how important it is to connect with customers where they are as seamlessly as possible. Yet, many contact centers still don’t “get” how omni-channel is not a trend you can choose to sit out. The fact is, customers interact with brands through a myriad of different channels, which means your presence is required on all of them. In fact, according to Internet Retailer, companies with the strongest omni-channel engagement strategies retain an average of 89 percent of their customers, as compared to 33 percent for companies with weak omni-channel strategies.
Whatever the reason you’ve been dragging your feet or burying your head in the omni-channel sand, consider this: according to the Deloitte 2017 holiday retail survey, this season’s shoppers plan to spend 51 percent of their budget online, compared with 42 percent in-store. Still not convinced? It’s estimated that 90 percent of digital users move between devices to accomplish a goal. Does the support you provide mirror this customer journey?
Adopt New Thinking
When you refuse to let go of outdated methods and tactics simply because they worked in the past, you give your competitors permission to pull ahead. The traditional sales funnel, where customers are considered in terms of “X” number of leads, is dead. Customers expect to be treated as real people, which means you have to focus on personalizing their customer experience. When you don’t, they go to someone who will. It really is that simple.
The only way to provide this personalized experience is through a well-rounded omni-channel strategy that puts the customer in control of the process. Your job is to ensure it’s seamless and consistent. Easy, right? Well, not exactly. This can be one of the most challenging aspects of omni-channel strategy, and one I see contact centers get hung up on time and again. The key to personalization is having a consolidated customer profile. Without a holistic, 360-degree view of the customer, you can’t provide a quality – I would argue complete— customer experience.
Put Your Data to Work
So, if customers are demanding the personalized experience that omni-channel can provide, and we only need to understand our customer in order to provide it, then what’s the next step? This is the part where I tend to lose my marbles. Contact centers and their clients are more often than not sitting on TONS of data. They use tools and technology to collect it, but then fail to apply it. One of the reasons for this is silo-thinking, or the refusal to share customer data across departments. If companies did just this one thing, they could make huge strides in improving customer experience. For example, when a customer receives an email confirming her, and she notices the shipping address is incorrect, can she change it simply by replaying to that email? When she calls to correct her address, does the agent helping her have the information he needs to thank the customer for her recent purchase?
All of this is not only possible, it’s imperative. It’s possible through an omni-channel strategy that openly shares customer information internally, and it’s imperative because the life of your brand depends on it.
I don’t care what your reason is for not embracing omni-channel strategy, but I do care that you are set up for future success and growth. To chat about it, call or email me to schedule a FREE, no-commitment call. We can discuss your customer experience goals and challenges and together build a plan that makes sense for your business.
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