If you had to name the top five reasons why customers might leave your brand, an underperforming contact center would be in the mix. Nothing irritates a customer more than getting unsatisfying results when reaching out to a contact center. A key reason the customer experience (CX) fails is that customers are way ahead in their daily use of omnichannel communication than many contact centers. To satisfy customers’ needs of how they like to interact, businesses need to embrace omnichannel technology or risk seeing revenue go to another brand.
Omnichannel means aligning your brand communication with how and when your customers want to talk to you. It is integral to delivering a stellar CX. In the customer’s eyes, customer service and omnichannel are one. If your business is marketing to the Millennial or Gen Z demographics having all the digital communication available is a must. PwC describes Gen Z, “Instant is expected. Convenience—the seamless transition from tablet to smartphone to desktop to human—is a baseline expectation.” PwC also notes that “Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.”
Before enacting any sweeping changes in your contact center, the first step must be a critical assessment of your current performance and an inventory of what technology is already available to support CX improvements. Then you need to assess whether your current business strategy and customer communications needs are in alignment. Crafting a strategic plan for implementation has to take a realistic view of what resources you have, budget constraints and whether your teams in-house have the skillset to fully implement a modern contact center. This establishes your maturity level and determines how a phased-in approach can work successfully.
Unification is Key
To provide a seamless, satisfying CX experience, a unified digital platform is the answer to eliminating the inefficiencies of using different platforms for channels. Think of a customer moving from a chatbot to an email follow up and back again to a chatbot with another question. Customers do not necessarily communicate in a linear fashion. Your contact center, using a digital platform, can support the varied styles of customers. Unification will also help internally by centralizing functions that may be housed in the cloud or on-premises.
Using the Power of Data
Once a unified digital platform is in place you can use analytics technology to extract valuable customer data. A stellar CX requires better knowledge of your customers’ purchasing patterns, returns, chat behavior, customer service calls, emails, asset downloads, and payment preferences. This repository of data must be in a constant refresh cycle which businesses pay careful attention to and use to make adjustments to their contact center practices. It is a continual process to stay in alignment with customer needs.
Communication, whether B2C or B2B, relies on omnichannel now, whether it’s chatbots or help desk calls, or businesses using Teams or Slack. To stay competitive any business needs to deliver an omnichannel CX that matches customer expectations.
Competition will be more fierce in some segments as a 2023 global Nielsen consumer study notes, “A prevailing sentiment for survival signals cautious and financially focused decisions into 2023.” Nielsen reports customers will be shifting spending away from discretionary items like out-of-home dining and entertainment to financial services, debt reduction and spending more on groceries and household items.
In this unsettled, cautious atmosphere, delivering the best CX will help attract and retain customers in what is a more difficult market. Partnering with a CX expert can make this journey an easier process. Learn more about how Verinext can help you create the best CX here.