Close the omni-channel customer experience gap – IBM
Article Synopsis :
No matter how well you perform in a single channel, your customers will quickly lose patience if they can’t move smoothly across channels. Particularly for businesses with complex business processes and those seeking to differentiate based on customer service, closing the omni-channel customer experience gap is essential.
In “Close the omni-channel customer experience gap”, IBM discusses the business imperative for top-of-market omni-channel capabilities, specific outcomes of which include:
- Faster problem resolution and shorter call handle times
- Improved first-call resolution
- Improved customer satisfaction and decreased customer churn
- Higher customer value
The reality is few businesses have built channels to operate in a consistent fashion. For example, in a survey of more than 500 companies conducted by Econsultancy (and cited in this report), 44% of companies said the ownership of the omni-channel customer experience lies with a mixture of different departments. Even fewer companies are able to transfer context from one channel interaction to another. Without context, a contact center agents pick up the phone without knowing, for example:
- What was the customer doing or trying to accomplish before they called?
- What products, pricing, or offers were they seeing?
- What factors might have prevented them from completing their transactions online? Were they confused? Did they run into a problem? Or were they just looking for advice?
One of the quickest wins, per the report, is porting visibility of the online customer experience to the contact centre. Online visibility:
- Speeds problem resolution and reduces call handle times
- Improves first-call resolution and customer satisfaction
- Increases customer value by saving time and frustration
Useful case studies on a regional bank, loan originator, global hotel chain, Internet travel firm, and insurance company are provided.
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Digital Insurer's CommentsFor the typical insurer, four challenges come to mind in the quest for omni-channel excellence:
- Ever-expanding channels combined with dynamic technology preclude a ‘one-solution-fits-all’ scenario
- Siloed legacy systems and new digital infrastructure coexist more than cooperate making communication (the movement of information) difficult
- The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution adds complexity to the existing problem
- Balancing the needs of older and younger customers requires segmentation from a digital perspective, a wholly new endeavour for most insurers
Omni-channel is definitely a differentiator moving forward – positive or negative is a carrier-by-carrier decision.
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