Improve the Omnichannel Experience; Reduce Customer Effort
Loyal customers are an asset to an organization, and the secret weapon to win them is offering superior customer experiences. When you focus on how customers feel about the services they expect and receive, you will meet their needs and give them the great experiences they are looking for.
The key to any experience can be measured by customer effort.
Customer effort is the amount of effort a customer has to put in to resolve his or her request. When customers do not expend a lot of energy and effort in receiving a service, they are more satisfied. Of course the opposite is also true. Customers become increasingly more dissatisfied with your services if they have to go through a lot of trouble to receive it. We’ve all been on both ends of this spectrum. Put yourself in their shoes. What type of service do you prefer?
You interact with your customers on various channels, and these channels provide an opportunity to reduce customer effort. Some customers will start a conversation on Twitter and follow it up with a phone call. Do you handle each channel as an independent point of contact? Alternatively, do you integrate them to offer a seamless experience?
If you want happy customers then you must provide that seamless experience- The Omnichannel experience. Omnichannel is about utilizing your multiple channels to be readily available when and how customers want to interact with your organization. For the customer, however, the same standards of service across the board is critical. A consistent, seamless experience makes the customer feel like they are carrying on with a conversation despite the channel they started it; he or she does not have to start from scratch every time they interact with you.
Customer experience has an inverse relationship with customer effort: when it increases the other decreases. Therefore, it is essential to keep improving those experiences with every interaction in order to brand your business as one that is able to provide the Omnichannel experience effortlessly, time and time again.
Here are a few tips on how you can improve Omnichannel experience and reduce customer effort.
Senior Management Commitment
The journey starts with the executives. An Omnichannel experience requires an entire organizational transformation. When the leadership initiates it, the rest of the company will adopt it.
With the company vision in mind executives are in a good position to tell how the organization is doing, whether they are heading in the right direction, and the pace at which they are getting there. To change the way the entire organization handles customers requires more than sitting down to draft the strategies; it needs a complete commitment to the process.
It should be a priority and necessary resources should be set aside to facilitate the implementation of an Omnichannel experience strategy.
Break down Barriers
All departments take part in delivering customer service in one way or the other, and how they approach it affects the results. When units support each other, share information promptly, and talk to each other to get solutions, you create a team dynamic focused on the implementation of a seamless experience.
Not all organizations enjoy this. Some corporate cultures have built barriers between departments over the years. You should work at breaking these barriers down by making them understand their role and impact in the customer satisfaction journey.
Create an open communication and transparent culture where each department feels comfortable to provide constructive dialogue with reducing customer effort in mind. If you can’t provide that reduction within your own organization, it will be almost impossible to provide it outside of it.
Once Senior management is on board and departments understand their roles and responsibility in the customer’s journey, it is time to leverage technology for efficient information sharing.
You need to put an infrastructure in place to capture data, analyze, centralize it, and send it to the right people at the right time. The communications department, led by the CIO, should prioritize data analysis and information sharing. Another important thing to do is ensure that when the data gets to the final users they can understand it and take action.
Leverage available technology for a consistent and seamless service delivery.
Improving your Omnichannel experience is a continuous process that you have to be deliberate and dedicated to doing. When there is a commitment from senior management, no barriers between departments and you leverage technology, you will effortlessly offer a seamless service. It starts with the organization and spreads to the customer. Customers will receive the same excellent service at whatever channel they contact you on, and reduce their effort throughout the experience. After all, we should be willing to do what is necessary to provide the same service we ourselves are wanting whenever we are on the end of the customer experience.
This blog was written by David Carrizales, Assistant Vice President for Etech Global Services.