The staggering advancement of social media, digital technology, cloud computing and other tools combined with a revolution in how people choose to share information has changed the game for all businesses, and many of them are caught up in the rush to open up multiple communication channels while also trying to focus on keeping their customers happy and loyal.
So how do you provide exceptional customer service within an omni-channel strategy?
The first step is to realize that these two worthwhile goals are not the same thing! While an omni-channel strategy is crucial if you want to provide exceptional customer service in today’s marketplace, having such a strategy does not guarantee a wonderful experience; there is much more work to be done.
Putting Customer Experience at the Heart of your Company
It is the customer experience part of the equation that needs to be at the center of your business if you are going to avoid the pitfall of inconsistency which lies in the way of many omni-channel businesses.
For example, if a customer opens a Live Chat conversation and an agent arranges a telephone call back within the hour, does the call ever take place? And when it does, has the outbound call agent familiarized themselves completely with the content of the earlier call – and previous communications – or is the customer expected to go through everything from scratch?
Customers need to feel there is a personal connection between themselves and those they do business with, and the failure to seamlessly transition from one channel to another is one of the most common sources of complaint. This can be avoided if a culture of exceptional customer experience is embedded from the outset. When everyone in the business, from top level executives to customer-facing agents and operations staff, understands that their number one priority is to look after the customer, half the battle is won.
Tracking the Customer Journey
To understand what it is like to be a customer of your business, you need to take a detailed approach to mapping their journey. That means analyzing every possible route into and through your business, whether the initial contact is from a link in an email, an online advertisement, a call to your call center or, for bricks and mortar stores, walking in off the street.
Next, breakdown the journey into various customer touchpoints along the way and measure current customer experience at each of them (you can use surveys to calculate Net Promoter Score at each point or another customer service metric if you prefer). If you find that certain touchpoints are letting your customer down, you will now be in the position to gather more information and to remedy the situation.
Through this method, business owners often discover that customers become dissatisfied when the transition between channels break down.
Refining & Adapting the Strategy
Creating a system designed to provide exceptional customer service is not a one-off task that can be set up and left to run itself . The ways in which customers engage with companies – and with each other – constantly changes as new channels are created and others fade away. It is vital that you review your processes regularly and adapt them to changing market conditions. However, the same need that customers have for personalization and consistency remain, so if you can focus on providing that experience you will be rewarded with increased loyalty and customers who not only have a high lifetime value, but are also brand ambassadors as they share their positive experiences. far and wide.