How we interact with customers has changed significantly over the past decade and looks set to continue to rapidly evolve over the next decade with accelerated digitalisation. Customers demand an effortless experience and choice in the way they interact with an organisation. They want to use chat, email, SMS, Facebook, Whatsapp and cleverly routed calling to connect quickly. Therefore, organisations need to enable engagement with customers in the most responsive and effective way.
The customer experience is not measured on individual interactions, although these are important, it is judged on the complete customer journey and it is this that is proving to be a challenge. As more customers take a journey that spans multiple touch-points, contact centres are struggling to deliver a consistent, persistent and personalised experience. It is these elements and in particular, personalisation that is key for organisations looking to differentiate on customer experience.
We live in the digital age where social media users exceed 3 billion globally (40% of population) and can propel a brand from hero to villain in a matter of moments, so ignoring the customer experience is at your peril.
So how do contact centres take customer service to the next level and differentiate by providing a truly personalised experience? We view it as three steps, first you need to understand the different customer journeys, second you need a single view of the customer and third you have to be ‘smart’ in the way you use this customer intelligence.
Although having a single view of the customer is an old term, today it has a completely different meaning. In the past it was all about having one customer record that showed all of the products and services that they had purchased from you. Today it is about having a single view of your ‘relationship’ with the customer, a subtle but very important difference.
A siloed approach results in a fragmented experience with no continuity of context between channels. It’s like the bad old days of call centres when you were transferred from one department to another and had to continually repeat your story.
This does not have to be the case; the smart approach is to leverage omni- channel and conversational AI to connect the silos and create a single view of the customer experience. Conversational AI’s can easily hand over between service channels and deliver a unified customer experience, regardless of whether it is through these channels; email, chat, SMS, MMS, voice, social media.
Omni-Channel solutions deliver a unified customer and agent experience, with visibility across all channels. They allow businesses to match consumer behaviour and seamlessly move from one channel to another; thanks to the integration of four key elements. Data, knowledge, process and experience.
With a single view of the customer journey the possibilities to truly transform and personalise service are endless. Rather than every interaction being treated as a separate ‘transaction’ you are now able to join the dots and make every interaction a continuation and development of a relationship.
You gain the ability to intelligently orchestrate and signpost customer journeys. Online visitors can be directed back to abandoned transactions, self-service can be streamlined by presenting personalised menus based on recent or most commonly used options, and live interactions can be intelligently routed based on predicting customer needs and connecting them to the most appropriate person.
Whether they are speaking, chatting or just responding to an email, they see the full story, they can empathise with the customer journey, connect the parts and provide a level of service that is truly personalised, persistent and makes that customer feel important.
Adopting an omni-channel and conversational AI solution allows your business the agility it needs to handle—and meet—changing customer expectations. With a single platform, you can make changes without disrupting workflows—or the customer experience and give customers the choice of where, when and how to browse, buy and pick up, which is critical when it comes to customer satisfaction.