The summer is winking at us through the grey British clouds, retailers are dedicating large store sections to everything barbeque/picnic related and somewhere in our cupboards swimwear waits be dragged from their 8 month wintery slumber to bravely cover our pale looking – ‘I need to hit the gym more often’ – bodies.
Isn’t it strange how we look forward to summer and sunshine, but dread it when it’s here, because somehow we’ve been caught out, not ready to have our flesh on show?
And just like the approaching summer, business leaders are aware of “multichannel” and “omnichannel”, but few brands are actually taking necessary steps to offer a more seamless and consistent customer experience. They tend to think that by simply investing in multi-channel technology, customer experiences will be sunny and rosy – well, that’s a bit like going to the gym once, thinking that you’ll be ripped when your session is over.
As technology advances and customer expectations climb, the way brands engage with customers need to change. During a recent workshop – with well-known UK brands – it became clear that consumer uptake of new communication channels has put pressure on companies to include digital channels as part of their customer service strategy. But shockingly most brands’ understanding of the customer journey was limited, not understanding whether individual channels were fit for purpose, or how they relate to one another, which had them investing in new channels without a coherent and integrated set of metrics.
It became clear that multi-channel is a reality in today’s contact centres, but as an industry, it needs a ‘regimented plan’ to get that ‘beach body’ strategy right.
In the past, contact centres focused their agent success metrics on lowering average call handling times (AHT), however growing discussions point that this measurement, leaves too many customer issues unresolved.
Customers want ‘first contact’ resolution, which is why customer service strategies need to be developed across multiple channels and not just focus on average call handling times.
But with a rise in many businesses providing alternative contact channels to their customers, why are their contact centres still flooding with phone calls?
A lack of consistency and continuity across engagement channels seem to be the main culprit. Multiple contact channels not feeding into the same knowledge-base can stump ‘first contact’ resolution. And without the right ‘technology diet’ in place to support customer service delivery, businesses will continue to fail, to meet their customers’ expectations. Having a well implemented customer service strategy with a centralised knowledge-base at its core, is key to meeting the following challenges facing companies wanting to become lean, not mean, exceptional, customer experience machines.