Ninety-one. The percent of American consumers who say they should be able to pick up a customer service interaction about the same issue right where they last left off.

Thirty-nine. The number who say they have actually been able to do so.*

The gap is alarming to say the least and it has not gone unnoticed. More and more, consumers are pushing brands to make the necessary changes to remedy their service dissatisfaction, as they are plagued with sounding like a broken record to get resolution. In fact, 89 percent are annoyed when they have to repeat themselves about a customer service issue.

Perhaps this frustration is why 80 percent are calling for a big change in customer service. But what is that change? Omni-channel.

Omni-channel customer service is the ability for customers to begin an interaction on one channel or device and seamlessly continue on another without feeling alienated, forgotten or having to start all over again  – all channels, all the time, all devices, fully integrated. But it doesn’t just benefit the consumer. Omni-channel creates business value by building higher customer retention and loyalty because of the differentiated care shown by the organizations who deliver it. Because omni-channel customer service can develop unique and personal relationships with customers, it is the next horizon in customer service.

Stepping up to the omni-channel plate requires consistency, knowledge and openness.

  • Be Consistent: Just 57 percent agree that their experience is consistent no matter how they contact customer service.
  • Have, and use, the right info: While 94 percent say customer service should have the most up-to-date information on them no matter the care channel, nearly half (47 percent) say the data customer service typically has on record rarely seems to help resolve their issue.
  • Break down the silos: As the lines blur between brick-and-mortar and online transactions, 91 percent want customer care to be more informed about current promotions.

It’s clear that omni-channel is what consumers are calling for. And ignoring this call is futile for any brand that wants to keep up with its ever-changing customers.

*According to an online omnibus survey of 2,201 Americans who have contacted customer service. The survey was created by Aspect and compiled by TNS.