funny kingThe way in which consumers shop and access information is a totally different animal to what it was 10 years ago. The world has changed, and so have customers, no longer forced to accept what is imposed on them by industry. Gen Y in particular is keen to find the best deals and technology is making it easier than ever before to compare and switch to a different bank or even utility provider.

Keeping and acquiring new customers today is no place for monkey business. Having a clear customer experience strategy over multiple channels is not enough and although a cliché – in the jungle of online customer service – if you invest peanuts in technologies which main purpose is to help deliver exceptional customer experience, well, need I say more?

But with so many multi-channel technologies out there, just how can businesses see the forest for the trees, to please the customer kings of the jungle?

Oh, ooh-bee-doo, I wanna be like you-hu-hu

The majority of brands understand that they need to offer a more seamless and consistent customer experience as today’s multi-device, always connected consumers are more demanding with customer service expectations set higher than ever before. Most brands’ understanding of the customer journey is limited, not understanding whether individual channels are fit for purpose, or how they relate to one another, which has them investing in different channels without a coherent and integrated set of metrics.

Many cheaper multi-channel technologies offer brands the ability to open up new communication channels with their customers, but these should not be mistaken as alternatives to the more sophisticated, intelligent, powerful, adaptable, and continually improved as consumer behaviour changes, solutions. Cheaper technologies might profess to be kings of the online jungle, and they might even look like lions and roar like a lions, but their limited functionality, analytics and integration have these lions living in a zoo.

Average Call Handling Time, the main measure for agent success in contact centres in the past has been replaced by ‘first contact’ resolution. And this is where many technologies fail businesses offering alternative contact channels to their customers, as their contact centres continue to flood with phone calls.

The bare necessities

Multiple contact channels that don’t feed into the same knowledge-base can stump ‘first contact’ resolution. Consistency and continuity across engagement channels should support customer service delivery. 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 deliver exceptional customer experiences.

To improve the customer engagement experience and keep consumers loyal, brand must place more importance on understanding the relationship between support interactions, channels, and the changing tides of consumer behaviour. This will be key in choosing the right technology to support their strategy, separating the wheat from the chaff, the nuts from the coconuts …