The Omnichannel Approach to Customer Engagement
A properly constructed self-service approach starts with the customer in mind and positions itself in front of the customer's desired channels of choice. Today's preferred strategy typically starts by optimizing the online experience and incorporates a robust IVR system for phone interactions. E-commerce tools should be platform agnostic — i.e., they work well on a range of rapidly evolving mobile devices, tablet computers or traditional PCs. The better and more consistent the self-service experience is across platforms and interaction channels, the more likely customers are to embrace self-service en masse.
The one consistent challenge we see in self-service is companies struggling to "build the bridge" for customers who are attempting to self-serve but can't finish the transaction they started. This is easily solved. First, map the service experience to get a good idea of all probable scenarios where a customer may fail while attempting to self-serve. Then recommend the creation of a unified agent queue for text-based customer interaction.
Optimizing live service
As self-service solutions continue to mature and capture a broader range of problem types, the engagements in the live service channel are tending to be more complex. I believe that optimizing the live service experience will remain an important focus for enterprise businesses in the coming years. Agents with enhanced training and tools that efficiently and effectively manage increasingly complex customer inquiries will create moments of truth.
Today's consumers are demanding a seamless experience across multiple channels. Take advantage of this new paradigm and reap the benefits of an omnichannel strategy.
Andrew Kokes is the vice president, global product management, at Sitel, a provider of outsourced customer care services.
Related story: hybris Launches Midsize Omnichannel Commerce Offering