Who is the modern customer?
Mobile – roughly 77% of the Americans own a smartphone in 2017. Connected – lives on his smartphone and is connected to the Internet 24/7. Distracted – a typical consumer will own between two to four digital devices and will multitask. While listening to the radio, he will interact on social media. Smart – with access to multiple point of information. Empowered to take control with the ability to get what he wants, when he wants. Welcome to the new reality. In the constantly changing world of unlimited offers and possibilities, customer’s expectations are rising. With the evolution of technology we live in extraordinary times where the power lays in the hands of the customers. Now, the modern customer expects to receive an exceptional service from a brand on their preferred channel which can vary from web chat, Twitter, Facebook, any other social media, SMS, email, voice, web or mobile. If a brand wants to survive long-term it needs to orchestrate all its efforts around offering a holistic, immersive customer experience. Where most brands fail though is that those channels exist in silos.
Why should brands care?
Customer experience and customer service are the new battlefield for differentiation and profitability. $62 billion is lost by U.S. companies alone each year due to poor customer service according to a study by New Voice Media. Providing seamless customer experience and service at all time via all channels will ensure greater customer retention. According to data collected by Fieldboom , “A 5% increase in customer retention can lead to an increase in profits of 25%-95%.”
So what is Omni-Channel Customer Experience?
Simply put, omni-channel represents the evolution in customer experience and service that empowers customers to interact with a brand via multiple channels and device of their choice. The keys to have a successful omni-channel customer service that eventually drive revenue are consistency of the messaging and seamless customer experience across all channels. The more consumers adopt mobile devices, the more the lines between the channels will blur and the customer expectations for ease will increase. The customer would want to start a conversation with a chatbot on Facebook for example, then continue the interaction on the website via live chat or video call with an expert and finally finish the transaction by visiting your physical store to get the product of their interest.
If the brand has integrated a truly immersive omni-channel experience, the agent can see how many times the customer has called or engaged with the brand online, the details of the conversation, the customer’s preferences and personal information, so once he lands in the physical store the transaction can be seamless. Companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement retain on average 89% of their customers, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel customer engagement according to a study conducted by the Aberdeen group. Executing a successful omni-channel strategy requires technology improvements, supported by friendly personnel, who can make the customer feel known as they engage through the different channels by providing consistent, contextual handling.
So how prepared is your brand for the modern customer needs?