Why Omni-Channel? We don’t need it.


That’s an interesting comment on so many fronts. Not the least of which is the use of the word “We”.

We must become Customer Centric. Many companies are only fooling themselves when they state they have a focus on service, or that they put the customer 1st.

The truth is, they provide the service that they believe their customers want, but base that decision on previous experience, cost, and a bias towards their company, understandably so.

How many times have you heard statements like “customer survey”, “voice of the customer” and “customer experience“?

If you are going to ask your customers for an opinion, or for their preference, then you must act upon the information they provide.

Each business is different, so I can’t give you the “answer” but maybe I can point you in the right direction, Omni-Channel.

Lookup the phrase Omni-Channel and you’ll find “Omnichannel operations focus on the entire customer experience—not the customer’s individual experiences on different channels.” (Tessa Roberts – Bloomreach.com). Here’s my take on it, your Customer Contact Strategy in one place.

That’s really simple and very easy, isn’t it? No.

I guess you need to figure out what it is you do, why your customer wants to contact you (sales, service, support, advice, complaints, resolution, etc), and what you “want” to provide.

That last one is the killer. If the solution you design costs a fortune, you need to ask yourself is it worth providing the service! Remember if you don’t provide the service, some of your customers may “walk away” and find what they want elsewhere.

The opposite of the above is that by providing outstanding service (at a cost) you may pick up more business! Reputation proceeds you and people buy from people they like. People are likely to pay a little more if they get what they want and are happy.

So, your strategy must take in the whole picture. It should offer your customers the options that they want to use, when they want to use them. Telephony will always be popular, don’t make it too difficult (or impossible) to talk to you. The power of a conversation should not be underestimated.

Email has replaced ordinary letters (in most cases) because of the speed of delivery so don’t make your customers wait 3 weeks for a response, that snail mail.

ChatBots are great when used for the right reasons, but make sure you can break out to WebChat with a real person when needed. In fact, ensure you can break out to a voice if required. Offer the choice.

SMS text messaging also has a place, if used correctly. Confirmation of detail, or just reminders, are especially useful. Also, a “conversation” with the same person via text can be useful, don’t let the text message go just anywhere.

Social Media seems to rule our lives, but when it comes to business, many of your customers view it to express their distaste or frustration. Use it as a contact method and turn it into a positive.

Now, here’s the question, should you offer all the above, some of the above, or just one of the above?

Many years ago, a well-known Bank offered just telephony, and a guarantee of being answered within seconds by a real person. They now offer several different options, but their telephony service had suffered as a consequence. If you change, make sure you do it correctly.

Other companies have moved to a non-voice policy. Very frustrating because we all like to talk! So, if you are going to ask your customers for an opinion, or for their preference, make sure you have right channels available, at the right time, for the right interaction. Only provide what you, and your customers want, when you want it.

roy-h_optimizedAuthor:               Roy Holmes
Job Title:            Operations Director
Published by:    Daktela UK ltd