Omni-Channel Customer Engagement Article

Smart Application of Omni-Channel Customer Service is Key

March 28, 2016

Most businesses now know that in the Internet age, customer service is one of the most important areas of competition. Few products or services are completely unique, and customers today are savvy enough to quickly find the competition if a business is now winning on the customer service front.

Unfortunately, many businesses think they can simply throw technology at the problem and carry on like it is business as normal. Putting an omni-channel customer service solution in the mix can address the changes in user behavior, the reasoning goes, and all is as it was before in customer service.

A recent Ipsos study shows that this is not correct, however. In the study, more than half of the customers surveyed said that they feel they have to put in lots of effort to have their customer services issues resolved while the business gets away with little actual work.

That consumers feel this way shows just having an omni-channel customer service solution is not enough. While the technology is in place for good customer service, many businesses are not utilizing it effectively for a good customer experience.

The trouble is that omni-channel is too often misused, as Evan Dobkin at Aspect (News - Alert) Software noted in a recent blog post, The Customer Effort Ratio in Issue Resolution.

“While companies may be listening and trying to better enable customers, they may be offering more tools, but not necessarily better tools for the specific goal of connecting questions with answers,” he noted.

This is why consumers feel that they are having to put in the leg work while the business is not helping much. Having omni-channel customer service is important, but only if the business is using the right channel for a good customer service experience.

A good example is self-service.

Self-service is an important part of the customer service mix, but it also can be a barrier if the customer would rather talk with an agent to resolve an issue. Self-service can come across as a way that businesses save money on customer service and offload the work to the customer rather than as a valuable channel for helping customers answer their questions.

Technology is important, of course. But it isn’t enough in itself. Businesses must actually use omni-channel solutions appropriately for the real value of the technology to make itself felt.

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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