Nothing is more frustrating to customers than being unable to resolve an issue quickly. Customers want to find the answers they need on their own terms using the channels they want, when they want.
Effective communication with customers, however, frequently falls short of expectations. In a competitive marketplace, companies that want to survive and thrive must do a superior job of delighting customers and meeting their needs efficiently, and they can start by opening up multiple channels of communication with consumers. Advances in communication technologies are making it easier than ever to provide great multi-channel experiences for every customer interaction.
The payoffs are real, too. By exceeding customer expectations with best-in-class solutions, companies can build loyalty, improve brand devotion, and fuel better business outcomes, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction. An Aberdeen study reports that best-in-class firms that use omnichannel communications see 22.9 times higher customer satisfaction rates than others. They also see a 57 percent higher customer retention rate than others.
How Effective Communication with Customers Ups the Experience Bar
Effective communication with customers puts the customer experience at the heart of every interaction regardless of which channels of communication they use. This kind of communication means that a customer can contact the organization in any number of ways, such as by text, chat, email, or voice. It also means that the customer journey is always progressing toward a resolution — once a customer makes contact, they shouldn't have to repeat information or go backward in their attempts to find answers to their questions.
With effective omnichannel communications, the customer should also be able to seamlessly move from one channel to the next. For example, a customer can start on chat at their desktop, move to voice if they require more details, receive updates by SMS, and get a feedback request by email.
Omnichannel communications, including an omnichannel contact center, let you create the kind of powerful and memorable experiences your customers want.
Powerful Experiences Start Where Help is Sought
Companies that want to separate themselves from the pack with best-in-class communications should start by investing in their contact center, the site with the most customer contact. By giving your customers the choice of how they want to interact with you — voice, chat, or email — you empower customers to resolve issues on their own terms.
An omnichannel contact center with embedded communications also improves the service you can provide customers. Using automatic skills-based routing, you can match customer inquiries to the most appropriate agent with the best skillset to resolve their issues, reducing friction and creating a better experience for both the customer and the agent.
With omnichannel communications, customers can also start their search on one channel, such as chat, and seamlessly move to another channel, such as email or voice. Additionally, by using APIs and integrations with third-party applications like CRM software, companies can unify real-time data in a central location, allowing them to access real-time and historical analytics that can help improve future customer experiences and create successful outcomes.
By investing in an omnichannel contact center, companies can also see an increase in operational efficiency. According to the Aberdeen study, companies with top-performing omnichannel strategies found that their average handle times in the contact center decreased by 16.5 percent, while companies without such strategies increased handle time by 6 percent. Agent utilization rates also increased by 13.2 percent year-over-year compared with a 1.2 percent decrease by those without strong omnichannel solutions.
Be Ready for New Communication Technologies
In the future, customers will rely less on traditional voice-based services as new technologies emerge and will manage the majority of their relationships with companies through channels that don't involve human interaction. In a time when companies work to stay ahead of new communication technologies such as IoT, voice recognition, and AI-powered chatbots that are quickly changing communication dynamics, an omnichannel cloud contact center can provide the flexibility and scalability to add or delete channels as needed.
The pressure to meet customer expectations for instant and personalized communications will increase. Omnichannel communications, including an omnichannel contact center, let you create the kind of powerful and memorable experiences your customers want.