Brands continue to grapple with how to best address the “age of the customer,” where consumers have countless ways to interact with businesses and hold more control over their relationship with brands.
For marketers, the challenge is delivering on the expectations of this new environment--creating a consistently seamless customer experience that spans across all channels from face-to-face, to phone, to online--and doing so all the time, on all devices, and in a fully integrated manner.
Creating this continuum of consistent care is no easy feat. But as customer service becomes a more strategic component at the heart of the overall customer experience, it’s perhaps the best place to start.
In the realm of the contact center, this common thread of consistency is called an omnichannel strategy, and it’s in demand, according to a recent Aspect survey. Ninety-one percent of Americans agree that when contacting customer service about the same issue, they should be able to pick up where they last left off. In other words, they expect the next phone call, tweet, email, or in-person experience they have with your brand to be an informed interaction where they don’t have to rehash the past or waste time updating the agent on their situation or history with the company.
Unfortunately, work still needs to be done in this area, our survey found. More than half (61 percent) of Americans say they have not been able to easily switch from one channel to another when interacting with customer service.
For CMOs today, this expectation may seem daunting, but it also poses a significant opportunity. Shifting to an omnichannel strategy will open your brand to all of your customers’ touch points and demonstrate the type of experience that will attract new customers and keep the ones you have. According to Aberdeen Group’s October 2013 research report, businesses that adopt an omnichannel strategy achieve 91 percent greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.
Customer loyalty is crucial in today’s competitive business landscape, in which customers can just as quickly turn around and do business with a competitor as they can move from channel to channel. At the end of the day, the businesses that don’t succumb to outdated forms of communication but instead reinvent how they engage with customers will be the ones that succeed in delivering, and reaping the benefits of, a consistent care continuum.
Click on the infographic (above) for more findings from Aspect’s study.