By Simon Blackwell, CMO at TelcoSwitch
The pandemic has allowed many organisations to enhance their digital transformation strategies to ensure they could function effectively during periods of great uncertainty and in a post-Covid environment. One such example has been the adoption of additional communications channels for customers to use when interacting with the businesses they buy from. While it’s important to open up the channels of communication that consumers have access to, it’s also vital that these channels are properly integrated and synchronised with one another, enabling businesses to improve the customer’s experience.
A recent Gartner study found that 89% of businesses now expect to compete on the experience they offer to customers, rather than simply the price of what they sell. Across industry sectors, bolstering customer experience will be a vital catalyst for growth.
Building on this, a report from Zendesk revealed that 60% of consumers consider the quality of the service they received as an essential component of their loyalty to a particular brand. Consequently, businesses will be more likely to increase their customer lifetime value and improve brand advocacy rates – this is of particular importance in saturated markets.
Integrating communication channels is the key to unlocking customer satisfaction
Offering a range of channels to get in touch can only get you so far, it’s integrating these channels in one place that makes the difference to the customer’s experience. If for example, a customer places an enquiry on web chat, but the company has no way of linking this up to later interactions on email, social media, or over the phone, then the customer experience erodes.
Given how highly customer experience is regarded by Gartner and others, implementing these channels in a siloed manner won’t deliver the levels of consumer loyalty brands need to thrive. Therefore, organisations should pay close attention not only to how they can embrace omnichannel but crucially, how they can effectively manage it.
Leapfrogging competitors with the timely adoption of omnichannel solutions
When we think of omnichannel we often think of large contact centre-based businesses, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. While small to medium-sized organisations don’t self-identify as being contact centres, they share many of the same attributes, such as social media adoption, SaaS-based ticketing and CRM systems, online payment platforms and more. Many of these companies are also ‘cloud-first’ in nature and aren’t beholden to legacy infrastructure that can’t quickly or easily be cloud-enabled. In essence, these businesses can adopt omnichannel solutions faster than their larger counterparts and that gifts them a competitive advantage when it comes to customer experience.
Investing now will allow businesses to reap future rewards
The pandemic not only changed the way organisations function but also changed the way customers function. Consumers now expect businesses to have adapted to new ways of working and won’t be as tolerant to long wait times and limited channels of communications as they might have been previously. Customer experience is more important now than ever before, so modern businesses must be mindful of this when evaluating how their customers can communicate with them. Those who properly marry omnichannel to deliver high-quality customer experiences will be the ones to enjoy the highest levels of consumer loyalty.
To ensure consumers can communicate with the businesses they buy from efficiently and in the ways that suit them, it is imperative that leaders see the big picture when embracing omnichannel capabilities. Ultimately, this means remembering that new channels are redundant if customers have a poor experience while using them. Companies that recognise this and take definitive steps to build a true omnichannel experience are the ones that will benefit the most.