As organizations expand the number of channels by which customers can reach them, an enduring facet the world over is that these channels are not connected. So when customers channel hop, the contact center agent is frequently blind-sided as they see only those interactions for one or two channels at most. This leads to a bad customer experience because the customer has to start over and repeat themselves to bring the contact center agent up to speed.
The experience for the agent is not optimal either as they have to ALT-TAB between multiple desktop application windows trying to piece together a complete picture of the customer’s interactions with the company, while all the time the customer is on hold. This must surely be the number one problem for improving customer experience: transforming disconnected systems into connected channels.
Consider this example. I ordered two products via a retailer’s website. One arrived on time, the other did not arrive at all. The retailer’s mobile app said both orders had arrived. I phoned the retailer but disconnected when the IVR greeted me with “Please listen carefully as our menu options have changed”. I chose to email instead; quoted my order number and waited. The acknowledgement email said something about replies in 5 working days so I gritted my teeth, phoned again, navigated the menu options and waited. The contact center agent was politely apologetic about the missing order item, and could see I had emailed. A replacement item was ordered at no extra charge, and this duly arrived on time.
Customers channel hop like this all the time without thinking about the difficulty it causes organizations to make it work! The fact that I reached out in a variety of channels does not negate customer expectations for continuity, consistency and a great experience. The challenge for organizations is that the sequence of events or random touch point journey’s (i.e. website, mobile app, phone, email, phone again) has become commonplace, hence the need for contextualized omnichannels.
In a joined up omnichannel agent desktop, the omnichannel agent sees customer interactions across all channels on one screen, and therefore gets the customer’s context straightaway. Likewise, the customer can channel hop confident in the knowledge that the agent has full continuity of their interactions, and full consistency of their details. Whether it’s mobile, website, voice, chat, social media or a visit to a branch or store, customers expect to reach an organization across all these channels and for the organization to know them and their context as they move around. Having context means customers do not have to repeat or re-enter their details in each channel, and having multimodality offers a connected experience for the customer, synchronized across different channels.
What’s needed to address these current day requirements to deliver a differentiating customer experience is an omnichannel desktop that has complete visibility into each of the customer channels or integrated touch points so that agents get the customer context and see what activities transpired up to this point, and are able to deliver what the customer wants: to have their question answered quickly while at the same time giving a great experience.
[About the author] Dylon Mills is the Director of Marketing Content Strategy & Development at Jacada. As such, Dylon’s main responsibilities are to strategize, create and deliver content for Jacada’s product portfolio that align with the global Go-To-Market strategy, corporate positioning, and marketing campaigns. Dylon’s prior work experience includes Product Management at one of the top Fortune 500 Technology companies, Symantec Corporation. Outside of work, Dylon enjoys problem-solving and any project that includes building/tinkering with tools. Dylon holds a BS Consumer Economics from the University of Georgia.