You know that feeling that overwhelms you when you miss a deadline?
You started a project, but then your toddler threw a tantrum. Your dog barked at delivery trucks from dawn ‘till noon and an 11th Zoom meeting snuck onto your calendar. With so much piling up, you just didn’t get the big project done. Then, it eats at you until you finally cross the item off your to-do list.
Well, with tons of research preaching that you’re failing customers without an omnichannel customer journey, I wouldn’t doubt many contact center leaders like you have that feeling creeping in.
If you’re still serving up a disjointed multichannel experience (or worse, single channel), it’s hard to shake the thought that you missed the deadline and are too far behind to catch up.
But what if you could ditch that feeling and take small steps toward progress, today?
Turns out, there’s no deadline for getting your omnichannel customer support strategy right.
We talk about the importance of omnichannel because, well, it is important. Research tells us that your customers want to interact with brands that have strong omnichannel strategies.
But research also tells us that most companies aren’t nailing it yet. Customers still aren’t happy with their customer experience. Almost three-fourths of all consumers – 71% – want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% say they actually get it.
That means, the omnichannel ship hasn’t left the loading dock yet. You still have time to jump on board and build an omnichannel customer support strategy that wins customers over.
The key? Take action. Now. Today. Even small steps forward will fuel better service for your customers. Then, you become a standout CX leader who closes the gap between what customers expect and the experience they get.
We’re walking through four small (but meaningful) steps you can take today to get on board with an omnichannel customer support strategy. No purchase necessary.
Step 1: Gather information about your customer experience in its current state and learn.
Some 82% of execs set priorities for large digital transformations without first evaluating their processes and tools.
Don’t let your ops leaders fall into that camp.
If you’re lagging behind in your omnichannel customer experience, it’s likely time to modernize your customer experience. But before you change up your technology or overhaul your processes, gather important intel about your customer (and agent) experience. Then, you can work with your organization’s leaders to make data-informed decisions about where gaps exist in your operations.
How to do it:
Turn to your metrics, your policies, your processes and the systems you have in place to learn, first. There’s no point in reshaping your omnichannel customer experience if you don’t know what’s broken. Collect data and sentiment from customer surveys to see how your agents are performing today, and how customers feel about the experience they get.
Step 2: Listen to your team and ask for input.
What’s bugging your agents and dragging them down at work? Turn to your frontline team members to get a better picture of your day-to-day operations. When you skip this step, you’ll struggle to make any successful changes to your CX.
Turns out, only 3% of transformations (modernizing your omnichannel falls into that camp) succeed without input from frontline managers and employees.
Your agents have the most insight into the problems that pop up for customers, and how customers feel interacting with your brand. Lean into them for help as you seek to understand where gaps exist in your contact center.
How to do it:
Ask clarifying questions to get to the root of what’s holding your team back. Use your 1:1s with agents and supervisors to uncover what problems reoccur with your customers. And, find out if agents are struggling with certain desktop tools or restrictive policies.
Do your agents seem flustered and overwhelmed? Or, are they bored and unenthused? Ask how they feel about their current workload. Play the “why/because” game where you ask “why” at least five times to shovel through the surface and understand what’s really causing problems in their experience.
Step 3: Analyze and evaluate your current systems and processes.
When you dug into your data and processes, what did you find?
Maybe you saw that your call transfer rate was sky high because your stringent policies limit agent autonomy, so they stall out and hand over customer calls whenever they feel like a problem outweighs their authority.
Or, maybe you saw that customers won’t stop calling you because the disjointed systems you use for chat and email are too difficult for agents to manage in-the-moment. Instead of flying back and forth between screens during interactions, your agents opt-out. Then, those supposed-to-be-speedy channels fill with unanswered complaints.
How to do it:
Don’t just gather intel and sit on it. Use what you find in the gather and listen stages of building your omnichannel support strategy to draw relevant conclusions about what’s happening behind the scenes in your contact center. Look for correlations in your metrics, like low FCR leading to low CSAT.
And, put what you learned from your agents to work. If your agents told you they’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed during their 1:1s, it’s because they are. How can you ditch outdated policies and implement better omnichannel to fix it?
Step 4: Build a journey map.
Throughout a customer’s lifetime with your brand, they work with different departments, use different channels based on their priorities and mood, and have a range of needs and issues. All of your customer’s intentional choices and experiences wrap up into one unique pathway.
When you don’t sit down to connect all the dots, you miss out on crucial opportunities to help your customers – losing their trust and loyalty along with it.
Use real-time and historical data to track and map your customer journey, starting with the data that lives in your contact center.
How to do it:
Partner with cross-functional leaders to share what you find and build a cohesive journey map. Mapping and tracking your customers’ behavior, based on real data, not what you think your customer should be doing, lets you personalize service experiences and tailor the way your agents help each customer.