It’s No Longer Just about Your Omni-Channel Strategy

By Tony Iero

During the omni-channel buzz, the goals were to give customers the ability to interact seamlessly in the channel of their choice, while also deflecting more costly interactions away from the contact center. Companies aggressively shifted their focus to their digital assets such as their website, mobile apps, chatbot, live chat, customer portal, etc.

But as customer service evolved, companies found their omni-channel strategy didn’t meet their customers’ needs.

Let’s reflect. At the time, a strategy inclusive of an effortless transition to voice was counterintuitive to call deflection and therefore not even thought of by most companies. The reason of thinking was, if callers were offered a callback in a digital asset they would opt out early for the costlier live service interaction.

Fast forward to today. Most companies now are starting to realize to have an aggressive digital first strategies, their CX teams must be tasked with constantly optimizing their digital channels to deliver robust content and high containment rates. This is proving to be challenging as more complex issues still seem to end up needing an agent to help complete the interaction.

Here lies a major gap. One outcome of call deflection and omni-channel that doesn’t seem to have been planned is when a caller needs to transition to live service for complex issues that can’t be solved in the digital channel.

Without a strategy for transition from digital to voice, companies are inadvertently exposing their digital customers to conditions that jeopardize revenue and retention along with a positive CX. These include

  • Searching for the 800#
  • Navigating the IVR
  • Repeating Information
  • Waiting on Hold
  • Starting Over

Year in and year out these are the top five customer service complaints. While an effortless transition to voice used to be considered counterintuitive and at the surface could appear to work against digital self-service initiatives, companies now are slowly learning that without providing customers with the bridge to the call center, they are putting customer service and revenue at risk.

The shift in thinking is now leading CX owners to rethink their omni-channel approach and start building a voice escalation strategy.

With a voice escalation strategy in place, companies are able to empower their digital customers with real time queue conditions and the ability to opt for an ASAP or scheduled callback when their preferred digital channel fails. This will prevent customer frustration and make it easy to transition to live service and pick up the conversation where it left off in the digital.

Most importantly, turning a potentially negative customer experience into a positive experience will increase the likelihood of customers listening to a cross sell or upsell, or taking a survey and scoring the experience and the agent higher.