Navigating Omnichannel Strategy with Analytics as Your Guide

Oct 10, 2018

Article ImageToday’s businesses face a new reality: customers now communicate via numerous digital self-service channels such as web, chat, and text. And these channels are quickly becoming the favored choice for consumers to more easily reach companies. This year, interactions via digital channels are expected to overtake voice interactions for the first time. As a result, organizations across all industries are scrambling to offer these new customer communication options. However, in this dash to accommodate ever-changing preferences, there’s an unintended consequence: digital self-service without the right omnichannel strategies can put the entire customer experience at risk.

A new report highlights the disconnect: while 93% percent of organizations agree that providing a seamless quality experience across all channels is important, less than half actually think they’re very effective in meeting that goal. It’s clear these companies are lagging behind in effectively deploying digital self-service channels.

So what’s wrong?

While digital self-service is convenient, omnichannel strategies are about more than adding communication options based on perceived customer demand. Businesses must understand how customers use and interact with each channel, and ensure they’re providing a consistent experience wherever customers are. And there’s another wrinkle: people still crave a human connection when they interact with brands. Speaking with a representative builds trust and rapport in a way that interacting with digital channels doesn’t.

Omnichannel strategies are imperative for companies to meet customer expectations, but to be successful, they need to know their customers and find the balance between technology and the human touch. With analytics as a guide, it’s possible, and here’s how.


Treat Every Channel Like the Phone

The contact center is the hub of customer phone interactions. Using quality assurance (QA) methods, contact centers measure volume, abandon rates, first call resolution and overall hold times. Every call is recorded and data from those conversations is analyzed to determine if agents are effective in meeting customer expectations every step of the way. However, many organizations are missing out on performance insights from self-service channels because they aren’t using analytics. As companies offer additional communication methods, they must apply these same QA tactics to more than just the phone.

By implementing QA metrics for chat, text, and any other channel, businesses can use analytics to identify where agents need additional training, where they are having difficulties and which agents are excelling on specific channels. From there, companies can use data-driven insights to train agents on delivering a channel-specific experience that consistently meets customer expectations. Not only does this help managers reduce hold times and customer irritation, it allows companies to measure and monitor where customer interaction is greatest and ensure that agents are ready when customers need them most.


Listen to the Voice of the Customer

Currently, 44% of companies say they offer four or more channels to communicate with their brand. But there’s a catch: 58% admit they think their customers only use two or three of those options. If organizations don’t know which channels their customers are using, how can they implement the right ones? With analytics, companies can listen directly to their customers to understand which channels they prefer and which methods are most effective for meeting their needs.

When companies utilize analytics to tap into these voice-of-the-customer insights, they can design an omnichannel experience that uses robust technology to enable customers to get the answers they need—and quickly give them access to human representatives when appropriate. The combination of these digital and phone conversations is powerful, as it gives the contact center a complete view of the customer. Those insights also improve service and enhance sales and marketing efforts across all channels and the entire organization.

Digital self-service channels are growing—and for good reason. They open up new lines of communication and make it easier than ever for customers to get the answers they need. But those channels are only useful when they’re backed by the right omnichannel strategies. When companies combine digital self-service with the power of analytics, they can tap into customer sentiment and create a robust, consistent experience that keeps customers coming back.

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