CEM Insights: When it comes to Omni-Channel Consistency, the Customer is Always Right

The speed of change brought about by technological advances has brought with it certain expectations. One of those expectations is that customers and prospects will have a consistent experience of your brand across all channels, from your website to your customer service center to your brick-and-mortar store. It’s disconcerting for consumers to see a slick, glossy presentation one place and then be met with a clunky, hard-to-navigate brand presentation elsewhere. It suggests a lack of professionalism and care for the customer experience, which decreases trust levels and could result in lost sales.

Your goal in the current sales environment is omnichannel consistency, but it requires a great deal of coordinated effort to achieve. You need to be willing to invest in the technology, train frontline employees and get key executives to catch the vision and lead the charge. Omnichannel consistency is worth the effort; it can create a point of differentiation that leads to greater customer loyalty. Fortunately, the same demographic and technology trends pushing your company towards omnichannel can be harnessed to help you unlock which initial steps are the most important to your customers. Today’s consumer has an insatiable appetite for immediate gratification and with that comes the expectation that they can provide feedback to your business in real time about their customer experience, particularly in the event that something goes wrong.

Today’s consumer has an insatiable appetite for immediate gratification and with that comes the expectation that they can provide feedback to your business in real time.

Entrepreneur and technologist Marc Andreessen recently wrote, “Cycle time compression may be the most underestimated force in determining winners and losers in tech.” On this path toward omnichannel consistency, it’s critical to listen to the voice of the customer (VoC) at key points in each interaction channel. By doing so, you will learn what experiences are most critical for you to change first in your omnichannel implementation path. This is called an Omnichannel Listening Strategy and it gives you a strategic roadmap for where you should apply your investment to make the highest returns. Your customers are desperately seeking ways to tell you the hot points that are causing them the most frustration.

So, how can you establish your own Omnichannel Listening Strategy? To collect real-time feedback, some companies send short SMS surveys immediately after new subscribers activate a plan. They ask questions about the user friendliness of their online customer portal or the quality of support delivered by the field or contact center. Customer feedback is gathered in real time and immediately routed to the frontline to take corrective action. Dashboards also conclusively highlight key pain points.

Wells Fargo is the perfect example of a company that applies customer experience data to improve their overall user experience. From 2013, all of their 12,000+ ATMs featured personalised interfaces based on customer preferences. So transaction history, account information and regularly selected shortcuts are all displayed in a manner bespoke to the individual. Predictive analytics provide the smarts to ensure their ATM customers enjoy a truly tailored experience.

Consumers are more than willing to provide feedback, and it is more effi cient and easier than ever for them to do so through their mobile device. However, your company must be operati onally ready to absorb and process tremendous volumes of data, obtain acti onable insight and then distribute it to the frontline, where they are empowered to take correcti ve acti on with the customer in questi on. With today’s socially connected consumer, the backlash is signifi cant from being perceived as paying lip service to customer feedback. Avoid this risk by partnering with a reputable CEM platf orm provider with deep experience set in your industry.

3 Steps to Establish an Omnichannel Listening Strategy

  1. Collect real-time feedback from all your customer channels
  2. Ask relevant questions such as quality of support and online customer experience
  3. Route customer feedback to frontline immediately for corrective action

Creating an Omnichannel Listening Strategy is now part of the cost of doing business. That doesn’t make it any less daunting a task to begin the process. Fortunately, the very people you are attempting to serve are the ones who can help the most. Create a VoC Program and start a two-way dialogue to understand the pain points that are top of mind for them. Gather the instant feedback you’ve gained from customers’ mobile devices, learn what needs to be done and then give that information to employees who can quickly turn insight into action.

Peter Oxley

Peter Oxley is responsible for the overall sales strategy that drives growth from ResponseTek’s global leadership positi on in Customer Experience Management. In a career spanning more than two decades as an entrepreneur, platf orm provider, and strategic consultant, Peter has experience in the development of customer retenti on initi ati ves and loyalty programs for global blue-chip companies.

Vice President Sales, ResponseTek

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