In a recent conversation, I was asked what I felt is the main reason, that every business should offer omni-channel customer support. My answer in short was “time!” The most valuable thing on earth. Frost & Sullivan defined omni-channel as “seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels”. As I see it, this means: Stop wasting your customer’s time. Nobody wants to repeat his issue every time he gets connected to another agent. This also saves your employees time. He can focus on solving the issue instead of listening to the customer complaining. Happy customer, happy agent. 🙂
People sometimes ask, which industries are doing particularly well, while offering a wide scale of channels in my opinion. My inquirer gets surprised when I answer “the gaming industry.” This relatively young and fast growing industries broke down the walls, which previously partitioned customer interactions, by offering new channels. First of all, most of their games are equipped with an In-Game-Chat system, which allows representatives to interact direct in the game. So “gamers” not only don’t even have to leave their desk, they can stay in their favourite game while their issue got handled. Furthermore, they offer the most common support channels: phone, browser, e-mail and mobile, which is certainly the next big thing to keep an eye on. This would be already expressive for a business that receives most of their revenue from micro transactions. The admirable part is that this troubleshooting, be it technical or payment related makes use of all their provided channels. If a customer get disconnected from the game during an in-game-chat, he gets a call-back. He closes the browser window with the live-chat by accident and is in the game, the chat-windows opens up. As long the customer filled in all his details, they try to solve the case in on contact. Does your customer service waste your clients lime?
Customer expect that they will be able to connect with a brand through any channel they wish. Especially the younger generation, which are also likely much more into gaming, almost forcing their brands to offer them mobile support. This is the medium they grow up with and use hundreds of times over the day. Here you will find an audience that has no patience to wait on hold or explain their problem to four different agents. So these gaming companies had to focus on identifying the needs of their customers, finding the context and leveraging that information to find the necessary solution for those needs.
Every contact is part of the customer journey and gamer are always on a journey, whatever genre they might prefer. It is up to the companies to ensure that this experience is pleasant, outstanding and all-in-one. In the digital world, where you’re missing the face-to-face interaction, you have to create a special atmosphere with every interaction. By 2020 we will see highly trained customer-care-specialist vs. low-cost-agents. Frontline employees will no longer be rewarded for how little time they spent with customers. Customer experience, customer retention, customer loyalty and even time spend with costumer will form the metrics in the future.