In the first post of this two-part series, we discussed the rapid growth of digital, the limitations and roadblocks companies with aging contact center infrastructure face, and the path to provide a great customer experience (CX).
In this second post, we’re delving deeper into how to create and deliver an omnichannel strategy that supports the way today’s customers are using digital channels.
Infrastructure to Support Seamless Journeys
More than ever, customers are taking multiple actions to complete a single journey. They expect personalized, low-effort experiences across both digital and voice channels. A multi-vendor approach to customer engagement with disparate engagement technologies and siloed channels and touchpoints has become, for many companies, the most significant hindrance to delivering great CX.
Contact center modernization is necessary to deliver a consistent omnichannel experience. This requires a solution that can unify the multiple fronts for engagement (web, mobile, social, marketing, sales, front office, and back office). This is the next logical step to transform a contact center with siloed digital touchpoints into an omnichannel engagement center.
The rollout of an omnichannel engagement center can happen in phases, beginning with replacing legacy-based ACD, PBX, or telephony infrastructure with an integrated platform that can interoperate with existing systems and support all channels and touchpoints.
For UK retailer Marks & Spencer, a new solution was needed to integrate their digital channels with their 1,253 retail outlets. With a 130-year history of providing a premium customer experience, the retailer chose the Genesys Customer Experience Platform across all their channels and media.
Ian Mahoney, head of Delivery Services for Marks & Spencer explains, “Now, for the first time, we’ve linked everything together for a single 360-degree customer view. We no longer worry about how people contact us. We only worry about responding effectively, with passion and energy, to every chance to support our customers.”
With a solution that supports omnichannel engagement in place, customer journeys can be effectively orchestrated and managed to provide context for every interaction, and a personalized, consistent experience for the customer.
Delivering on the Promise of Personalized Service
Along with enabling more seamless journeys, another important benefit of an omncihannel engagement center is that it empowers agents with a simplified, single desktop that provides a unified view of customers, including engagement data from every interaction across every channel – voice and digital. The result is a fully personalized, contextual customer service experience.
In the case of Marks & Spencer, their updated solution allows their agents to view non-contact center interactions so that they can manage issues quickly and efficiently. Orders placed through the Marks & Spencer website also now appear instantly in the customer’s unified interaction history. Thus, if a customer phones to confirm that an order has been received, the agent will see this prior to answering the call.
“Our agents are one step ahead of our customers at any point in their journey and can immediately and intelligently address their needs,” says Mahoney. “We have a full and true view of our entire business in one solution. That puts us in a great place for continuous service improvement.”
What about Social Media?
From a survey from McKinsey & Company , nearly three-quarters of major enterprises are using social technologies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to improve customer service. This makes sense when you consider how important social media channels have become for brand engagement. While these digital channels are certainly beneficial for building awareness, they are also public platforms for customers to share their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the brands they buy from.
According to Forrester Research, 16% of customers have vented about negative customer service interactions through social channels, including online customer reviews, blog posts, and Facebook status reports. With more customer interactions beginning on or progressing to social media, these channels must be considered part of the omnichannel experience. This requires the development of business rules and workflows for analyzing, categorizing, and prioritizing customer comments and queries. Like with other digital channels, social media must be integrated to provide a seamless customer journey.
For Marks & Spencer, the Genesys Omnichannel Engagement Center solution has allowed them to manage social media content and interactions, as part of their customer record, escalating as needed, and routing to the appropriate agent with full visibility from start to resolution.
The Benefits of a Digital Transformation
With an omnichannel engagement center now in place, Marks & Spencer has experienced substantial benefits. Their new web chat channel has generated significant revenue from relatively few orders, simply by helping customers with forgotten passwords or incorrect promo codes. In fact, the service paid for itself in the first four months. They are also providing better, more personalized service across all channels, voice, email, social media, SMS, web chat, and website, which is enabling them to continue to provide the exceptional customer experience that has enabled them to be a leading retailer for more than a century.
Read the full Marks & Spencer success story, and check out our eBook 7 Steps for Delivering Next-Generation Customer Service.