Many businesses are just getting the hang of well-established channels like chat and email, but the speed of digital disruption in consumers’ lives throws multiple demands at your business. Recently, setting up a social media customer care team is a common occurrences in contact centers. You probably have created a dedicated team in your contact center, using dedicated technology, to handle customer queries over those channels.
But what about forum moderation? Ah, right. You need slightly different skills and technology for that, so just set up another team. They sit in the same room, so that’s ok. So we have taken care of social media customer care, but what about the Internet of Things? Ah, right. You should set up a team to take care of that, too. And what about this virtual reality thing? What about artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual assistants? And do you have a strategy for Alexa? You’ve got to be kidding me!
Being a business that is agile, innovative, and able to move quickly in the digital age is critical. But once those innovations are tried and proven, establishing them as a part of your standard operating model is where the pain of proliferation starts to take hold. An inability to keep pace with technology creates problems on all ends of the spectrum:
- Bad for customers: A disconnected, inconsistent experience is a turnoff for customers. Fickle customers want a connected, seamless experience, and they’ll look for a brand that’s easier to do business with.
- Bad for employees: contact center employees who focus on digital channels can be as fickle as your customers; if they feel they are missing out on the ability to work on the “cool stuff” that their colleagues in another department are doing, they’ll become dissatisfied.
- Bad for business: Maintaining so many technology stacks, training regimes, and—even worse—deploying technology that attempts to make connections between those different systems, hemorrhages cash. Beyond that, top-line benefits are not realized due to the underachieved customer experience.
“Collaboration culture,” which is the ability for teams within a business to work together, was one of the top challenges marketers faced in 2016, according to the report from the Marketing Society and Bloomberg Media. This is a critical component of an innovative, agile business. But making this a reality for business as usual (at scale) is not easy. The challenge is not limited to marketing; the challenge reaches across marketing, sales, and service.
This same report also highlights another key challenge: the age of customer centricity. This is a challenge sits opposite of internal collaboration—businesses must work across departments and teams, but customers are already doing this. Customers are going from channel to channel, device to device, place to place—hunting for an answer. Most customer journeys today start online; more than a third are still online while they communicate with one of your employees.
Customers are not just using multiple channels and devices—they are using them all at the same time!
How can a disconnected, proliferated business possibly hope to engage the digital consumer while attaining the revenue and operating margins that digitally born businesses take for granted? There is an answer! Orchestrating customer engagement centrally and holistically is the answer. You need to build your customer experience from the ground up on a platform that:
- Engages the digital consumer. Providing the ability for your customer to engage with your brand over any channel, device, and location—one at a time or all at once, including a phone call. Recognize moments of need or opportunities wherever and whenever they occur.
- Engages the digital employee. Empower your employees to be the CEO of your customers’ journeys by using an omnichannel desktop tool to manage all customer interaction types; manage their presence; and drive employee performance, training, and collaboration across the entire enterprise.
- Optimizes your digital business. Use all-channel and device analytics for digital journey optimization and workload management to run your business as a smart business.
Critically, your platform MUST be real time, reliable, and capable of operating at scale. This is the heart of your customer experience; it is business critical. Put your trust in a proven customer experience platform.
Digitally born businesses like Uber and Airbnb have these values in their DNA—and that is their advantage. Don’t let them race ahead; you are creating your digital DNA right now. Put customer experience at the heart of it.
Learn more about getting started in a digital-first world in, 5 Tips for Mastering Digital Customer Service.