fotolia_81092382_subscription_monthly_mHave you ever woken up sick in the middle of the night – gripped with illness and confused about what is happening? In the past, this would have been a major issue. You could either incur the cost of an ER visit or wait until the doctor’s office opened so you could call. While we all still get ill occasionally, the lack of access to immediate medical help isn’t so much an issue. From WebMD and the rise of telemedicine, to independent doctors’ offices with comprehensive websites and social media pages – getting the healthcare information you need has never been easier. This is due, in part, to the fact that modern consumers just won’t settle for a subpar customer engagement. Even in an industry like medicine that you don’t typically associate with customer service.

More than half of U.S. online adults will abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their questions. Forrester, Transform the Contact Center for Customer Service Excellence, 2016

Your customers expect fast, simple, omnichannel customer engagement. This means your business needs to be available via voice call, social, SMS text, and more. Plus the channels need to be seamlessly connected and working together. That way, when a patient calls your office you’ll know their history and be able to help them faster and more easily. If you don’t keep up with modern trends your customers will find someone else who does.

It’s not just industry giants who must understand the importance of omnichannel. Anatoly Roytman, managing director, Accenture Interactive Europe, Africa, Middle East, Latin America explains it best, “Customer expectations are changing faster than ever and what people learn to love in one industry increasingly defines what they expect in other areas as well – we call this ‘liquid expectations’.”

These liquid customer expectations make omnichannel engagement a requirement for every business. My independently owned doctor’s office excels at it. Does your business? Do you even know where to start? The landscape of customer service is changing. And, every time you think you’ve got it tamed, the topography shifts again. You have to be able to adapt.

52% of consumers ages 18 to 34 have used social media to ask customer service questions and 64% of consumers ages 18 to 34 said they view social media as an effective channel for customer service. – Parature, 2016

Small- and mid-sized contact centers often find it challenging to meet customers’ growing and changing expectations. You must offer consistent and effective cross-channel customer experience. With digital, voice, and online channels available to consumers 24/7, it’s critical for contact center customer service providers to master omnichannel customer engagement to create a seamless, informed experience—no matter how the customer chooses to interact with you. Because regardless of channel, customers really want one thing from you: a consistent experience.

Adopting omnichannel customer engagement solutions in the contact center enables you to seamlessly blend all customer communications channel data—including voice and digital—using consistent routing rules, unified reporting, and real-time visibility into omnichannel performance.

By integrating these solutions with your CRM system, you can enable truly personalized cross-channel interactions driven by informed service representatives. In most cases, a single platform solution also reduces your overall technology investment and helps eliminate the confusion of siloed customer information.

The telemedicine services field is positioned to explode by 2018 with an anticipated 7 million patient users, up from 350,000 patient users in 2013.Jackson Healthcare, Physician Trends 2016 Report

If healthcare is changing this rapidly, what do you think is happening in your industry? Are you prepared to meet growing customer expectations? If not, now is the time to start prepping. To learn more about the importance of implementing an omnichannel customer engagement strategy (and how to get started) download our eBook, Omnichannel Is No Longer Optional – Connecting the Contact Center Customer Experience.

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Liz Weida

Liz Weida

Liz Weida is a Senior Product Marketing Manager for Genesys. Liz joined Genesys through the Interactive Intelligence acquisition, where she held roles in Product Marketing, Solutions Engineering and Enterprise Sales. A true digital native, she started her career in Marketing...