Predicting future trends in customer service is always difficult, never more so than today with the constant changes in technology and communication. At a conference five years ago, we heard a presenter predicting the end of voice in the customer service world as people would begin to use on-line to communicate with businesses. Well thankfully that prediction was wrong (so far) as voice seems to be alive and well, but without question other forms of communication have added to the mix. E-mail and web chat are growing as channels and as a result, we have seen the growth of multi-channel communication between customers and businesses. The issue here however, is the channels are not connected which in itself causes problems. A business needs a holistic view of customer communication but can’t achieve that through a multi-channel operation.
A new term on the horizon is Omni-Channel.
In Omni-Channel, all channels are interconnected. Barriers for users are removed, creating a seamless experience. Integrative software solutions meeting the requirements for this approach needed time to be perfected. The customer now has the ability to use a whole host of applications to interact with a business. Try as they might, no business can truly control how or when the modern customer wants to communicate with them. So all businesses who are customer centric (and those who are not will lose out) are beginning to get on the Omni-Channel journey.
Omni-Channel self-service empowers the customer to start an activity in one channel and seamlessly transition to another. A conversation that begins on Twitter can be continued via text message or phone call with all of the relevant context preserved across channels. Omni-Channel solutions don’t require implementing every possible channel. For example, after a survey of customer preferences, a business may choose to offer voice, SMS and social media as service channels. An Omni-Channel solution ensures the service level, responsiveness and quality of service received on individual channels and across channels would be equally high.
Here at Carpeo, we’re at the cutting edge of developing and implementing Omni-Channel solutions for a variety of clients. Our in-house professional services team is leading the charge in rolling out a seamless platform which gives a single view of the customer, no matter where the customer goes. Not only does this drive huge gains in terms of customer service standards but also drives efficiencies in the business, as channels can be blended and multi-screens can be replaced by a portal showing all touch points. This also results in better data capture, trend analysis and forecasting.
Omni-Channel is the new future. Customer driven but embraced by the businesses who value customers.
As Carpeo Director, David William, said: “This is the natural evolution of providing excellent customer service. The Omni-Channel approach delivers benefits to both the customer and the business. Our role is to take the jigsaw puzzle of multi-channel and turn it into a clear picture of customer activity and that’s Omni-Channel.”