Why Companies Aren’t Delivering On Omnichannel Expectations

Many retail businesses aren't delivering a true omnichannel experience for customers.

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Many retail businesses aren't delivering a true omnichannel experience for customers.


Why Companies Aren’t Delivering On Omnichannel Expectations

Many retail businesses aren't delivering a true omnichannel experience for customers.

Share this article

Customers increasingly want digital self-service options when interacting with companies, which has set businesses on the path of rapid channel adoption. Chat, email and text are easy, convenient ways for customers to quickly get the answers they need.

But winning customer loyalty requires more than convenience; it calls for an exceptional experience. When combined with the right omnichannel strategies, self-service options have the power to do just that, enhancing the entire customer journey from start to finish.

In fact, a recent report found that 59 percent of consumers and 71 percent of business buyers said self-service availability affects brand loyalty.

However, in the rush to add more channels, many companies are falling short of delivering the level of experience customers expect. New research revealed that 93 percent of companies understand it's critical to provide a seamless, quality experience across all channels.

However, only 45 percent of companies think they are very effective at providing that experience.

So where is the breakdown in execution? It all comes down to the fact that many organisations lack the internal omnichannel framework needed to succeed.

Speedbumps become roadblocks

With new methods of communication come new challenges. Organisations are failing to create comprehensive strategies and allocate the proper resources.

These internal barriers are preventing companies from delivering a seamless, quality experience, and it’s jeopardising the effectiveness of digital self-service. If organisations map the customer journey and understand the paths that customers want to take, they can build the right strategies to meet their needs along the way.

But it’s not that simple: A consistent customer experience is still out of reach for many organisations, yet they continue to add customer communication channels. And it’s compounding the problem.

No strategy, huge problems

For many companies, it’s quite easy to add a new channel: 58 percent have a set process to follow and find it easy.

Not only that, 44 percent of companies say they offer four or more channels to communicate with their brand, however, 58 percent admit they think their customers only use two or three––and therein lies the problem.

It’s so easy to add a channel that organisations are making decisions without knowing which self-service options their customers are actually using.

By taking a step back and looking at customer behaviour data and understanding their preferences, businesses can get straight to the heart of what customers want—and meet them there.

This may not mean adding new channels, but rather optimising existing channels to create the best possible experience throughout the entire customer journey.

Mind the data gap

It’s clear that many businesses aren’t living up to omnichannel expectations but, compared to the U.S., the U.K. is lagging behind even more. Currently, 56 percent of U.S. companies use customer interaction data from all channels to make business decisions as compared to 45 percent of U.K. companies.

Not only that, in the U.S., 59 percent of companies have specialised or skills-based customer service agents for specific channels. In the U.K., only 50 percent of companies have adopted this strategy.

There’s a clear gap between companies in the U.S. and U.K. in delivering an omnichannel experience, but what’s the reason? U.K. companies are not capturing and leveraging cross-channel data.

Without these insights, hiring and training practices typically aren’t modified to support ever-changing customer needs, making it impossible to make decisions that impact customer loyalty, and the bottom line.

Data is one of the biggest benefits of digital self-service as it can inform everything from hiring practices to overarching customer experience strategies.

With digital self-service, customers are interacting with customer service agents across email, chat, social and more, giving organisations insights into behaviour patterns and preferences.

When businesses use that data properly, combining digital and in-person insights, they can hire specialised support staff, understand which employees are the most successful and adjust training practices accordingly.

And if customers are met with well-trained, competent agents who specialise in a particular channel, it lays the groundwork for a seamless, personalised experience.

If businesses continue to run their omnichannel programmes just to keep up with the customer, they will fail to deliver on their brand promise to customers.

By analysing existing processes, viewing customer data and properly staffing personnel, companies will create an omnichannel experience that delights customers every step of the way.

Kris McKenzie, Senior Vice President and General Manager for EMEA at Calabrio.

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Why Companies Aren’t Delivering On Omnichannel Expectations

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