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Unifying the Customer Experience: How Do You Do It and Why Is It Important?


Scott Kendrick

May 16, 2014

Unified customer experience
Unified customer experience

Are you ready for a startling statistic? It takes a whopping 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience! To compound the issue, research shows consumers are twice as likely to share their bad customer experiences as they are to talk about positive experiences.

Providing good customer service isn’t just a contact center best practice: It’s imperative in today’s customer-centric marketing landscape. With an increase in customer expectations, agents must respond by providing a positive experience that will satisfy and retain customers (not to mention inspire positive word of mouth marketing).

Unifying the customer experience across channels (voice, social media, email, live chat, etc.) is easier said than done, however. A Customer Contact Association report shows call center agents struggle to maintain a single view of the customer across multiple channels, which can lead to customer dissatisfaction and contact center inefficiencies.

It’s clear multi-channel customer service is critical for unifying the customer experience, but how exactly do you do it? Here’s a look at a few ways:

Offer Seamless Transitions Between Channels

The best multi-channel customer experiences are those that offer customers a seamless transition between channels. In essence, this means making sure channels are tightly integrated and optimized in order to deliver an omni-channel customer experience.

workforce management solution can help forecast and schedule properly for each different channel by identifying broken processes and improving employee performance across channels. The end result? A better experience for the end user. “What your customers can do via one [channel], they should be able to do across them all,” says Dave Ogden, Account Executive, Aspect Software. “This notion is the whole approach to providing a good end-to-end customer experience.”

Staff Appropriately

A Call Centre Helper article on maximizing the multi-channel contact channel underscores the importance of staffing to support customers across channels. “You have to ensure that your agents are trained to manage communications on the new channels,” says David Ford, Managing Director at Magnetic North. “Then you can be sure that customer service agents with the right skills are managing the channels they are best suited to.”

Of course, top performers in the call center will be proficient across channels in order to cater to individual customer preferences. For example, a customer may expect to call, email, and tweet at a company without having to explain an issue from scratch every time, Call Centre Helper notes.   CallMiner Eureka allows companies to analyze every conversation or interaction agents or representatives have with customers, whether that’s through recorded phone conversations (speech analytics), email, chat, social channels, or surveys.

Maintain a Consistent Tone with Messaging

Research shows more than a quarter of customers (26%) have experienced being transferred from agent to agent without any resolution of their problem. Don’t allow your organization to be one that makes promises to customers (or, worse yet, doesn’t make any promises at all) and then fails to deliver!

Seventy percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they’re being treated, so it’s especially important to develop a consistent tone across channels and ensure that customers are receiving reliable (and correct) information across all touch points. Without this, consumers will end up feeling frustrated, which can affect loyalty and retention and may eventually lead to customer attrition.

Final Thoughts

With the proliferation of communications channels comes the expectation that customers should be able to contact a company through any number of mediums: voice, social, email, live, chat, and so on. Today’s contact center is responding to the shifting consumer landscape by adopting multi-channel solutions to provide customers with a unified and satisfying experience. Is your contact center evolving with the times?

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