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2018 Predictions for the Service Leader: Part 2 – Channels

We surveyed a number of customer service/experience leaders, from many of today’s leading brands, in our community to get their predictions for 2018. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing their thoughts on specific CX topics including customer expectations, channels, operations, technology, use case studies/data, and security/risk.

Click here to catch up on Part 1 – Customer Expectations. 

The second installment of this series focuses on thoughts on channel choice and omnichannel digital transformation.

• The continued shift to “social channels” and the need to be adept at serving customers who reach out for help in social media.
• A key word is “predictive service”. Next era CX – what AI will enable?
• C-Suite will begin to see the potential for revenue generation on the service side of the house with new channels and old channel improvement.
• Companies must be more agile in testing and deploying new solutions and channels due to increasing competition from new market forces (e.g. Amazon).
• Businesses who do not embrace omni-channel digital transformation will lose customer loyalty, their share of wallet and overall market share, to those that do.
• The volume of calls will continue to grow even with the continued introduction of alternative channels of support.
• Amazon will disrupt the ACD market.
• IoT pervasiveness will increase call volume.
• Phone channel continues to be the dominant channel for “complex” client care issues.
• Many companies focusing on “demand management” initiatives to help clients self-serve, improve CSAT and reduce call volume.
• Mobile Messaging/SMS and MMS. More interesting and efficient use cases for text will emerge. Companies realizing that leveraging instant photos or videos sent can help reduce conversation time.
• Companies look for more true omnichannel platforms and adoption for these grow. Not just a single platform that can hook into all kinds of other technologies, but a single platform that can tie all of the conversations together, no matter what channel.
• Phone channel continues to be dominant for overall customer resolution.
• Companies will continue to add more channels and favor “cheaper” asynchronous (can respond at the same time) channels, like chat and text, in exchange for “more expensive ones”, like phone and email. Volumes of total communication will stay the same, but allow for brands to save money.
• Two way SMS continues to lag with some brands testing specific use cases.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3 – Operations.

Ditch the Customer “Journey” & Navigate Quick Trips to Desired Outcomes

 

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The following is a guest blog written by Monique Bozeman, Director of Product Marketing at Virtual Hold. To learn more about their solutions visit their website at www.virtualhold.com.

To hear more about this topic and others like it, join us at Customer Response Summit Seattle, September 28-30th, 2015.

Though customer experience continues to be a top priority and competitive differentiator for businesses, customer satisfaction has been on the decline for the last four years, according to a 2015 Global Contact Center Benchmarking Report. In a similar vein, research in 2014 by American Express, a company often cited for their excellent service, found roughly thirty percent surveyed say organizations usually miss their expectations. Only five percent say companies exceed them.

As consumers, we know this. Though we’ve made strides with automation and today have the convenience of channel choice, all we have to do is think of our own recent experiences. We can quickly conjure up an arduous, long journey — scenarios of waiting on hold, inappropriate timing of offers, and repeat calling to get the right person on the phone. And then we have to start from the beginning with yet another uninformed agent, if we weren’t disconnected upon transfer. These journeys require great customer effort and result in frustration and a loss of valuable time — and likely customers and revenue opportunity.

Though we have more paths to purchase and service than ever before, contact centers, the hub for most customer interaction, continue to struggle to provide continuity of service across these channels. Increased customer mobility, and the growth of newer touchpoints such as the mobile channel, smart apps and Internet of Things (IoT) devices only add to the struggle. Continue reading