Three essential elements of a true omnichannel solution for CSPs
Customers don’t tend to think in terms of channels. They think of results, writes Bartlomiej Kordas, a BSS product manager at Comarch.
They’ll use the service that fits their circumstances at the time, which means the average customer journey could span several channels as they call, tweet and email along their journey to purchase. Previously when a customer wanted to contact their communications service provider (CSP), they would call from the mobile. But with the smartphone came many more channels, but the customer still wants the same experience.
By implementing an omnichannel strategy, CSPs place their customer’s convenience at the heart of their operations. It can be a complicated process, requiring the operator to collate real-time data from multiple business functions at once, but telecoms companies must focus on omnichannel if they want to thrive in today’s economy.
Focus on the journey
McKinsey’s 2017 Customer Experience report highlighted that customers are less focused on their experience of individual touchpoints than they are on their overall journey.
A customer may contact you on Facebook and be asked to ring a helpline. While the issue may eventually be resolved, and the system worked the right way, the customer could still leave dissatisfied. For example, they could be annoyed at having to repeat their problem to multiple customer service agents on several platforms, even if each of these agents did their jobs well.
An efficient omnichannel solution builds the businesses processes from the customer’s requirements outwards. It specialises in three key areas:
1. Collating, and getting actionable insights from, data
CSP data has always been some of the richest in the world, but only if it is used correctly. It is not just about the data collated based on customers preferences when using their phone; it’s about the data generated by their interactions with their CSP. CSPs must make sure this data is available to all customer service agents – from call centre staff to the social media customer service team.
Many businesses still fragment customer data – and therefore their experience. If I’ve been tweeting my CSP about a problem with my service, and they’ve told me to call to discuss the issue in more detail, the operator that takes my call should know all the information I’ve already provided. They may even be able to use the data to provide a quick solution, especially if it can be compared to data from other customers. For example, have there been multiple complaints from the same area? Could this be the first indication that a base station has a problem?
The business must treat the customer as a person and gain as much insight into what they need as possible. Sharing the data across multiple channels leads to satisfied customers and can alert the operator to wider issues on their network
2. Providing customer-centric touchpoints
We’ve seen that customers tend to assess the journey over their experience of individual touchpoints. For customers, touchpoints are about convenience. Retail and delivery companies are leading the way in this area; customers can place their orders online, inquire about them on social media or webchat and track their deliveries in real-time on apps.
Customers expect the same level of consideration when dealing with their service providers. They may raise an issue by calling the customer service line from a landline, but then need to take the matter to webchat once they leave the house. A superior omnichannel solution ensures that customers can not only do this but that they will receive a consistent level of service across channels.
3. Offering a contextual – and personalised – customer experience
The data customers are sharing across the operator’s business needs to be used to provide contextual customer service and to offer a personalised experience.
The customer knows everything about their history with the business. They remember the difficult call they had a week ago and the problem they had with their account two months previously.
An effective omnichannel solution enables customer service agents to tailor their approach to the situation. Using the data the company has, they can also make recommendations that are more likely to suit the customer they’re talking to at the time. The customer goes away not just with an issue resolved, but knowing that the service provider recognises who they are and identifies the shared history that they have with the business.
Modern customers have many options when it comes to choosing a CSP. Omnichannel solutions don’t just make businesses run more efficiently; they bring the business closer to their customers. They facilitate customer journeys that leave customers satisfied no matter what channels they complete them on.