omnichannel

Omnichannel Customer Experiences: Do Consumers and Businesses See Eye-to-Eye?

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In today’s digital economy, there have never been more opportunities for businesses and their customers to interact. Chat, text, social media, websites, IVR, even traditional phone calls with customer service representatives – the list continues to grow. Modern customer expectations have never been higher, and businesses understand that customer experience is a leading brand differentiator. To ensure that customer needs are met, businesses are prioritizing delivery of a true omnichannel experience, enabling each channel to work together cohesively with seamless transitions. Whether or not they’re succeeding in this initiative is something else entirely.

Businesses believe they are delivering on the promise of omnichannel experiences, but this perception doesn’t align with those of their customers. According to the NICE inContact CX Transformation Benchmark Study, consumers rated customer service 17 percent lower, on average, across more than 10 channels, than businesses rated their own success in meeting customer needs. This is an alarming discrepancy. While the pressure to provide seamless omnichannel customer experiences is constant, the first step is recognizing that improvements need to be made.

According to the study’s findings, here are the primary areas where businesses and their customers aren’t seeing eye-to-eye:

Personalization

As businesses grow smarter in their ability to understand their customers, offering unique, individualized interactions is increasingly important. In fact, of the consumers surveyed, 21 percent rated personalization their top priority. Unfortunately, businesses do not share customer enthusiasm for personalization. Only 13 percent of organizations see it as a high priority for customer service strategies. Instead, businesses are leaning towards offering easy access to information regarding any given issue (24 percent).

Adapting to New Tools

Despite alignment on the value of traditional channels such as agent-assisted phone calls, the research uncovered a disconnect between consumers and businesses in how to best approach new channels, like online chat. The study showed that while 39 percent of consumers placed online chat as one of their most preferred channels of engagement, only 16 percent of businesses echoed that support.

What’s Next?

As expectations shift based on new, innovative technologies, businesses will need an agile cloud customer experience platform to enable a truly seamless omnichannel experience. Technology can help companies to fully understand, prepare for, and meet the needs of today’s consumers. It can also help businesses close the gap between perception and reality, while staying flexible enough to continuously prepare for the future.


This article originally appeared in Contact Center World, read it in its entirety.