Speed is Leading Indicator of Great Customer Experiences No Matter the Channel

When it comes to delivering exceptional customer experiences, true omnichannel service and quick resolution go hand-in-hand. While the CX Transformation Benchmark Study reveals the emphasis customers place on wanting omnichannel service, it also found that the leading indicator of successful customer service is speed. Customers place resolving issues in the quickest way possible as their top driver of channel performance – whether agent assisted or self-service.

While demand for fast resolution across channels isn’t exactly surprising, what is surprising is the level of proactivity consumers expect from businesses. Of those surveyed, 87 percent stated that they expect companies to point them to the channel that will resolve the situation the fastest. If their current channel won’t get the job done, the onus is on businesses to redirect customers to the channel most likely to do so, whether that be live representative phone calls, emails or online chat. And, customers want a seamless transition between channels – 72% expect to be able to continue talking with the same representative on the phone as they were talking with via online chat.

Even an otherwise pleasant experience can leave consumers feeling negative toward businesses if it takes too long to resolve. How can businesses optimize their customer service for speed, while balancing the need for personalized, engaging touchpoints across all channels? Here are a few recommendations:

Streamline Agent Effort for Faster, Better Customer Experience

Streamlining agent effort is critical. Even with growth in self-service channels, agent-assisted interactions remain the most important driver of customer experience. Our recent CX Transformation Benchmark uncovered what we call the two-thirds rule: 1) over two-thirds of all customer service interactions, or total volume, are with live customer service agents (e.g. voice or chat); 2) over two-thirds of customers prefer agent assistance over self-service; and 3) over two-thirds of self-service interactions also end up involving agent assistance.

Modern cloud customer experience technology can empower agents to be more efficient and effective, so issues can be resolved as quickly as possible through a contextual and personalized experience. When agents have the tools they need to improve performance, it also leads to better agent experiences and improved agent satisfaction – which ultimately improves their ability to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Improve Channel Transitions

Consider this scenario. A customer initiates an inquiry via online chat, and the business recommends engaging via phone with a live representative to speed up the process and more adequately serve the customer. Following this directive, the customer reaches out via phone. It is critical, at this stage, that the representative has available the customer journey to date, so the customer doesn’t need to re-explain or provide additional context for the inquiry – leading to a speedier and less frustrating resolution. While providing the customer context and history to a new agent when the customer calls in is an important step many contact centers have not yet mastered, the most seamless scenario is for the customer to never have to place that call. By enabling the agent to call the customer who they are talking with on chat, the conversation can continue – leading to the speediest and lowest effort resolution.

While building a channel environment that works together cohesively is important for a host of reasons, it is the ability to support customers’ desire for speedy resolutions that confirms the need for businesses to make seamless omnichannel a top priority.

Remember, Speedy Resolution Outweighs the Rest

Consumers commend businesses for quick and easy resolution from helpful agents. With this in mind, businesses can improve performance by using modern cloud customer experience technology that enables their customer service staff to provide speedy, seamless omnichannel support. This foundation creates a customer journey which is not only engaging, but also quickly and effectively meets customer expectations.

Read this article in its entirety at ICMI.com.