Customer experience is no longer a mere transaction–it transcends the entire sales and customer service journey, distinguishing a business from its competitors—or setting its reputation back considerably. However, this experience does not exist in a vacuum. It is intimately tied to the ‘total experience’—the blend of technology, employee interactions, and the customer journey.
In the digital age, customers expect to reach companies through multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, or social media. The best cross-channel experience leaders understand that delivering quality support across each channel is crucial to establishing a rapport that builds brand loyalty. A cross-channel understanding of total interactions with context is what enables transformative results.
A recent survey conducted by Gartner Peer Insights found that 55% of respondents feel emotionally connected with a business when they can reach customer care through multiple channels. This highlights the importance of meeting customers where they are and backing up each channel with quality support.
More digital channels mean more options for your customers to self-select how they engage with your brand and provide new ways for your business to reach customers where and how they prefer to be engaged.
While the focus is often on customer experience regarding cross channel complexities, it is equally crucial to acknowledge and address the experiences and impacts of customer care agents, who are an integral part of the digital revolution.
Agents are the heart of your contact center and the best connectivity you have to the customer. They represent and influence brand, experience, solutions, and much more. But often they must navigate multiple disparate systems and technologies to deliver service… on top of these challenges with virtual and hybrid roles where they can no longer lean over their cubical wall to ask a senior agent or supervisor a question. If their experience is fragmented and difficult due to siloed data and resources, this can negatively impact their ability to deliver a seamless customer experience. Technology enablement is critical not only for the customer experience but for the employee experience that ultimately shapes the customer interaction.
To build an effective strategy, we have to think about how these worlds combine: customers, employees, technology, and digital experiences. The total experience considers the concert of these combined elements, recognizing that the smoothness of agent experience with technology will directly affect the quality of the customer experience. This impacts your ability to drive customer satisfaction and improve critical KPIs.
Key findings from the 2022 CX Leaders Trends and Insights Report illustrate these challenges most customer care organizations face:
- Fragmented systems and technologies contribute to total experience challenges. Legacy Systems/Processes/Tools and Labor Force/Staffing/Agent Performance top the biggest CX operations challenges faced by CX leaders. These deficits are passed on directly to the customer experience. In fact, a recent multi-national contact center study from Forrester Consulting commissioned by SuccessKPI echoed these challenges. The study revealed that 40% of survey respondents have limited success with CCaaS migration efforts with top reasons flagged as limited internal talent with new tech and complex internal IT landscape. A lack of comprehensive, user-friendly technology can hamper the ability of customer care agents to deliver a superior customer experience.
- CX leaders need solutions that give insights and capabilities to act on the increasing complexity of multichannel customer journeys. The Forrester Consulting Study similarly found that 75% think playbook-based automation and insights to understand the customer journey and drive business outcomes is amongst the top three capabilities in contact center success.
- Every year new digital channels are being added and expanded to reach customers. But at the same time, roughly half of organizations still do not have specific initiatives in place to address cross-channel customer journeys.
- 37% of CX leaders reported that critical KPIs have declined or remained the same – we see a link between this and the previous findings which indicated gaps in the CX tech stack and a lack of traction in multi-channel initiatives.
The Forrester Consulting study also highlighted that 70% of respondents said optimizing the performance of a cloud contact center is critical for business success. But due to cloud migration complexities, an even larger majority, 79%, indicated that the right cloud toolset is critical to making their cloud contact center perform to its potential.
Addressing these challenges with the right cloud-native toolset and experience-minded partners can power competitive advantage and outcomes-focused digital transformation. Moving your contact center tools and technology—your experience engine—into the cloud with the right toolset provides the opportunity for many incredible outcomes:
- For care agents, you can harness toolsets to simplify navigation and management of customer interactions.
- For customers, you can enhance the overall quality and speed of service.
- Cloud-native toolsets also offer the ability to pivot or scale in any direction, unlike their legacy premise predecessors.
- Toolsets that harness AI for instant insights on real-time customer conversations across multiple channels also provide efficiency and advantages that can boost experience at every level.
- Implementing and increasing automation can quickly move your operation from manual quality monitoring (QM) that spans 1-3% of interactions to automated QM that enables you to understand every interaction. These insights at scale are not just powerful at a macro level. They are critical to the individual experience as well. You can leverage AI to take action on individual experiences (in the context of macro learnings) based on their unique and specific attributes, rather than just based on a small sample of learnings.
- Achieve an actionable understanding of the total experience journey by integrating with other key application data for a 360-degree view— single source of truth—on agents, customers, operations.
Wherever you are on your cloud journey, it is time to drive your contact center to its full potential and equip your team with optimization tools that help you make the most of your technology and resources.
SuccessKPI is a revolutionary insight & action platform that uses AI, analytics, data aggregation, and automation to remove the obstacles that contact center agents, managers, and executives face in providing a great customer experience. SuccessKPI’s platform and ACT’s Total Experience solutions are helping customers get cross-channel under control.