We should be striving to give our customers an effortless omni-channel experience. But a survey conducted by the Northridge Group showed that at least 50% of consumers say they don’t feel like companies make it easy to contact them across channels.

Many companies understand that for complex issues, the majority of customers still prefer to call into the contact center to resolve the issue by talking to someone directly. Companies understand and accept this, but to offset the costs, they are now trying to make it easier for customers to resolve non-complex issues themselves. This is where self-service offerings are very important.

The problem, though, is that self-service channels can be difficult for customers to use. This is because they are designed from a business’ perspective, not from the customers’. The business creates the experience based on what they want the customer to do and see; not on what the customer may actually want to do instead. In fact, according to Northridge Group, 57% of customers frequently have trouble finding answers on a company’s website.

So, if a customer can’t find what they need through your website, they are then forced to call you for even the simple issues – something they usually don’t want to do and don’t have time to do. To make matters worse, a call into your contact center can be very costly for your business. This is a lose-lose situation.

One way business are solving this is by adding a virtual agent to their website. Think of this as adding Google Search capabilities on top of your website – it allows customers to search through all the contents available on your website. This is a great offering, as when done right, it keeps the customer in the channel of their choice (the digital channel), and it is a cost-effective tool to manage. If a customer is still unable to resolve their issue through a virual agent, the online chat is their next option. If all else fails, they usually call into the contact center.

This is where it gets tricky. The customer has already tried to reach you through 2-3 other channels, and they are now frustrated when they are calling in. Your agent has to work really hard to turn around the customer’s sentiment and experience. This is costly for your business, and it doesn’t allow your agents to solve the complex customer issues that really don’t have a self-service resolution.

Bottom line: It is imperative make it easy for your customers to resolve their issues with you, across the entire end-to-end customer journey.

To learn how to do this, listen to our on-demand webinar, co-hosted with the Northridge Group: The Truth Behind Omni-Channel Customer Analytics

During this on-demand webinar, you will learn more about:

  • How customer needs change across the different service channels, including social media
  • Current trends in creating an end-to-end, omni-channel customer experience
  • Best practices and practical strategies for meeting customer needs