2016’s Top Trend: Omni-Channel

The holiday season is upon us, and air travel is likely in many of our futures. Imagine this: you’ve made it to the airport only to discover your flight has been delayed for hours. You need  a new flight. For most travelers, there are three options: wait in line at the airline’s ticket desk, dial the airline’s customer service line, or seethe quietly at the airport bar.

In a perfect world, what would you want to happen?

If you’re like me, you’d want to rebook your flight immediately with no hassle — no waiting in line, no pressing 1 to speak with a representative.

Today’s service providers understand their customers’ evolving demands for seamless, more personalized service via their channel of choice. For any customer service organization, embracing an omni-channel service philosophy should be a top priority.

If you’re leading the customer service strategy at your organization and are considering (or already have) an omni-channel presence, consider the following questions:

  1. Can anyone from customer service record and see customer interactions on a unified contact interface, regardless of the customer’s original contact channel or case type?
  2. Do agents rarely have to log into a different system or request customer information from an internal group to complete a case?
  3. Do sales, service, and marketing have full visibility of each other’s interactions with the customer?

If you answered yes to these, you’re on the right track. Visibility and accessibility are key to establishing omni-channel service. Likewise, emerging customer contact channels — video, SMS, self-service portals, and mobile apps — should be a part of your tracking and service strategy rather than just traditional phone and email channels.

If you’re looking to improve your omni-channel processes, and your organization is already using Service Cloud, tools like Case Feed or Omni-Channel can help your organization easily manage multiple channels in a single location. Case Feed allows agents to view all interactions related to an individual case in a single view; Omni-Channel lets managers automatically assign cases to agents based on expertise, case priority or presence, reducing the amount of time cases are sitting idle in a queue.

When defining your organization’s case management process, consider how each channel is different and what you can leverage to create a consistent experience and keep your customers happy. By embracing an omni-channel service philosophy, your organization could become the next service leader of 2016.  

Register for the webcast Emerging Customer Service Trends of 2016, hosted by Bluewolf and NewVoiceMedia, to learn what defines 2016’s service leaders and how you can come out on top.
Bob Furniss
Bob Furniss

Bob leads the Service Cloud consulting practice at Bluewolf as customer care practice director. His team works with clients in three key areas: Service Cloud strategy/implementation; social media strategy/implementation; and creating vision blueprints to help companies set a new course for their contact centers in the areas of people and technology. Bluewolf is one of only two companies in the world to receive FullForce Master for Service from Salesforce. Bob was named as a Top 50 #cctr Thought Leader on Twitter by ICMI.

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