Ross Haskell, Senior Director, Products, at BoldChat argues that customer engagement is moving on from multichannel choice, to omnichannel problem-solving
The way that retailers communicate with their customers is starting to change. Until recently the priority was ‘channel choice’ – offering customers a myriad of ways to shop and connect. Shoppers could ask questions via live chat, email, social media channels, telephone, and more – and do all this from home or on the go via their mobile device. The result of all these choices was that the decision-making burden for picking the best channel – the one that will actually work – was placed on the shopper themselves. A more strategic approach is emerging and requires us, retailers and their vendors, to solve this problem on behalf of shoppers.
In a way, the era of choice is coming to an end. Consumers don’t want to grapple with a wide range of choices – they simply want their problem solved and limitless, multichannel choice might actually do more harm than good. What shoppers need are the right choices and it’s up to us to abstract away the complexity of those decisions. We already know, based on the summative history of all customer engagement, that certain problems can be more effectively solved via one channel or another. We also know that this isn’t universally true – based on demographics of the user, for example.
What we have to do is pay attention and tailor the choice of channel based on the context of the problem and historical evidence of effective problem solving. It’s not that we don’t need all the channels – we do. It’s just that not every customer needs every one of them all the time.
Consider a customer who has forgotten their password. Automated reminders or resets will likely be the most effective way to get them back on track. While a phone call may always solve the customer’s ‘what’s my password’ question, it may not be the most convenient route for the customer, and is likely to prove expensive for the retailer.
In the end, customers don’t think about channels or devices when engaging with their retailer. They use the device and channel that they have easy access to, and the one they believe will solve their problem quickly. Omnichannel, put simply, is what the consumer now expects as standard. The key to being successful in today’s landscape is offering the right channel to the right customer
at the right time.
BoldChat by LogMeIn , is a market-leading live chat and customer engagement solution that helps businesses quickly and effectively engage customers across online, mobile and social channels. BoldChat includes integrated omni-channel communications technologies like live chat, video chat, email management, SMS management, Twitter management, co-browsing and self service, giving customer service teams a single solution for managing customer conversations. As a result, organisations can provide a better overall customer experience, improving conversions, building loyalty and boosting CSAT like never before. www.boldchat.com