Why Omnichannel Should Be on Your Digital Customer Experience Priority List

By Robin Gareiss | December 13, 2018
Why Omnichannel Should be Your Digital Experience Priority

If customers are calling, emailing, or messaging a company with a problem, the last thing they need is a frustrating experience. They want to explain the problem, get resolution, and be on with their days.

The problem is, all too often, they are transferred between channels, bots, or agents and must repeat the same story from that day or from a previous call over and over again.

So as IT and business leaders develop their Digital Customer Experience (DCX) strategies, one initiative that is delivering measurable success is the addition of omnichannel capabilities to digital communications channels.

Omnichannel integrates customer data (transaction history, call notes, channel tracing, etc.) with each digital channel in real-time and historically. The result? Customers frustration declines, productivity increases, and agent turnover improves, among other benefits. Rather than customers rehashing the same story (and agents dealing with screaming customers), the information about them and their history follow them. The agent—or possibly the bot—can review that history and work quickly to resolve the problem.

In Nemertes’ 2018-19 Digital Customer Experience research study of nearly 700 global IT and business leaders, we found measurable success with omnichannel in several areas, including the following:

  • Across all success metrics, companies saw a 31% average improvement when they adopted omnichannel in their contact centers.
  • New customers won increased by 60%
  • Customer ratings improved by 52%
  • Customers used self-service in 49% more transactions or interactions
  • Agent turnover drops by nearly 15%

At this point, only about 36% of companies have a DCX strategy (though many are implementing isolated projects without a strategy). But another 49% are planning for one by the end of 2019. So there is and will continue to be a lot of activity in this space.

Business leaders are evaluating various projects and associated metrics to solve problems or leverage opportunities. Real-world metrics such as those shown above demonstrate the power of implementing omnichannel.

Importantly, organizations are devoting staff and finances to their DCX projects. On average, companies spend $1.7 million per year on new DCX initiatives, but that varies greatly based on the size of the organization.

What helps secure the budget is presenting data that shows where problems or opportunities exist. Budgeting time to consider how the organization will use analytics tools is an important step in strategic development. The information gleaned from those tools help demonstrate the need for omnichannel. Once implemented, analytics provide further value by documenting success and pointing out areas of concern.

As organizations continue on their omnichannel path, a few best practices help improve success. They include:

  • Using cloud-based platforms to enable agility
  • Leveraging open APIs to customize and improve by ensuring integration applies not only to the contact center provider’s channels, but also to third parties
  • Planning for artificial intelligence to gain competitive advantage

To learn more about omnichannel in the contact center and the associated research data, watch Nemertes’ webinar for Serenova.

Robin Gareiss is President and Founder of Nemertes Research, where she oversees research product development, conducts primary research, and advises leading enterprises, vendors, and carriers. For 25+ years, Ms. Gareiss has advised hundreds of senior IT executives, ranging in size from Fortune 100 to Fortune 2000, developing technology strategies and analyzing how they can transform their businesses. She has developed industry-leading, interactive cost models for some of the world’s largest enterprises and vendors.