The Realities of True Omni-channel Service
In a recent CRMXchange article analyzing how businesses are transitioning to Cloud and multi-channel service, experts from leading solution providers examined the top concerns and challenges. Clicktools’ Customer Success Director, Oliver Taylor, participated in the experts’ panel.
The four panelists weighed in on why agents must now have customer data at their fingertips, the state of integration between Cloud and CRM applications, and how these things affect true omni-channel service. They also discussed the need for companies to improve how technology serves (rather than burdens) their customers, including optimizing mobile options.
All panelists agreed that customers now expect excellent (not good) service – which means scoring high points in the areas of immediacy, accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. This is a tall order, of course, but the article offered strategies (and hope).
We’ve isolated Oliver Taylor’s contribution to the article here:
- Why has it become more important than ever for agents to have complete customer information instantly accessible to provide better cross-channel service?
In today’s customer-first culture, it’s increasingly critical for companies to prove to their customers that they’re known, heard, and appreciated. People expect personalized service. Recent studies show that customers now make buying decisions based more on customer experience than on product preference. In other words, they will discontinue their relationship with you, even if they like your products. As such, when they interact with you, agents must be equipped with information (ideally, via the CRM solution) that reveals that customer’s entire experience. Success in this environment requires the elimination of data silos.
- With recent security issues in the news, do you think that organizations will be less likely to migrate their applications to the cloud?
No, Cloud solutions are widely accepted as completely safe and secure. That said, companies should do their due diligence and verify that Cloud vendors maintain proper security certifications. For example, the Clicktools application is ISO27001 certified, which means that we meet stringent requirements under the protections of the international standard for information security. That’s one reason why organizations such as Barclays, Standard and Poors, Pitney Bowes, Taser, and many others trust us with their customer feedback data.
- How can CRM applications be seamlessly integrated with cloud applications?
The sky’s the limit. In our case, the Clicktools application seamlessly integrates with the leading CRM solutions, so that customer feedback can be automatically centralized with the bulk of other customer data. Notably, this integration can be performed by a non-technical user via a point-and-click interface. It’s our mantra that all customer data belongs in CRM, so regardless of what Cloud solutions a company uses, if they collect customer information they should integrate it with CRM for optimal usage and analysis of that data.
- What steps do organizations need to take to meet rising customer expectations for a seamless omni-channel service?
First and foremost, centralize all customer information and insights in CRM. This includes feedback from surveys, support cases, sales interactions, and data collected by marketing programs and social media. Anyone who interacts with customers should have full visibility along the customer’s journey, so that they can communicate in-context – knowledgeably and confidently serving to meet each customer’s unique needs.
- With the growing domination of smartphones and tablets, how important is it to optimize service options on all channels to be more responsive to mobile customers?
Mobile is a key piece of the seamless omni-channel experience that customers expect. People are inseparable from their devices and this isn’t going to change. Plus, the lines between personal and business technologies have not just blurred, they’ve blended into one. Most business people use a single handheld device to conduct all mobile transactions – whether for work or personal. Particularly B2B companies that formerly relegated these devices to the realm of the personal are now scrambling to make their products and services easily accessible in a mobile-friendly environment.