From videoconferencing to text to social media and beyond, innovations in communications technology are promoting efficiency and productivity within businesses. The benefits of workers connecting on the go and across a number of channels can make a big impact on a business’s bottom line. Those benefits can be extended outside the company, as well. Always-on, multi-channel communications can help build a unique customer experience, setting your business apart and fostering consumer loyalty.
Make customer service everyone’s job
When every employee is connected within a company, they’re all within easy reach of the customer contact center. That can make for a more satisfying experience for a consumer with an issue.
“Customers want to connect with someone who can help them immediately,” Stefan Captijn wrote on Business 2 Community.
With unified communications, determining the availability of and contacting that person is a snap. Customer service reps that can see the “Presence” of all employees can identify a company expert on whatever issue is at hand, determine their availability and instantly reach out to the right person in real-time.
“This allows for 3rd line support engineers, personal bankers, account managers, branch offices and even home workers to be a logical extension of the customer service organization,” wrote Captijn.
Weave channels together
These days, consumers expect to be able to reach a company through many different channels, including social media, email and phone. The more channels, the more opportunities for customers. However, when each channel is a silo, it can be frustrating for a customer who, say, begins an interaction on Facebook but calls in to continue the conversation.
“Customers expect service to be agile—that is, being able to start an interaction in one communication channel or touchpoint and complete it in another,” wrote Kate Leggett for Forrester. “Each interaction should convey consistent and personalized data and contextual knowledge and information to the customer.”
It is vital that companies leverage both technology and processes that will effectively tie these channels together. For example, when every exchange is accessible to service reps across all channels, customers receive a more personalized and gratifying experience.
Provide 24/7 support
Increasingly, mobile is the channel through which organizations and their customers are interacting. According to Inc.com, 78% of consumers used mobile apps for customer service in 2011.
Ensuring that the virtual front door of the business remains open when consumers want it to be is key in delivering a great experience. “In other words,” wrote Wendy Lea for Inc.com, “if you’re not engaging your customers on-the-go—in the context of their daily lives—you’re essentially neglecting them, or are at least missing an opportunity to nurture the relationship through an open, honest interaction.”
In-app customer service options can include live chatting with an expert, video tutorials or even transactions–such as the ability to make purchases, refill prescriptions or make a reservation. These are the kinds of services that customers will notice, value and come back for- setting your company apart from the rest.
Manage wait time
No matter what service options you provide for your customers, don’t make them wait. Indeed, waiting is the bane of the customer service experience. Whether on hold via phone or standing in line, anything that can shorten the wait makes people happy.
Some hospitals have taken to using real-time outbound communications to provide updates on one of the most infamous waits consumers face: the ER waiting room. Michigan’s Metro Health and Memorial Hospital in Florida, for example, have implemented ER texting, delivering wait times for nearby ERs.
“The technology optimizes the mix of patients that arrive in the ER and helps hospitals manage their patient load,” reported Fast Company. “For customers, knowing the wait will be excruciating may diminish the mental struggle over whether to go to the ER.”
The outcome of the technology is clear. The system has helped land Metro Health’s ER in the top 5% for patient satisfaction nationwide.
Create an everywhere experience
In order to create terrific customer experiences that build long-term loyalty, innovative communications solutions must extend beyond the workforce and into the public. Everywhere worker, meet the everywhere customer. Together, with a great communications strategy, they can create the everywhere customer experience.
For insights into how OpenScape Contact Center can deliver an unparalleled experience, watch below: