The Future of Digital Engagement: Larry Freed on Omnichannel Customer Service [Series]
Digital engagement is transforming customer service, and elevating the expectations of online and cross-channel shoppers. LivePerson interviewed 10 respected industry experts to help evaluate trends and predictions for the coming year. This is the first post in our series, spotlighting insight from Larry Freed (@larryfreed), President and CEO of ForeSee, on the importance of a focus on the customer experience that engages across all channels.
Today’s consumer uses multiple channels to connect with brands and make purchases. They consult social networks, perform online research, check-in via mobile, call into contact centers, and step inside retail shops. All of these experiences combined create one brand experience that spans across several devices and networks.
While consumers easily function across channels, businesses’ traditional, single-channel customer services (and reporting metrics) have not kept up. To succeed in an increasingly competitive environment where consumers are in control, loyalty is critical. Measuring the customer experience across channels is more important than it has ever been.
My prediction for 2014 is that the best-in-class companies will deliver channel agnostic customer experiences and intelligence, pushing customer experience management to its limit. Here are some of my key takeaways for delivering the omnichannel customer experience:
1. Reach Across Departmental Barriers
Managing the customer experience across multiple channels is easier said than done. It requires that traditionally segmented organizational “departments” function around the entire customer experience, sharing customer insights in real time. Another challenge to omnichannel customer engagement is in integrating technology—if service is to be customer centric, then customer data must be accessible across the whole organization. A fully integrated customer experience must be reflected internally, sometimes blurring the lines between marketing, sales and service.
2. Give All Customers the Same Level of Service
All customers expect the same level of service, quality and overall experience regardless of channel, at each stage in the customer journey. Here are some questions to guide an assessment of your brand’s customer experience:
- What path do your customers take through the cross-channel experience?
- What are consumer preferences, expectations and needs within each channel? Are they being met?
Where are efforts best focused to improve customer experience?
3. Make Your Success Measurable
For companies to deliver an omnichannel experience, they need to measure it. By measuring success through the eyes of the consumer, an organization is able to focus on the success of the experience within a channel, which is a much more predictive measurement.
Interested in more on the future of digital engagement?
Download the full ebook to read more from Larry Freed and other thought leaders in the digital marketing space—The Future of Digital Engagement: 10 Thought Leaders Share Predictions for 2014.