How Mobile Killed Omnichannel…and Why We Love It

Posted by
Matan Magril
LivePerson Contributor
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 12:23

Today’s consumers are always on the go. They hail Ubers before walking out of the office and order dinner via Seamless on the way home. They expect everything to be on demand, within their reach, and available 24/7. When it comes to brand communications, they certainly don’t have time to waste calling 1-800 numbers and waiting on hold.

Years ago, the most talked-about buzzword was “omnichannel.” And while the term may speak to your organizational structure, it doesn’t speak to consumers. Conducting research on the web, then jumping to social to interact with a community, and finally dialing a telephone number for customer service feels anything but seamless. It’s a far too frustrating and time-consuming process. The experience overcomplicates everything that can — and should! — be done directly on your smartphone.

That’s why we’re exposing omnichannel for what it really is: a disjointed experience that leaves consumers feeling inconvenienced, frustrated, and powerless.

Today, 80% of consumers turn to their smartphones whenever they need something. They expect their favorite brands to be in their pockets waiting to help them at all times. Mobile offers a more personal experience and connects them to a human being faster. Bottom line: It’s the channel of choice — and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Mobile’s omnichannel takedown.

Omnichannel just isn’t working out. Brands spread themselves too thin across multiple channels, leaving consumers unhelped, unhappy, and unsatisfied.

>> Related read: Why It’s Time to Stop Saying Omnichannel

Mobile, to the rescue! It simplifies the customer journey and it can happen anytime, anywhere for the always-on consumer: Nearly 80% of users reported they kept their phone with them for all but two hours of their waking moments. That’s a lot of screen time!

Mobile eliminates any need for cross-channel communication. From start to finish, consumers can keep their experience within one platform. This lets brands have a continuous connection with their customers and keep the context in every conversation.

Messaging rides the mobile wave.

Mobile owes its rise to power in no small part to the prevalence of messaging. Approximately 75% of internet users use messaging services. And mobile replaces omnichannel as messaging apps have transformed the digital experience — and are becoming more intelligent every day. We no longer have to call a 1-800 number and wait on hold, listening to soft jazz on endless loop, to reach someone on the other end. Now, consumers only need to open a browser or mobile app to message whatever brand they need and chat with another human with just a few taps on their phone.

>> Related read: 21 Ways to Start Your Chat on a Better Note

The numbers are on our side: More than 60% of the top-used apps globally are messaging apps. A recent LivePerson-sponsored IDC InfoBrief dives a little deeper:

  • The average mobile device in the United States has almost eight social/messaging apps.
  • 68% of smartphone users access messaging apps at least once per month.
  • The average user checks messaging apps five times per day.
  • The average user also spends 84% of their communication time on digital channels (versus only 16% on phone calls).

We anticipated the need for messaging years ago and excitedly watched consumer demand pick up. The LiveEngage solution lets customer care professionals (CCPs) chat with consumers and even take control of their screen to resolve an issue or navigate a mobile site remotely. This helps increase operational efficiency and build more meaningful connections. Mobile enables a seamless, convenient experience that meets and exceeds consumer expectations — thus boosting satisfaction and increasing brand loyalty. Unlike a phone call, messaging fosters a sense that the consumer is always connected — that another person is just a click away. Which brings me to my next point...

CX needs to be data-driven but human-led.

In today’s customer-centric experience, every detail and data point matters.

To optimize performance, brands need access to real-time data to analyze the sum of every interaction, tailor the experience to consumers’ wants and needs, and improve human-to-human relationships. Analytics drive a deeper understanding of consumer preferences, putting their interests at the center of this experience. And a thorough analysis of this data reveals patterns that can help brands established more meaningful connections.  

Luckily, messaging not only lets brands engage more conveniently but also more intelligently. New ways of communication mean new methods of analytics. And these tools are smarter and more comprehensive than ever. Just look at our Meaningful Connection Score, which flags positive, negative, and neutral keywords to evaluate consumer sentiment in real time, so CCPs can turn conversations around if they start heading south. As analytics improve, CCPs have a more inclusive understanding of the consumer and are able to offer better support.

The one constant? A human is always intimately involved.

There’s been a lot of talk about bots since Mark Zuckerberg’s big F8 announcement that Facebook’s 1.65+ billion monthly active users could now connect directly to brands via Messenger. The influx of chatbots on the scene demonstrates “big social’s” investment in messaging. But to take full advantage, brands need to know when to bot and when to not. Sometimes, you just need a live person.

The #1 thing to know about mobile messaging.

At the end of the day, nurturing a secure and meaningful connection comes down to balancing human and tech.

Each consumer is different, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all formula, and the one-to-many messaging strategy is no longer viable. Sure, for mundane tasks, chatbots are here to help brands capitalize on every touch point and free CCPs up for the more difficult requests. But when it comes right down to it, consumers crave a human-to-human connection. Offering one that balances the right amount of emotion, understanding of the situation, and technical know-how will build long-lasting, loyal relationships.

The mobile experience is the one consumers want: convenient, seamless, intelligent, and personal. Brands that offer it will rise above the rest. Those that don’t will get lost in a sea of other channels.

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