What happens when a brand treats a customer to a VIP experience on their website but makes them feel like just another number in their contact center queue? Or when a brand expects a customer to start from scratch when they follow up on a prior request? Many consumers are jaded and they have learned to expect inconsistency in experiences based on channel, time of day and certainly line of business. When brands stumble and reinforce this expectation of inconsistency, the brand is devalued in the eyes of the customer.
In our hyperconnected, one-click-ordering world, consumers can access the products and services they need in more ways and more seamlessly than ever before. This creates a challenge for brands. Delivering a consistent level of experience is harder now than ever before and it’s not going away. New channels and media capabilities are compounding the difficulty of what was already a monumental challenge.
On the flip side, companies that are able to harness that hyperconnectivity and use it to their advantage, can deliver truly iconic experiences that are seamless, reliable and authentically ‘on-brand’ every time. This puts them in a much stronger position to inspire loyalty, trust and advocacy.
But to achieve that level of excellence, it’s important to understand the barriers to delivering a consistent brand experience across customer touchpoints.
Obstacle # 1: Channel-centric thinking
Traditionally, each channel had a distinct purpose. Websites are for telling the brand story, merchandising and potentially a distribution channel. Call centers were invented and have grown to increase availability of people that can answer customers’ questions and resolve their complaints. Social channels are typically used to understand the social conversation around a brand and to quickly intervene if necessary to amplify good news and dampen propagation of bad news. And now we have messaging channels which provide a tremendous opportunity for being the lowest friction entry point for support with the consumer-friendly asynchronous model. Customers are now empowered to use virtually any platform or communication means to query, complain, buy, interact, share, rave, and collaborate. From the customer’s point of view, the boundaries between these channels aren’t blurred – they don’t exist at all.
Obstacle # 2: Channel proliferation
The glut of channels and growing availability of instant messaging, digital commerce and self-service capabilities are both an opportunity and risk for today’s brands. On one hand, companies have more scope to reach prospects, delight customers, deepen relationships and grow sales. On the other hand, every interaction has the potential to disappoint the customer, and injure the brand’s reputation.
It is understandable that companies have approached each new channel one-by-one, but allowing them to operate in silos is critically damaging to the brand. For example, running web chat separate from social media support will inevitably result in customer disappointment, since agents will lack complete context of the end-to-end customer journey. A fragmented, contradictory brand experience impairs future growth, so channel capabilities must be rapidly synchronized with service delivery in all other channels.
How to eliminate friction at the very start
At Koopid, we believe that brands should be free to focus on the one thing that all interactions have in common: the customer and their needs. Regardless of channel, time, media, tone or a variety of other factors, customers reach out with a goal in mind. They bring their needs and wants with them to each and every channel and the challenge is to make it simple and satisfying to interact with your brand.
At Koopid we work with brands across the world and this is how our conversations start: “What needs do customers bring to your contact center and digital channels, that you wish you could satisfy without a conversation?” These interactions are the ones that neither the company nor the customer finds value in having a live conversation. Both company and customer just want the need met…immediately and simply.
Greeting customers in their initial channel, making it extraordinarily simple to express their needs, and satisfying those needs in that channel, are the critical capabilities needed to align digital and voice channels from your customers’ perspective. Not only is this a huge perception win with your customers, because you now appear to provide a very consistent experience regardless of where the customer’s journey begins, but you also begin building the data that will fuel your future efforts to methodically remove friction AND align service delivery between channels.
This approach gradually shifts control over the service journey to your customers while steadily increasing the reliability that you are delivering the exact experience you have designed. And when customer needs require live assistance, trust there is no need for them to:
● Repeat themselves when they’re guided between channels.
● Go back to the beginning when they’re reaching out to follow up on an issue from a prior interaction.
● Suffer contradictory answers and information at each touchpoint.
● Feel lost or confused—they can always see where they are in the process and what will be done to reach the resolution they’re looking for (fixing a technical issue or tracking a package, for example).
How Koopid technology works
The Koopid Platform integrates to and extends the capabilities of existing contact center investments. This allows brands to build cohesive, contextually relevant brand experiences, one step at a time, without disrupting business or undergoing an extensive technology overhaul.
Using always-aware AI and automation, Koopid orchestrates the entire conversation and manages the flow of contextual data between channels, so that each interaction feels like part of one, harmonious brand experience. For example, when a customer initiates a dialog with a website chatbot, and then requires live support, an agent is joined into the middle of the existing conversation with full contextual understanding of the situation.
Are you ready to offer your customers a continuous, brand-aligned conversation across all channels? It is powerful, can be implemented in weeks and easily snaps into your existing contact center infrastructure. Contact us to learn more.