Closing the Perception Gap Between Consumers and Customer Support

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wonder satisfaction rates are declining.

Knowing this, many brands are focusing efforts on improving the phone channel. But to truly improve every interaction, across every channel, brands need to have an omnichannel approach. When brands neglect to look at the whole picture, customers don't get the experience they desire and the perception gap widens.

Closing the Gap with New Strategies

The goal to closing the perception gap and improving satisfaction rates is to overlay a positive experience across each channel, one that creates a consistent branded experience and delivers on the brand promise.

On the surface, this looks like a daunting task. How can a brand cost-effectively address these vastly different service channels and create one consistent experience?

The key lies in creating a "less-effort" experience for customers, regardless of which channel they choose to interact with first.

One way to do this is to overlay a customer callback function across every channel. This not only decreases the customer's "failure" rate on the Web, mobile app, or other channels, but it also creates a much more positive experience for the phone channel, helping to improve perceptions about the contact center and the brand.

It puts the responsibility for connecting with the customer back on the brand—which makes customers feel like they aren't chasing the brand for support or service. All this combined has shown to improve satisfaction metrics—and can be easily implemented without requiring a complex systems overhaul.

Reducing Effort and Frustration through Consistent Experiences

Consumers have common demands: Don't make me input data more than once, don't leave me on hold, and solve my problem the first time.

Omnichannel callback combines traditional IVR and callback capabilities with contextual data and cross-channel support, allowing consumers to request a return voice call from any channel, input data once and eliminate the need to stay on hold. This enforces consistency and the brand promise—which is to make the service and support experience positive, requiring less effort on the consumer's part.

In addition, data from disparate channels gives agents context prior to the callback. This information allows agents to see what channels a customer has already tried, and what issue they are looking to solve, helping to resolve issues quickly, without duplicate questions.

Omnichannel callback solutions have been shown to positively impact first contact resolution (FCR), which has a direct correlation to customer loyalty. Improving FCR begins with solving the customer's issue at the point of initial contact. With omnichannel callback, FCR goes beyond this into next-issue-avoidance by leveraging omnichannel tools, data, and empathy for the customer to decrease the need for future customer queries.

According to CEB, it is expected that more than 50 percent of all contact centers will move to omnichannel solutions within the next five to seven years. By rolling out omnichannel callback across channels, brands can make the first step in creating a consistent, positive experience and move the brand perception back toward the positive.

Alain Mowad is the director of product management for Virtual Hold Technology, where he manages core products and future initiatives.

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