- 90% of more than 2,000 consumers surveyed said they expect customer service consistency and continuity — such as picking up with a same-issue discussion where they last left off — but just 39% currently receive it.
- 89% are annoyed by having to repeat themselves and their issues across channels.
- 61% have not been able to easily switch from one channel to another when interacting with customer service.
Specific to retail:
- Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents to a Rethinking Retail study said consistency across online and physical stores was important.
- 69% said consistency affects their loyalty to a brand.
So, beyond providing multichannel service and engagement, what can brands and organizations to make the multichannel customer’s journey more consistent?
Here are 3 tips:
- Create a Knowledge Hub. While many companies are content to offer content only on their corporate website, best-in-class service providers are using knowledge as a cross-channel connector, delivering current and consistent answers and information across channels in a variety of ways. This includes feeding their knowledgebase content onto social media properties, indexing their content for the search engines, and directing customers calling for information on trending issues (for example, service outages) to fast online answers using their hold or IVR messaging or other communication tools.Agents are also using these same knowledgebases internally to ensure that they are providing information that is consistent and current with what the customer may be finding online.
- Know Your Customers. Keep a real-time record and view of your customer’s service interactions, purchases and feedback across all channels using a unified CRM solution. If you don’t, you’ll frustrate your customers by making them repeat their information every time they reengage with your organization via a different channel, and your staff will waste time by gathering the same data over and over. Forrester reports that 58% of companies inconsistently measure, or fail to measure their customer’s cross channel journey. And this could be a prime reason why, even though brands are offering service and engagement on more and more channels, customer satisfaction scores are on the decline (from 82.1% in 2011 to 77.6% in 2013/14).
- Keep Your Promise. A great starting point for making a customer journey consistent across channels is making sure communications, messaging and brand promises are consistent across channels. According to the Accenture 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey, 84% of more than 13,000 global consumers surveyed said they were frustrated by companies that promised one thing, but delivered another.One of the 10 Things Customer Obsessed Companies do differently is align brand strategy with the customer experience. They don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk, creating a noted differentiator as evidenced by a poll of Forrester’s Customer Experience Council which revealed just 18% currently align customer experience with the brand strategy, a necessity in creating consistent positive customer/brand interactions and conformational messaging.
“If you want to build intense customer loyalty, says Shep Hyken, author of Amaze Every Customer Every Time, “in addition to all of the customer service you deliver, you must also be predictably consistent. If there is inconsistency in product quality or customer service, the customer loses confidence because they don’t know what to expect.”
According to a NICE Consumer Channel Preference Survey, consumers on are now using six different channels on average to contact service providers, and 86% say that they are communicating more often with businesses over all major channels, using the one that’s most convenient at any given time. Consistency is key in the customer journey, no matter what road each individual takes to connect.