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Why you need omni-channel communications: Your own experience is a guide.

October 08

Why you need omni-channel communications: Your own experience is a guide.
Omni-channel communications refers to the channel model, where all of the data collected with a customer is immediately transferred to every other available communication channel.
For example, if a customer places an order on the phone with a customer rep, that person could also be simultaneously logged into the website order page to verify the order has been placed and scheduled for processing.
If you are wondering why you need to meet this expectation of immediacy, think about your own frustrations when this model isn't available. Who hasn't called in to a customer service site with a problem or issue which needs resolution. Let’s take a billing error as an example. You call the central 800 number, which takes you to a general customer service call center. You explain the problem you are having in considerable detail. Unfortunately the service representative can’t handle the issue because it requires an approval from the billing department, so they transfer your call to billing. You wait on hold for a while until the billing department representative comes online. They have no way of knowing what you told the customer service department, so you need to retell the story a second time. The solution is beyond his authority to resolve, so you are transferred to a department manager. Again, there is no tool for transferring your story, so you explain your problem a third time. By now you are more frustrated about the organization's complete inability to communicate within its different units than you were about the initial problem.
Do you do this to your customers? We have all had this experience and know how deeply frustrating it can be, so we should be able to empathize with our own clients if we create silos that create scenarios like these. Remember, there will always be times when we haven't lived up to customer expectations. Mistakes happen, but don’t create communication silos that make problem resolution another layer of problems.