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Is omni-channel essential for delivering a great cx?

27th July 2017

How many times have you read customer experience experts talking about how it is essential to deliver an amazing or a memorable customer experience? How many times have you read that you need to embrace omni-channel service if you want to encourage better customer loyalty?

If, like me, you follow what customer service analysts and experts are saying then you will have heard these calls to action many times. However, I recently saw some research published by SAP that explores the confusion around omni-channel perfection and customer experience.

The study surveyed 2,000 customers in the USA, Canada, and Europe. What really stood out for me is that customers prioritise quite basic needs and although we often talk about the need for a highly detailed omni-channel environment, this is less important than just getting the basics right. For example, the top three attributes of a great customer experience are considered to be as follows:

  1. Fast response time – 52%
  2. Knowledgeable staff ready to help me – 47%
  3. Rewards for my loyalty – 42%

Now look at the attributes that are not so important:

  1. An always-on automated service – 8%
  2. Branded social communities for engaging with other customers – 9%
  3. Multiple touchpoints that add value – 10%
  4. Recognising my history at every touchpoint – 12%

In some ways, this runs counter to the conventional wisdom. Customers do want their history to be recognised even if this research suggests that it is not very important. But think how annoying it is when you get handed from one advisor to another and you need to repeat all your details. Or when you call and nobody knows anything about the emails you have sent.

I think that this research devalues just how important an omni-channel approach really is, however I would agree with the more basic point – if you don’t deliver on the basics then that will annoy the customer much faster than any omni-channel failings. If you can’t help quickly with knowledgeable people and reward regular customers then you really do have more problems than delivering a great omni-channel solution, so that’s how I would read these results. Get the basics right because customers always expect more. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment here, or get in touch on LinkedIn.

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David Turner
Article by: David Turner

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