Optimizing the Omni-Channel Customer Experience
With new channels of interaction being explored by both customers and companies alike, the concept of the “omni-channel customer experience” has become a hot topic. For field service organizations, the impact is more far-reaching than the traditional definition of omni-channel – which states that customers should have a consistent experience across every digital interaction with a company.
Field service organizations interact with customers through many channels, mediums, and methods, from in-person service to phone support, self-service forums, online chats, and more – and therefore the focus should be on creating a consistent “omni-experience” at every interaction point, online or off.
Astea partnered with TSIA for a webinar called “Optimizing the Omni-Channel Customer Experience”, where we took a closer look at which channels customers prefer to use for field service support, and how those preferences are evolving. We also discussed how field service organizations are adapting to take advantage of new channels that increase customer satisfaction and lower costs.
TSIA shared interesting findings on the go-to channels customers use for service issues:
- Top-ranking (averaging 83% across age groups) was Google search. This means that it is important for field service organizations to search-index their online self-service and community content, so that when customers search about their problem, they land on the right solution.
- Next preferred was Self-Service – although shifts are occurring. 60% of respondents ages 37-50 (and 56% of those ages 51-60) prefer self-service, compared to only 33% in the 26-36 age range. This younger age demographic looks to online communities more often, indicating that those forums will become important in next-gen customer experience strategies for field service.
- Social media is becoming a viable channel for support. TSIA stated that about half of their members offer some form of social media support today. While usage was mixed across age demographics, 22% of respondents ages 26-36 prefer Twitter – another indicator of future growth in that channel.
The webinar also explored some of the biggest challenges and opportunities field service organizations face in optimizing the “omni-experience.” Top considerations include:
- Seamless Access to Support – the need to ensure enough resources are allocated to new channels to uphold SLAs, and the same quality of service delivered in other channels.
- Consistent Support Experience – whether they call, email, or search your site, it is important for customers to experience consistent performance across channels.
- Channel Integration – there is often a tendency to add channels one at a time without integration. For example, TSIA noted only 26% of companies integrated their online communities into their CRM, so cross-channel insights cannot be gained.
All this points to the reality that today’s consumers can seamlessly cross from physical to digital mediums and back – but company processes, information, and technology cannot move as easily. It takes a carefully planned strategy to move up the omni-channel maturity curve to a truly consumer-centric, integrated field service enterprise.
To learn more about the ways your field service organization can optimize its own omni-channel customer experience, check out the full TSIA / Astea webinar recording below:
Listen to “Optimizing the Omni-Channel Customer Experience” webinar