Aligning customers, agents and colleagues to improve satisfaction & experience.

Written by Michael Smith on the 23rd of June, 2015

Having chaired the discussion panel a last Zendesk’s Art of Customer Satisfaction conference last week, I realised that omni-channel customer service is still work in progress for many high street brands . My learned panel was made up of the new and established retailers including ASDA, Pizza Express, Made.Com, Notonthehighstreet and leading UK retail consultancy, Savvy Marketing.

The rise of the smart-phone, tablet and the tech savvy user was seen as having changed the customer journey forever. Browsing, answering your own questions, live chat, or getting a rapid reaction via Twitter were seen by all as new imperatives.

Yet the consensus was that many retailers were still unable to track their consumers across channels real-time or maintain an up-to-date, single-view of every single customer interaction. In other words, customer engagement is still a reactive not proactive process.

The problem is not necessarily seeing the need for change but a lack of understanding of how to bring it about.

A siloed approach to bricks & mortar and digital (summed-up by a question from the audience: ‘how do you get traditional contact centre managers to take on additional digital channels such as chat or social on top of answering phones?’) makes omni-channel support look like a distant utopia.

And if you add to that an antiquated CRM and call-centre technologies and a reluctance for agents to do more than answer calls and you can begin to see why.

What was clear was that new entrants had a big advantage over larger competitors when it came to using technology to better improve service, differentiate and above all else control and derisk customer experience in multiple channels.

Technologies such as Zendesk have enabled seamless management of inbound regardless of device or channel. Self-management, knowledge-base, reporting and engagement tools have allowed a better understanding of customers needs and how to empower agents and colleagues to improve the way they are looked after.

This has allowed organisations to align their agents and colleagues with customers from the moment they start to browse online or instore or begin a conversation with you to the point of purchase and beyond.

Customising technology like Zendesk to meet the needs and requirements of an omni-channel business can be challenging but believe the panel and me, it could change the lives of your customers, agents and colleagues forever.

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