Tina Parekh puts aside the hype and asks: are retailers managing to deliver an Omni-Channel experience?
As a consumer, a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a product (the details of which are not important) from a well-known and large in size retail brand. While using it in it’s fairly new state, part of it broke, proving the product as faulty and delivering a poor customer experience.
After spending a fair amount of money on this product, I was left feeling short-changed and so decided to complain to their customer service department.
My first channel of choice was Twitter, as companies usually react quickly to publicised issues. Working within the customer service technology sector, I was well aware of how this should unfold, but was equally intrigued as to whether a large corporation had the right sort of software in place to efficiently deal with an unhappy customer, such as myself.
Unfortunately, their social media customer service team did not manage to reply within a generous 24-hour period.
Growing impatient, I decided to email their customer service desk the following day, to see if they would deliver a better response rate. Indeed, they did. Replying within the same day, they apologised for my misfortune and offered me a replacement product in exchange for my details, along with the product code from the packaging. All of which I provided, no problem.
A couple of hours later, a cheerful Jade from their social media customer service team, responded to me via twitter and asked that I direct message them to talk in further detail. Delighted to have caught their attention in a sea of noise, I did as she asked and had a pleasant conversation with Jade, who also asked for my details and the product code.
It was at this moment that I expected either Jade; the email team or the company’s software system, to cross reference the product code and/or my details and identify that I was in fact, one in the same customer, appealing to them via two different channels of communication. Although this is extremely common customer behaviour in today’s generation, this moment did not come.
What actually happened was that both Jade and the email team sent me a replacement product and I ended up with twice the number of products than I had hoped for. Win for me. But, not for the company.
What this tells me about the company’s contact centre is that they are operating in silos that do not communicate or integrate with one another in any way. Apart from costing the company extra money in sending out twice the amount of compensation, they are also losing efficiency in having two agents carrying out the same activity with one customer.
If they had deployed a software solution, such as mplsystems’ omni-channel contact centre technology, the system would have carried out this cross reference of customer details and/or product code and then grouped the activities from the same customer to prevent duplicating workload and incurring the cost of posting out more than they needed to for compensation.
This is, in fact, a very common occurrence for companies and if supervisors stopped to measure how much money and time they are losing in instances such as these, they would be able to take action in deploying smarter technology to provide a more seamless experience, both for the customers and the agents, while making incredible long term savings.
Find out more by visiting mplsystems.co.uk