Assessing omnichannel customer service readiness with our new Everest Group checklist

Posted May 18, 2017

Omnichannel is often described as the Holy Grail of customer service. By providing customers a seamless interaction at all touch points in their journey, contact centers transform from cost centers to revenue drivers, gaining impressive top-line growth and customer loyalty in the process.

But just as Indiana Jones had to face a number of obstacles in order to recover the long sought after last crusade relic, organizations will need to overcome a series of challenges in order to achieve this epitome of customer service delivery. Fortunately, achieving omnichannel success is not limited to the likes of a fictional anthropologist, and by acknowledging the necessary requirements for enablement, companies can get closer to offering a truly omnichannel customer experience.

Everest Group, in partnership with TELUS International, recently released a checklist to help organizations looking to pursue an omnichannel strategy, assess their organizational readiness and take the necessary first steps to implementing an effective program.

From multichannel to omnichannel customer experience

A checklist for assessing readiness to make the jump - with Everest Group

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First things first: Defining omnichannel

A good place to start in any omnichannel journey is to define what the word actually means – and ultimately – what you’re trying to accomplish. Although a popular buzzword, many find it difficult to distinguish between a multichannel and an omnichannel offering.

Everest group defines a multichannel customer experience as having the ability to engage customers at various contact points – voice, email, chat, social, media, self-service. This is a very company centric, inside-out approach.

On the other hand, omnichannel customer experience is defined as the ability to engage customers across multiple contact channels, while ensuring intelligent and seamless integration of information across those channels, and more importantly, delivering consistent customer experience regardless of the number and choice of channels.

With definition in hand, what exactly is required to achieve an omnichannel customer experience and what potential challenges are lurking in the dark to sway you off course?

Beyond technology: Why both human capital and technology matter

There are two key categories of challenges and requirements that an organization must acknowledge before they’re able to reap the full benefits of an omnichannel offering: human capital and technology.

In the past, omnichannel discussions revolved largely around technology, which is understandable as new technology is the driving force behind the need for seamless customer interaction. But, technology is not the end-all be-all solution that you may have been hoping for.

To be truly successful, organizations need to be set up strategically and operationally in order to support a synchronized customer journey. That’s why human capital takes precedence, because technology considerations require experienced IT staff and executive by-in. Not to mention, technology does not operate in a vacuum, demanding a talented and skilled team of frontline agents to execute accordingly.

This of course, is not to say technology doesn’t play a significant role.  The right tools are needed to seamlessly aid team members when engaging with a customer. The reality is, however, that more than half of all support channels are managed in silos and there’s often no consistency in how channels are configured.  These challenges may not seem like a giant bolder headed in your direction now, but they are detrimental to achieving omnichannel success.

The good news is that by knowing the obstacles in advance, you can better prepare for the difficulties you might face down the line. Download the free tool, From Multichannel to Omnichannel Customer Experience: A Checklist for Assessing Readiness to Make the Jump, to determine where your company is in the omnichannel journey and what still needs to be accomplished to implement a true omnichannel customer experience.

And of course, learn more about our own Omnichannel Solution and how TELUS International can help.

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