The notion of honoring customer channel preference is central to the omnichannel revolution. A truly customer-centric organization supports customers on their terms. Far more than a feel-good endeavor, honoring channel preference ties into two key customer priorities: speed and effort.
Customers may appreciate personal connections, but they also value their time. They want to access information, process transactions or receive resolutions as quickly and painlessly as possible. An organization that asks customers to leave their preferred channel is automatically failing on that ground. Many organizations will then exacerbate the situation by asking customers to start the conversation from scratch when they get to the new channel.
Few organizations have the framework to support this customer demand, particularly if the customer prefers to engage in a convenient digital environment.
Flexibility Is Essential To The Chat Experience
Recognizing chat’s value for complex engagements does not mean organizations can dismiss the importance of efficiency. Great chat programs emphasize speed and convenience.
To make good on that promise, organizations emphasize communication neutrality. With 52% of chat interactions coming via mobile platforms, customer-centric organizations naturally accommodate all devices. They allow customers to use familiar platforms like Facebook Messenger and SMS in addition to native web or in-app chat.
Not simply available across devices and media, disruptive chat programs hinge on containment: the ability to fully resolve the issue there and then. Leveraging an optimal balance of bots and human support, they offer customers the opportunity to resolve issues rather than simply start conversations.
Disruptive Chat Platforms Promote Flexibility
As a broad concept, chat involves real-time conversations, asynchronous messaging and bots. These interactions can either be reactive or proactive.
Customer-centric organizations require a blueprint for when these forms of communication are most suitable. To remain agile, they will also create a workflow dynamic that allows customers and agents to seamlessly switch between the communication options as needed.
Seams and limitations on the backend create effort and frustration on the frontend. To avoid this challenge, disruptive chat platforms combine live chat, social, SMS and email into a single agent console. Particularly innovative chat offerings even connect with phone and IVR to further unify (and simplify) the customer and agent experiences.
Beyond accommodating channel preference, customer-centric chat agents can also communicate in rich media, such as video or audio, when text proves insufficient.
With expansive API and plugin access, they promote integration across enterprise systems, particularly mission-critical tools like the CRM and knowledge base. This ensures agents and bots have the access and information needed to accommodate even the most intricate or expansive of customer requests.
Many chat platforms are inherently versatile, but the best offerings also benefit from tailormade vendor support. These vendors partner with contact centers to shorten training cycles, accommodate industryspecific use cases, program bots and foster integration with existing, complex systems.