Customers are just not getting the quick customer service resolution they demand.

That was one of the key findings of research commissioned by inContact, the leader in cloud contact center software. The survey shined a light on the critical need for businesses to improve their customer experience across all channels so customer concerns are addressed faster. The best way to do that, says inContact Vice President, Product & Segment Marketing Chris Bauserman, is by providing a seamless omnichannel experience for both consumers and customer service agents. This requires tight alignment and integration across customer relationship management (CRM), contact center, and ecommerce platforms -- only possible with modern cloud solutions.

inContact’s research found that in about half the cases where customers reach out to a brand, they want to resolve a problem. Roughly a third of the time, they’re just looking for information, and about one in five customers who reach out want help with a transaction or purchase. “Regardless of the reason for the contact, however, customers want to be in control of the channel they choose to initiate it, and they want the experience to be consistent, personalized, fast and effective, no matter how they’re connecting,” Bauserman says. 

inContact believes that “the customer is always right,” but sometimes customers need help getting to the best channel to resolve their issue. “Once customers are connected, having empowered agents with the right tools, technology and information at their fingertips--and who are, themselves, respected--is the most important thing to help make that customer interaction special every time,” Bauserman says.

One of the big challenges in getting customers a fast resolution to their inquiry is that their preferred channel is not always the best one to meet their needs. For example, in inContact’s survey, email ranked high (third from the top) as a preferred means of contact, but it was near the bottom (second-to-last) in post-interaction customer satisfaction, as reflected in net promoter score.

The best way to meet that challenge is by continuing to give customers multiple contact channels, while at the same time providing customer service teams with the kind of technology, training and tools that enables them to move customers quickly and effortlessly to the best channel to resolve their issue. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Bauserman says. “They’ve reached out the way they wanted to, but you’ve guided them to solve their problem in the way that’s most effective.”

The handoff process must be seamless through all channels, and every agent involved in that customer’s journey must have all relevant customer information on their screen instantaneously. As well, the agents need to have had the kind of training, support, evaluation and scheduling on the back end that is critical to the success of this kind of unified customer service approach. “inContact can help businesses in all those areas,” he says. “We have the only truly unified cloud contact center, with all the channels for customers to reach you as they prefer and everything agents need to feel empowered and deliver outstanding service consolidated in a single interface.”

When companies are able to resolve customer issues and questions more quickly and effectively, they can strengthen customer relationships and increase satisfaction. By providing multiple points of contact supported by empowered agents with up-to-date information, virtually any company can deliver exceptional service and reap the rewards.