Article : Want to Delight Millennials? Start with Your Omnichannel Strategy
Millennials are masters of navigating the interconnected nature of online experiences – they grew up alongside web and mobile. For this digitally native cohort, adaptation to new channels comes naturally – jumping between web, mobile and voice with little to no effort. They expect businesses to be equally adaptable and fluid. For contact centers, the key to delighting millennials is delivering convenience through fast, truly omnichannel experiences; quickly adapting in order to deliver on new approaches; and delivery of an authentic, personalized approach through all channels and brand touchpoints.
If you’re looking to optimize your omnichannel approach to appeal to millennials, here are a few things to focus on:
Embrace the Flexibility of Emerging Channels
Millennials waste no time in adopting new channels. For example, while millennials continue to see value in traditional customer service options like online FAQ resources or agent-assisted phone calls, they also want to supplement this with digital options like text messages or online chat. NICE inContact’s CX Transformation study found that only 26 percent of millennials prefer to speak to a live representative over the phone. There is a significant appetite to use multiple channels, digital and traditional, interchangeably.
Businesses are beginning to understand the value millennials place in digital channels like online chat and therefore are building out their capabilities to support it. While this is certainly a start, it’s vitally important that these channels operate seamlessly so agents can move and transition with the customer in real-time and provide true omnichannel experiences. Consider instances where agents need to elevate the conversation from online chat to phone or add web co-browsing to a phone conversation. The CX Transformation study found that 72 percent of consumers expect to be able to continue talking with the same representative on the phone as they were talking with via online chat.
Contact centers need flexibility to quickly integrate new and emerging channels, otherwise they risk alienating key audiences. To deliver a fully optimized customer experience, businesses must also use these channels to source customer feedback. By relying on an open cloud customer experience platform, contact centers gain control to further customize experiences to match changing customer expectation. An open cloud platform offers the most flexibility to quickly integrate new channels such as chatbots or virtual assistants into contact centers, allowing businesses to keep pace with shifting millennial preferences.
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Understand the Difference Between Multichannel & Omnichannel
Businesses know the power of a strong customer experience – in today’s experience economy, it can be a true brand differentiator. Yet, many are unable to deliver the type of authentic omnichannel experiences customers expect. Our research shows 37 percent of millennials were not satisfied with their most recent customer service experience. The problem? Contact centers haven’t yet transitioned from multichannel to omnichannel. Multichannel – just offering a wide range of options to connect – isn’t enough. The key difference is being able to move between those channels seamlessly, without losing any of the context of the interaction thus far. Nothing frustrates a millennial more than having to re-explain a customer service issue after switching from online chat to a phone call. In fact, 8 out of 10 millennials are likely to turn their backs on a company after just one poor customer experience.
Omnichannel is also important to millennials for one very important reason: speed. Regardless of channel, the most important factor in a successful customer experience is the time it takes to resolve an issue. If a customer starts an interaction with online chat, businesses need to identify at what point another channel might result in a quicker resolution – proactively directing customers to the fastest resolution possible.
Deliver Personalized Interactions
Supporting a strong omnichannel strategy requires delivering truly personalized experiences for each unique touchpoint. Delivering personalized interactions is important for both millennials and the majority of consumers – 86 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding between brands. For contact centers, enabling agents to be brand ambassadors is a powerful strategy to drive personalization and authenticity. In this role agents are the customer service face of the brand, so they need the right context and tools to cater to each individual interaction. Leading contact centers are turning to modern Quality Management solutions, which proactively monitor and analyze interactions and offer coaching to help improve future interactions.
The more contact centers can arm their agents with the context of the customer journey (through tight CRM integration and interaction analytics), the more they can demonstrate their understanding of the individual. Powered by the right open cloud platform, contact centers can create new and enduring connections between brands and millennials.
Authenticity Yields Customers for Life
Millennials are known for their high expectations, and have no hesitation in abandoning brands who don’t meet or even exceed them. As customer experience continues to be a key differentiator in brand loyalty, prioritizing delivery of authentic omnichannel experiences is an integral pillar to any customer experience strategy.
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About NICE inContact:
NICE inContact CXone™ is a unified cloud customer experience platform. CXone combines Omnichannel Routing, Workforce Optimization, Analytics, Automation and Artificial Intelligence on an Open Cloud Foundation. NICE inContact’s solution empowers organizations to provide exceptional customer experiences by acting smarter and responding faster to consumer expectations. NICE inContact’s DEVone developer program is the industry’s largest partner ecosystem, providing applications from partner companies on the CXexchange marketplace that are designed to integrate with CXone.
Published: Monday, July 23, 2018
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