Your customers don’t care whether you’re up to speed on mobile.

They don't care whether your senior leadership believes in customer service through social channels.

All they know is this: You're a brand, they have a question or a problem, they want answers, they want to reach out any darn way they want to — and they expect you to respond without a hitch.

And, oh, by the way, if they happen to reach out again via another channel, they don’t want to have to start the process all over again.

Make It Easy

Research by Aspect Software bears this out, said Baskaran “Basky” Natarajan, Tata Consultancy Services’ Global Oracle CX Practice Leader. About 91 percent of customers want to pick up where they left off, from one channel to the next, he said.

The argument is that a hybrid cloud model can be the secret sauce for this omnichannel customer experience. How? By empowering features like click-to-chat and click-to-call and co-browsing, as well as automation and prioritization.

From customers’ POV, they don’t want too much bother either, and that’s what robust self-service features feed into.

“Customer’s today prefer technologies that allows them to accomplish tasks without initiating a prolonged discussion with the business,” said Natarajan.

Take the case for South African telecom provider Cell C.

A user of Oracle Service Cloud, Cell C has come to appreciate that the best omnichannel customer experience comes by way of being consistent and connected across its website, call centers, walk-in stores, mobile apps and websites, and other platforms.

The cloud tool allows real-time reporting on CX trends and employee performance. It gives the company a “unified view of the customer,” said Carol Rogers, Executive Head of Enterprise Systems at Cell C, as well as integrates its existing CRM tools. And by providing “the ultimate customer service,” Cell C aims to strengthen customers’ brand loyalty and trust.

Driving Sales and Profit

Perhaps it’s the impact on the bottom line that matters as much as anything.

The hope is that happier, more loyal customers — and channels that allow faster time to market for new products — will lead to increased sales and revenue. And the company expects cost-savings as fewer and fewer people contact centers and more and more people use digital channels.

“Given the high acquisition of new subscribers through our targeted campaigns and marketing effort, we are experiencing higher call volumes that are challenging to support by our current call center head count. This increased volume emphasized the need for low cost digital channels for communication such as chat and social media, as well as digital channels where customers are offered self-service features,” said Rogers.

Beyond just implementing a hybrid service cloud solution in 2015, Cell C is taking advantage of the hybrid cloud model out of the gate to redo its website and mobile website, develop a mobile app and develop a responsive user interface that will look the same across all of its digital channels.

New Realities

What Cell C is planning to roll out may soon be table stakes for companies.

According to Natarajan, a unified digital engagement strategy is a must-have already. As are digital tools and real-time insights for employees, digital-by-design processes, state of the art CX technologies that allow that integrated, multiplatform touch point, and robust back-office integration.

The goal is not necessarily to be everything to every customer. It’s just meeting the customer in their current reality — and not forcing customers to fit into a company’s reality.

And it’s about arranging technology and personnel resources to make this happen.

“It’s about making sure [all] channels all work together for the benefit of the customer,” said Natarajan. “When customers call your company, they don’t view your support channels separately. From a customer’s perspective, everything is managed as a whole, not a bunch of different departments.”

Sure, the list of impediments that companies have to overcome is long: organizational silos; archaic store-, paper- or phone-based processes; legacy technologies; and limited analytics, to name a few.

But isn’t delivering benefit to the customer a great definition of great CX?

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Title image by Jonathan Denney