Everyone texts… but why aren’t brands?
Technology is such an integral part of our daily lives. We’re all hyper-connected to our mobile phones and email inboxes, so much so that doctors have coined the term ‘text neck’ due to long periods of time where we’re hunched over, peaking at our technology.
With all of these technology advancements, customer experience hasn’t changed dramatically. But why? As consumers, we’re still expected to call into a contact center, conform our speech to a phone menu, and wait in a queue until a live agent can actually meet our needs. Despite the fact that almost 300 Million people in North America use text messaging on a daily basis (that’s 80% of the continent’s population!), it still hasn’t been effectively assimilated into brand’s customer experience strategies.
There’s a lot to be desired with voice only solutions
We’ve all had the experience of calling into a contact center to solve what we thought was a simple problem. This “simple problem” morphs into dictating what seems like paragraphs of necessary data to be used to help a virtual or live agent come to a resolution. Verbalizing addresses, zip codes, email addresses, full name, car VINs, and ID numbers, can be frustrating in itself, but it often requires repetition and confirmation to ensure that the data was collected correctly.
Imagine this- rather than undergoing this dictation, a form fill could be sent over to the customer to be filled out via email or SMS. This seamless experience allows the customers to type their responses quickly and efficiently, without the frustration of having to repeat any information. Doesn’t that even sound easier and faster?
That’s just one example of have text can be combined with voice for a stellar experience, but there’s the possibility of sending links to other digital assets, sending images of damage in the event of an incident, or even sending multiple options in a carousel that can be selected by a customer on their own time. The possibilities are endless and they all create a better customer experience.
The Cadence of Communication Matters
It’s also important to note that the cadence of communication can be vastly different depending on the issue being resolved. Understanding what transactions are best suited to be resolved via asynchronous or synchronous communication is ideal in creating an experience that works This approach enables customers to respond on their own terms and timelines. In fact, customers really love asynchronous options for the right transactions. It’s easy and it can fit into their lifestyle without having to carve 30 minutes or longer out of their day to solve a problem.
The customer is changing so we should, too
The way customers interact with brands has fundamentally changed. Brands must improve the customer experience by making it easy for customers to engage using their optimal channel of choice. The future requires that brands leverage text capabilities that operate in harmony with voice, so customers can transition seamlessly and conveniently between channels. Having both a voice and a text solution deployed isn’t enough, that often leaves customers behind with a disjointed experience.
We saw a wave of Conversational AI products start talking about an ‘omnichannel’ experience, which involves deploying a variety of customer support channels and allowing customers to move between these channels. Sure, this seemed like CX nirvana. The idea that customers can move between channels with context carrying over seems like an ideal solution for any customer’s needs.
Forget Omnichannel; An Optimal Channel Experience is Required
However, there’s another phase of this customer journey that’s even more compelling and effective– we call it the finding the ‘optimal channel’, or optichannel. The optichannel experience involves offering the best channel based on the scenario, transaction type, history, and customer’s preference. And, yes, a requirement of a true optichannel experience is the ability to transition between voice and text depending on the situation.