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The vast majority of organizations state that they are trying to improve their customer experience using contact channels to resolve an inquiry or problem. However, it has been SQM’s experience based on benchmarking over 500 leading North American contact centers that very few organizations know their customers’ satisfaction or willingness of their customers to recommend them to others as a result of their experience using a specific contact channel (e.g., call center, IVR self-service, mobile self-service, email, and chat) or when using multiple contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem. Interestingly, SQM research shows that 37% of customers use two or more contact channels simultaneously to resolve an inquiry or problem and 20% of customers who used a call center did so because a self-service contact channel failed. As a result, SQM is often asked, “What are the customer experience differences between one contact resolution (OCR), multi-channel, and omni-channel from a customer satisfaction (Csat) and recommendation point of view?” In order, to answer those questions SQM conducted a Contact Channel Customer Experience Study in which we surveyed over 1 million customers who used a contact channel or multiple contact channels to resolve the same inquiry problem. At SQM, we define multi-channel as a non-seamless customer experience for a customer using two or more contact channels for resolving the same inquiry or problem. In other words, the customer had to start their interaction from the beginning each time they used another channel to resolve the same inquiry or problem. We define omni-channel as a seamless customer experience for a customer using two or more contact channels for resolving the same inquiry or problem. Put differently, when a customer used another channel to resolve the same inquiry or problem they were able to pick up from where they left off in the previous channel and, as a result, did not have to start from the beginning.
One of the main findings of our contact channel customer experience research study is that the easier it is for a customer to resolve their inquiry or problem, the higher the customer satisfaction. That is the reason why the OCR customer experience has the highest Csat (89%) by far of all the contact channel experiences (i.e., OCR, omni-channel, and multi-channel) a customer has for resolving an inquiry or problem. SQM considers 85% or higher Csat (top box response) to be at the world class Csat level for contact channel experience for resolving an inquiry or problem. Only 5% of SQM’s clients are able to achieve that level of contact channel Csat experience performance for resolving an inquiry or problem. For customers who use two or more channels to resolve the same inquiry, Csat is 39% higher when it is an omni-channel seamless experience than when it is a multi-channel non-seamless experience. Omni-channel seamless Csat is 67% and multi-channel non-seamless Csat is 28%, which is by far the lowest of all the contact channel customer experiences. Omni-channel Csat for resolving an inquiry or problem is at the 3rd quartile contact channel customer experience performance level. Even though omni-channel is a seamless experience for using two or more contact channels for resolving the same inquiry or problem, Csat is still mediocre. The main reason why an omni-channel customer experience is mediocre is that most customers do not wake up in the morning and say I want to use two contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem. In other words, what most customers clearly want is One Contact Resolution for resolving an inquiry or problem. Simply put one channel and one contact to resolve an inquiry or problem.
SQM has developed the following contact channel customer experience definitions:
If you liked this article, you can learn more about the author Mike Desmarais, and SQM Group.