SQM is often asked, “What are the differences between One Contact Resolution (OCR), multi-channel, and omni-channel customer experience from a Csat point of view?” Figure 1 below shows Csat (top box response) based on the contact channel customer experience for resolving a customer’s inquiry or problem. The main finding is that for a customer who uses 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. The easier it is for a customer to resolve their inquiry or problem, the higher the Csat. That is the reason why the OCR practice at 89% has the highest Csat by far of all the contact channel customer experiences. The omni-channel Csat is 67% and the multi-channel Csat is 28%, which is by far the lowest of all the contact channel customer experiences.

Figure 1: Csat based on contact channel customer experiences

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The specific contact channel customer experience key findings are as follows:

One Contact Resolution Customer Satisfaction

One contact resolution Csat of 89% – Based on a customer using only one specific contact channel (e.g., call center, IVR self-service, web self-service, or email) and requiring only one contact to resolve their inquiry or problem. Clearly, when a customer experiences OCR, the customer also experiences world class Csat. The OCR customer experience has the highest Csat of the three operating practices. A high percentage of customers do not experience OCR, in fact OCR on average is 58% across all contact channels, this means approximately 42% of customers are going to have to contact the organization again about the same inquiry or problem. Customers prefer to use only one contact channel to resolve their inquiry or problem and expect the contact channel they choose to be able to resolve their inquiry or problem on the first contact. In many cases, customers believe self-service contact channels should be able to resolve complex inquiries or problems. They want the effort to resolve an inquiry or problem to be low, meaning they only want to have one contact to resolve their inquiry or problem. Customers do not want to channel hop to resolve the same inquiry or problem. In other words, no matter what channel they use, they want OCR.

Omni-Channel Customer Satisfaction

Omni-channel Csat of 67% – Based on a customer having a seamless experience using two or more contact channels (e.g., call center, IVR self-service, web self-service, or email) to resolve the same inquiry or problem. In other words, when the customers use another channel, they do not have to restart their inquiry from the beginning, they start where they left off from the previous channel. Customers are able to achieve a seamless omni-channel customer experience when all of their contact interactions are captured in a centralized CRM database and the channels are integrated, or when the manner in which the CSR handled the interaction made the customer feel that it was a seamless experience. The main reason why omni-channel Csat is 22% lower than OCR Csat is because 77% of the customers who used two or more channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem did so due to a channel failure. Even when those customers had a seamless experience for resolving their inquiry or problem, the majority of those customers had lower Csat because they wanted their inquiry or problem to be resolved in one contact using only one channel. Most SQM clients do not feel their contact channels are fully integrated. However, 43% of their customers who use multiple channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem felt it was a seamless experience. Given that the channels are not fully integrated, SQM has concluded that the manner in which the CSR handled the call made the customer feel it was a seamless experience. In other words, an organization can provide a seamless customer experience without having its channels fully integrated, as long as well-trained and experienced CSRs are handling the calls.

In a perfect world, an organization would have well-trained and experienced CSRs as well as fully integrated contact channels. In the event that the customer cannot resolve their inquiry or problem in one contact channel, such as the website, they can then move to another contact channel, such as the call center, and pick up where they left off instead of starting over again. In other words, a customer is able to start their interaction in one contact channel and complete it in another contact channel without having to start over in each subsequent contact channel. Thus, the customer’s contact channel experience is seamless for resolving their inquiry or problem. Again, the vast majority of customers do not want to channel hop to resolve the same inquiry or problem. However, the goal of the omni-channel experience is to have customers feel like it is a seamless experience when using two or more contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem.

Multi-Channel Customer Satisfaction

Multi-channel Csat of 28% – Based on a customer using two or more contact channels (e.g., call center, IVR self-service, web self-service,, or email) to resolve the same inquiry or problem and the interaction is not a seamless experience. In other words, when customers use another contact channel they have to start their inquiry from the beginning, thus having to repeat their previous actions. The majority of customers who use two or more channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem do not consider their experience to be seamless. When it is not a seamless customer experience for resolving the same inquiry or problem, the multi-channel operating practice results in the lowest Csat of the three contact channel customer experiences. Csat drops by 61% when two or more contact channels are used to resolve the same inquiry or problem in comparison to customers who experienced OCR. This 61% drop in Csat represents a great opportunity for contact centers to improve individual contact channel performance. Improving individual contact channels’ OCR performance would obviously help customers avoid using two or more channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem. However, if a customer wants to use two or more contact channels, it should be an omni-channel experience because if it is not seamless, then Csat is significantly lower. Again, in most cases, when a customer uses two or more contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem, it is due to a failure of a specific contact channel. The bottom line is that when a customer uses two or more contact channels to resolve the same inquiry or problem, most feel that they are starting over again with each subsequent channel used to resolve their inquiry or problem.

If you want to learn more about One Contact Resolution Research and Contact Center Best Practices, read an excerpt from our new book, launching May 1st 2016.