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Response Times: Customer Experience in Omnichannel

With establishing an omnichannel strategy, it’s not just about having the technology and capability to do it. Steve Deckert, Co-Founder of Smile.io, explains that “just because customers are functionally able to do what they need to do doesn’t mean that you’re providing an amazing customer experience across channels.” Part of omnichannel marketing is having an integrated and cohesive customer experience, no matter the channel. Consumers have more options than ever, so besides the standard unique value propositions like two-day or free shipping, the experience of buying is what truly sells.

So how can omnichannel companies provide an amazing customer experience for their consumers?

One of the main indicators of levels of customer experience is the response time of the company. How fast does a consumer actually get connected to a representative when they call? If they email, do they receive an email back immediately? If they send a message on social media, how long does it take for them to be acknowledged? Consumers both expect and demand fast response time for all of their inquiries and problems. In addition to quickly answering, they also want to seamlessly move between all of the communication methods without having to repeat themselves.

And of course, it’s not just about the time it takes to respond to a customer, but how friendly and effective the conversation is. But those two qualities are dictated by having a strong, customer-centric company culture, with extensive training and education in place.

Based on this graph by Quick Sprout, its easy to see that although 36.6% of people want to talk to a real person and not a machine, 21.1% value a knowledgeable support staff (effectiveness), followed by 11.6% of people valuing polite customer service (friendliness).  

And to drive my point home about the importance of fast response times, and overall great customer experience, here’s a statistic to help decision makers invest in the customer experience of their companies:

“Customers are willing to pay a price premium of up to 13% (and as high as 18%) for luxury and indulgence services, simply by receiving a great customer experience.”

For more on customer experience, check out some of my other blog posts on it here.

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