In 2016, It’s Omni-Channel or Bust

The holiday season is now behind us, and air travel likely took up a large chunk of your time off. It is also likely that the skies were not as friendly as they once were. Your experience was probably similar to mine. You made it to the airport only to discover your flight was delayed for hours, or that you needed to be rebooked on an entirely new flight. For most travelers, there were probably three options before them: wait in line at the airline’s ticket desk, dial the airline’s customer service line, or sit quietly at the airport bar in desperation. 

In a perfect world, what would you have wanted to happen? 

If you’re like me, you want your flight re-booked immediately with no hassle — no waiting in line, no pressing 1 to speak with a representative. Today’s service providers understand their customers’ evolving demands for seamless, more personalized service, via their channel of choice. For any customer service organization, embracing an omni-channel service philosophy should be at the top of your list. 

How does your service organization rate on an omni-channel maturity scale? Consider the following questions:

  1. Can anyone from customer service record and see customer interactions on a unified contact record, regardless of the customer’s original contact channel or case type?
  2. Do agents rarely have to log into a different system or request customer information from an internal group to complete a case? 
  3. Do Sales, Service, and Marketing have full visibility into each other’s interactions with the customer?

Did you answer mostly yes? You’re on the right track. Visibility and accessibility are key to establishing omni-channel service, as are utilizing emerging customer contact channels — video, SMS, self-service portals, and mobile apps — rather than traditional phone and email channels. 

If you’re looking to improve your omni-channel processes and your organization is already using Salesforce Service Cloud, tools like Case Feed and Omni-Channel can help your organization easily manage multiple channels in a single location. Case Feed allows agents to view all interactions related to an individual case in a single view; Omni-Channel lets managers automatically assign cases to agents based on an agent’s listed expertise, priority of cases, or agent’s presence, reducing the amount of time cases are sitting idle in a queue.

When defining your organization’s case management process, consider how each channel is different — and what you can leverage to create a consistent experience. Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP), a division of Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, understood their customers’ needs and saw an opportunity to personalize and streamline their customers’ air travel experience. While the insurance industry handles highly personal information, it had been slow to adopt personalized, customer-focused technology solutions. BHTP’s goal was to design and launch a new consumer travel insurance product — a one-stop-shop travel insurance app — that would easily facilitate communication between the service agent and the customer. BHTP partnered with Bluewolf, and together we built AirCare. 

AirCare is a cloud-based personal concierge service, with SMS and social media integrated into more traditional channels, like email and phone. To create mobile updates and communications delivered to the traveler through various social channels, Bluewolf integrated AirCare with Salesforce Marketing Cloud as well as the Salesforce Service Console, and implemented a robust agent interface that allowed agents to interact with customers through their channel of choice. Support of omni-channel service made all the difference to BHTP’s customers. 

Today, BHTP processes a majority of their claims without any human intervention, allowing BHTP to focus their human resources on servicing customers rather than pushing paper. By embracing an omni-channel service philosophy, your organization could be next.

To learn more about how to improve your contact center, take our Customer Service Quiz and get a free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Case and Knowledge Management

Bluewolf, an IBM Company, is a global consulting agency and proven Salesforce strategic partner that builds digital solutions designed to create results. Now.