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Too many contact options creates confusion

‘Multichannel’ is one of the hottest buzzwords in business. But in the rush to create new self-service sales and delivery options, many companies are forgetting to back them up with effective strategies.

A new survey conducted by LimeBridge Australia revealed just 5 per cent of Australian organisations have consistent processes across different channels.

According to David Jaffe, consulting director of LimeBridge Australia, the haphazard approach to multichannel strategy has resulted in consumer disconnect.

The research found that customers ‘perceive’ an organisation as one entity, and are frustrated that the division and lack of interaction between different channels means many often don’t behave that way. Poor integration of different channels within organisations is the key problem.

Jaffe believes organisations must change their internal processes now in order to keep their customers from moving on to companies providing more efficient multichannel services.

“Many organisations seem to adopt a ‘let’s build the channel quickly and figure it out later’ approach to service…few companies look at customer interaction to the business as a whole before embarking on these changes,” he said.

More than 50 per cent of front line staff are unaware of the functions of the other channels, while less than 25 per cent of organisations can move staff between their different channels easily.

Only a quarter of the organisations surveyed have trained their front line staff to support or promote new services.

“Organisations seem reluctant to make the cross-channel changes needed to make service quick, consistent, and easy, even as they develop channels to service customers,” Jaffe said.

As a result many customers continue to use call centres, branches and the like when companies have invested heavily in new channels like social media, web, and mobile applications.

“Integrated, easy, and well-promoted channels that work together are the key to the future. Only then will companies reap the cost-saving benefits and customers unlock quick, easy, and efficient service,” he added.

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Gina Baldassarre

Gina Baldassarre

Gina is a journalist at Dynamic Business. She enjoys learning to ice skate and collecting sappy inspirational quotes.

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