Omnichannel is a major trend in B2C organizations. Digital disruptions and hyper-connectedness of consumers are driving transformation of the customer journey and experience. Retail and e-commerce industries have been early adopters. The Telecom industry as a whole is behind the curve.

Omnichannel matters to the Customer

“Agent. Agent. Agent!!” Have you ever tried to complete a transaction with an airline via Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system and been forced to talk to an agent because you can’t complete the transaction yourself? When customers choose to start their journeys with self-service and are forced to switch, their experience suffers.

Multichannel isn’t Omnichannel

For cable companies, omnichannel means that customers can interact with the company whether for sales or service on whatever mix of channels they choose: physical and digital.

Not only should customers be able to choose their preferred channel but they should also be able to complete ALL necessary interactions via that channel. And transitions between channels should be seamless. As cable companies are expanding their offerings into home automation, security, and wireless, they must create digital experiences that meet all the needs of the customer.

Too often, companies are focusing their omnichannel efforts on customer acquisition while ignoring the service side of the lifecycle. That may be multichannel, but it’s not omnichannel. Omnichannel considers all customer touchpoints including telephone, web, chat, social, mobile, paper, and retail. Omnichannel means all channels are integrated and available to the customer.

Omnichannel matters to your Bottom Line

Improved customer experience is just one benefit of omnichannel. It can also drive results to the bottom line. As margins decline, one of the major ways to cut costs is to reduce transactions into the call center and reduce truck rolls in the field. Building out the digital channel for self-service significantly decreases the cost of service.

AT&T’s efforts started with existing customers, and they’re now transforming experiences for prospects as well. I recently called AT&T to adjust my plan, and the agent walked me through doing it myself on the app. Next time, I’ll go right to my device. Comcast recently announced a new mobile service including customer support through text messaging. Nice work, Comcast. Some of their peers still have a way to go.

Omnichannel Must Include Digital

Telcos need to get more comfortable with digital first experiences, or at least digital experiences as an option. As they launch new apps, like streaming TV and skinny bundles, they should recognize the value in providing service on the platform the customer is already engaging.

Wouldn’t it be great if your self-install kit for video service didn’t require you to make a call to get installation support? Cable companies have the opportunity to vastly improve the customer journey if they meet the customer where they are, delivering experiences via the channels customers prefer.

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