Omnichannel is on the rise.

Organizations are adding new interaction channels for their customers. But adding new channels without integrating them may cause more frustration than satisfaction.

Enter omnichannel. The technology enables contextual customer interaction information to pass between channels (agents or bots) in real-time, while also keeping historical records. The value of omnichannel is that it lets customers journey across channels without having the frustration of repeating the same information at each stop.

Agents also can take a moment to read up on all the previous, related interactions to get to work solving the problem or capitalizing on the opportunity.

The use of omnichannel has increased from 8% in 2016 to 31% in 2019 (see figure below), according to Nemertes’ 2019-20 Intelligent Customer Engagement research study of 518 organizations. Though the growth is impressive, far too few companies actually use omnichannel—despite the increase in the number of channels in use.

The data unquestionably illustrates that companies that use omnichannel are more successful.

First, Nemertes’ study segmented a “success group,” which includes organizations with the top success metrics in revenue increase, cost decrease and/or ratings increases when using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for their customer engagement initiatives. Within the success group, 50% use omnichannel.

Second, the study found real-world success in customer ratings improvement. When  organizations use AI without omnichannel, they saw a 37% improvement in customer ratings.

Not bad, right?

Not great either. When they use AI with omnichannel, customer ratings improved by 104%. Clearly, customers (as well as agents) uncover huge benefits once omnichannel integrates communications channels.

Moving forward, the use of omnichannel is going to become more vital, as organizations are adding new channels, such as mobile business chat, social apps, SMS, video and more. Many of those are AI-enabled. Already, companies have five interaction channels, on average. The success group has 6.7 channels. All are planning growth.

Those adding digital channels without omnichannel integration need to put the brakes on, then evaluate omnichannel options, and add it to the customer engagement strategy. That way, they will maximize their success.

To learn more from Robin on why omnichannel is so crucial to the evolution of today’s contact centers, watch her on-demand webinar, Omnichannel Accelerates Contact Center Success Metrics.