The Modern Customer Experience Summit from Oracle last week consisted of four exciting days filled with Marketing, Sales, Commerce, and Customer Experience learnings from top industry experts, analysts, thought leaders and customers on everything from CRM and service, to leadership.

Oracle attendees heard about the advent of video, the continued growth, and necessity of offering customer service across messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, and the urgent need to provide simple, easy to access customer service to today’s mobile-first consumers via SMS and chat.

With 200+ informative learning sessions, what was my number one service takeaway from the week? The importance of meeting the customer where they are— wherever they are:

1. Chat alone is not enough

Although live web chat is one of the most prevalent CS channels today, it is not known for providing the best customer experiences. Even though it is a great means of improving customer retention and sales, chat often requires the customer to be a “captive audience”, glued to a chat screen until issue resolution, and rarely functions intuitively on mobile. With the prevalence of more instantaneous channels like messaging or SMS, just having chat won’t cut it, especially if a large portion of your business comes from mobile.

2. Omnichannel isn’t dead, it’s evolving

Omnichannel engagement has been a buzz-worthy part of the innovation conversation in recent years, but a knowledge-driven, organic channel experience is the standard of the future. Product try-on through Facebook bots, empowering customers to use SMS in-store to check product availability, and offering customer service via video-chat are all channels that are expected to give the customer a more rich, organic customer experience.

3. Small Improvements = BIG ROI

Mobile views are a huge driver of sales. Does 10% or more of your target market use mobile? If you answered “yes”, it’s not enough to have your site optimized for mobile anymore, you must be examining the CS experience you’re delivering to mobile users, as well. Don’t underestimate the power of simple, mobile-friendly methods like click-to-text for customer service, and their ability to engage your customer through a channel they already know and love. Read more stats about texting here. 

4. Keep the ordinary, ordinary

Don’t mess up on customer service…it’s the easiest place to make the biggest impact —We all know the statistics on customer retention vs. customer acquisition, and in a highly saturated market, consumers have the ability to be pickier than ever. With 90% of service interactions being simple questions or queries, these service moments can be a great opportunity to explore self-service options or AI. However, you should also consider customer service as a channel to showcase a well-trained team’s ability for customer appeasement and satisfaction by arming your team with the ability to make critical customer service decisions ‘in the moment’. In his keynote speech at ModernCX, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said, “the ability to gain market share comes down to a few precise moments where you can seize an opportunity or drop the ball”. Increasing your agent’s ability to respond to customer inquiries via quicker (and cheaper!) alternatives to phone calls and emails such as SMS, Messenger, and chat, is an effective method of empowering ‘surprise and delight’ moments that have the ability to gain major share.

5. ‘Social Customer Care’ doesn’t always mean call deflection

The cost of not implementing social CRM along with your existing methods is losing customers, who have the ability to share their disappointment with their experience or with your brand via influential social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Although social channels might not actually decrease call deflection for more time consuming or complex customer service issues like merchandise returns, the inclusion of a social CRM program can develop brand loyalty, recognition, and increase authenticity which will have a direct impact on your ROI.

“Simple, convenient solutions that can happen with the click or tap of a mouse are the only way forward.” –Robert Swan, Keynote Speaker

In his keynote address on opening night, Robert Swan, a polar explorer, environmentalist and leader in policy development, sustainable business generation and future technologies said, “simple, convenient solutions that can happen with the click or tap of a mouse are the only way forward” a message that rang true with the modern, forward thinking ideas that were featured in Las Vegas last week, and will steer us into the second half of 2017.