Advancing Omnichannel: Better Metrics and Solutions

On August 19, Execs In The Know facilitated an Executive Virtual Roundtable session dedicated to discussing omnichannel customer care, with an emphasis on discussing key metrics as well as current challenges. The session was well attended by more than two dozen customer experience leaders and included a special case study by satellite television provider, DISH Network, and was hosted by one of DISH Network’s key suppliers.

In this post, we share the most valuable insights to arise from the session, including results from several poll questions that were presented as a part of the special session.

What is Omnichannel?

In setting up the conversation about omnichannel, it’s important to level-set on exactly what omnichannel is. Simply put, omnichannel is a continuously tracked and integrated brand experience, providing brand ambassadors (in this case, customer care agents) with context for each customer interaction, regardless of channel. Omnichannel tools and solutions provide agents with a continuous, seamless customer history, while also cultivating a consistent brand experience wherever and whenever a consumer interacts with a brand as a part of their customer journey. In other words, if a customer logs in to a customer care chat, the agent who takes that chat has a clear picture of past purchases, past interactions, and may even have Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered tools that can help predict needs and issues, potentially providing proactive solutions.

Omnichannel Metrics — What Matters Most

The session kicked off with Randy Bassett, General Manager, CX Operations Planning and Shared Service at DISH Network, sharing a comprehensive overview of DISH Network’s customer care journey map. One of the critical metrics Randy touched on in discussing DISH Network’s approach to omnichannel was Customer Experience Minutes (CXM). CXM can be defined as the total time a customer spends with any agent on any channel within a 7-day period. In essence, CXM combines three traditional metrics (Average Handle Time [AHT], Repeat Calls, and Call Transfers) into one powerful metric. Using CXM, an organization can track and understand the overall effort of its customers, especially when paired with customer effort scores derived from customer surveying. This is a critical measurement because now more than ever, consumers value their time and expect care solutions to be quick (and easy).

At the conclusion of Randy’s overview of DISH Network’s operations, session attendees were given an opportunity (via a poll) to share which key performance indicators (KPIs) they consider most important in understanding the multi- or omnichannel experience. Here are those results:

Clearly, multi- and omnichannel engagements continue to be dominated by traditional metrics, highlighting the importance of developing new CX KPIs, such as CXM. Although mainstays like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and First Contact Resolution (FCR) remain prominent, matching newer indicators like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES), its apparent that the industry will need to continue to develop new ways of examining new experiences.

From Key Measurements to Tackling New (and Existing) Challenges

Although the conversations started with KPIs, talk quickly swung toward challenges, something everyone in the session could relate to. The discussion opened with another poll question with the following results:

In addition to the challenges highlighted in the poll question, other challenges surfaced as a part of the discussion. These included:

  • Data integration, particularly in the presence of legacy systems
  • Finding unified measurements that work across channels
  • Hiring and/or training agents that can both handle more complex issues, and operate across channels

Although there is no single silver bullet to address all these challenges, several key considerations were discussed during the session.

First and foremost, it was suggested that brands need to start by knowing their own customers — knowing their expectations, channel preferences, and appetite for adopting new solutions and technologies. Can customers do the things they want to do on all the various channels offered? Are their most preferred channels even available?

Second, brands need to seek to understand not only the customer experience but also the agent experience. What are the top agent pain points? What does agent effort look like? Do the tools and technologies work as they should, especially considering many operations have been moved from office to home?

Third, it’s important not to restrict performance comparisons to a brand’s immediate competitive space. In other words, don’t just look at what the competition is doing. Instead, look closely at what the best CX brands are doing across all industries because at the end of the day, that’s what consumers are doing. They are not segmenting by industry but are instead constructing their expectations from what they are experiencing wherever they are doing business.

To capitalize on that last point, an additional poll question was put forth by one of the participants in the session.

The question was this:

Which is more important?

A) Being available in any channel the customer wants to engage in

B) Present a recommended channel for each issue type based on past performance

Option “A” was selected by a margin of 3-to-1, emphasizing the fact that choice is now the gold standard. It’s not enough to direct a customer to what works. Instead, brands must let the customer choose, while simultaneously making sure everything works. This is part and parcel of competing not only with the competition but with the best across all businesses.

Undoubtedly, there are some tough acts to follow in the world of CX, but it’s a necessary path to achieving a true omnichannel experience.


Are you a CX leader looking to learn from your peers, as well as top industry experts? We invite you to visit our Events Page to learn more and consider joining us for our next featured event, Virtual Customer Response Summit October, which will even include a keynote session from DISH Network’s Randy Bassett, featured in this blog. Or, if you’d like to be considered for inclusion in a future Executive Virtual Roundtable session, please reach out to Chad McDaniel.

Interested in sponsoring your own Executive Virtual Roundtable or other special activity? Visit our Supplier Engagement portal to learn how you can get involved in the Execs In The Know community.


Blog post, written by: Execs In The Know