4 Signs Omni-Channel Customer Service Is Broken — and How to Fix It

Overcome customer service pitfalls and deliver connected experiences

June 9, 2022 - Time to Read: 5 Minutes
Brenda Bown
CMO, Service Cloud, Salesforce

We live in a 24/7 digital world. When it comes to service, customers want to get their questions answered and issues resolved fast — no matter how they connect with your company. They want their service experience to be seamless and effortless, whether they send an email, place a call, engage with a chatbot on your website, or send a text.

But as more and more channels get added to your service mix, ensuring a consistent omni-channel experience can be challenging. When your customer service channels aren’t in sync, customers get frustrated with being bounced around, waiting for answers, and repeating basic information. The service experience is a big differentiator for today’s brands — which means you can’t afford to miss a step.

This article briefly explores the warning signs of a disconnected omni-channel service strategy and shows how Salesforce can help. Our in-depth guide, “The Secret to Seamless Service: Connected Channels,” explains how to connect, automate, and more efficiently manage all your channels today and as your business grows.

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How can Salesforce help you connect, automate, and more efficiently manage all your channels?

Follow our guide to get to the heart of service and:

  • Connect all your service touchpoints on a single platform
  • Provide great service that delivers on your brand promise
  • Help customers, agents, contact center managers, and IT benefit from connected channels
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4 Signs Your Omni-Channel Service Strategy Is Lagging, and How Salesforce Can Help:

Customers complain about how hard it is to get service on their preferred channels.

When customers have a question or need to solve a problem, they want answers fast — and they want to use the communication channel that makes the most sense for them at any given moment. When it takes too much time and effort for your customers to connect, you have a problem. High customer effort leads to frustration and low CSAT.

To get to the heart of service and grow lifelong customers, you need to offer the channels that customers want to use to solve their issues — whether voice, email, text, chat, or more. You also need to be able to seamlessly guide customers to the most helpful channel for their issue, so they don’t have to navigate across channels on their own. The goal is to make the customer journey effortless, rather than one that feels like work. A fast, seamless service experience is a business priority across both existing and emerging digital channels.

“Self-service channels — chatbots, chat, instant messaging — and social media are the most popular ways to engage customer service. The younger the shopper, the greater the willingness to use these kinds of digital channels.”

Tracy Kellaway
Director of Customer Service/Contact Centres at the Estée Lauder Companies

Customers are stuck on hold and then have to repeat themselves.

Conversations in person are continuous. Why are they not the same when a customer reaches out to a company? All too many of us can relate to the customer service experience of getting bounced around from agent to chatbot, from SMS to voice, having to repeat the same basic information.

Fragmented service happens when companies have disconnected systems and siloed channels that stand in the way of a continuous, seamless experience. All your channels need to be connected and work as one.

Agents are getting burned out.

When customers are frustrated by long waits and the need to repeat information, they’re likely to take their anger out on the agent. This, combined with other challenges agents often face — such as being forced to engage in a lot of manual steps and toggle between screens to find the information they need to help a customer — is leaving agents stressed and overworked.

Businesses need to give agents the right tools and training so they can see the full customer journey and do their jobs with ease. This ensures that agents will be happier, leading to higher retention and less burnout. And when agents are happy, customers get better service and are happier, too.

“We’ve seen gains in satisfaction among our call agents. As we rolled out chatbots and Service Cloud, agents have become a lot happier with the tools they’re using, which has been really wonderful, and that happiness passes to the customer.”

Ruth Sleeter
CIO, Sonos

Contact center productivity falls and the business suffers.

Service is the backbone of the brand experience. If the customer service experience is poor from the start, your brand, and your business, will suffer. When contact center productivity falls, it has a ripple effect, impacting first call resolution, average handle time, abandonment rates, customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, your bottom-line costs and revenue.

To ensure a complete, connected service experience that benefits your customers and your business, you need to deploy all the tools at your disposal to make it easy for customers to engage with your brand, whether they are seeking answers through self-service or via an interaction with an agent.

“Things are always changing so being adaptable — empowering your people to be able to do what they need to do in the moment — is absolutely critical for us. Salesforce’s technology enabled us to be successful having all of our employees working at home and also shift our business to direct-to-consumer, which allowed us to scale and support all of our customers as we hit a period of tremendous growth.”

Patrick Spence
CEO, Sonos

How Salesforce can help.

Salesforce offers everything you need to manage and scale your omni-channel service ecosystem to best serve the needs of your customers and your business. With Salesforce at the center of your omni-channel strategy, you can:
  • Give customers instant access to what they need on their preferred channels.
  • Help customers get answers, complete tasks, and get on with their day with as little effort as possible.
  • Automate common requests with AI-powered chatbots and self-service, taking the pressure off agents to handle every step, and speeding up customer service.
  • Support agents with tools and training so they have everything they need to help customers at their fingertips.
  • Connect all your service touchpoints on a single platform. Make hand-offs between channels seamless, so customers don’t have to repeat information.
  • Deliver a consistent and efficient service experience that delights your customers. Quickly scale to add channels as new business needs emerge.

About the Author

Brenda Bown
CMO, Service Cloud, Salesforce
Brenda Bown is the CMO of Service Cloud and the CMO of the Communications, Media, & Technology industries at Salesforce, where she leads teams focused on messaging, go-to-market strategy, campaigns and experiences. She has over 25 years of Marketing experience in global companies.

More Resources


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