Omnichannel best practice: Virgin Trains case study

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fresh ideaNeed more motivation to adopt omnichannel? Read this Virgin Trains case study.

A hilarious example of customer service taken to the next level with omnichannel customer service.

Many of the businesses we speak to have recognised the need to deliver better customer experiences with an omnichannel strategy, and we’ve made it our mission to help them get there.

For us, omnichannel is a means of creating customer journeys that delight from start-to-finish, retaining context and knowledge no matter which interaction channel they use and even if they move across channels during the course of the conversation.

The following story recently took the Internet by storm, but is in fact is an example of a knock-out customer experience that simply would not have been possible without omnichannel. Disclaimer: contains toilet humour.

Virgin Trains Happy CustomerTo set the scene for this story, young Adam was on a Virgin Trains service from Euston to Glasgow a few months ago when he nipped to the bathroom, only to discover that there wasn’t any loo roll. This could have spelled disaster for the rest of his journey.

As any smartphone-wielding teenager would, he took to social media to share his plight with his Twitter followers, expecting to get a few laughs and not much more. What he didn’t expect was an instant response from Virgin Trains and the swift delivery of the missing toilet paper.

Virgin Trains Customer Interaction

It can be very difficult to truly surprise and delight customers these days, particularly when they’re coming to you with a problem. And yet, this case study shows that it’s absolutely possible, even when that customer is trapped in a lavatory, hurtling north towards Scotland on a moving train.

So what does this teach us (other than to always check for toilet paper and that teenagers will apparently post anything on social media)?

The example we’ve given might be on the silly side, but it does tell us that omnichannel makes it very easy to make customers happy and deliver a great experience when they come to us with their problems.

Then there’s the all-important business case for omnichannel, too. A McKinsey customer experience survey of 27,000 consumers in the United States found that companies that delivered ‘low-effort’ experiences for customers saw a positive impact on their business, which included 10-15% increases in revenue and 20% increases in customer satisfaction.

So, what does low-effort actually mean? In this case, low-effort meant Adam just had to fire a tweet at Virgin Trains and answer a question or two for them to mobilise and deliver what he needed. He didn’t need to remember a customer number, spend time on hold, or be directed from one person to another.

For most businesses to start achieving low-effort omnichannel experiences, they need to move on from the often random journeys that we as customers experience today, bouncing from one channel to another in order to deliver against customer needs.

With the right infrastructure and strategy in place, delivering quick satisfaction to inbound problems is at once simple and hugely rewarding to both customers and to the bottom line.

Social media best practiceWant to know which technologies will help you to deliver this level of customer experience? We recommend you read our ebook on best practice for seamless omnichannel customer experience.

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Paul Maguire

About Paul Maguire

Vice President UK & Ireland Vice President UK & Ireland at Genesys, Paul Maguire leads Genesys’ operations in the region and is responsible for helping customers to achieve outstanding customer experience through digital transformation across a range of sectors including banking, insurance, telecommunications, utilities, public sector, retail and manufacturing. Maguire has over 18 years of experience in the IT and software industries, with past leadership roles at Pegasystems, TIBCO Software and EG Solutions.