According to a recent Havard Business Review, customers do not really show interest in the store if they have not engaged with your social handles either. Customers who engage with more than 4+ channels spend 9 times more at the store than the ones who use single channels.
This goes to show that an omnichannel strategy is a profitable form of supporting your customers.
With the advent of the unannounced pandemic, everything has gone digital, and customers judge your brand based on your social presence. They no-longer will walk up to the store for a refund or a replacement. Instead, they will prefer to interact over social media or on your website-chat. They will compare your response time with your competitor's social presence, and it will not cost them any money, more than some internet data pack. However, your shabby service might cost you a customer who is also a key revenue generator for your company.
This growing need to be present on every device your customer is using and at whatever time they are online, is what is known as creating an omni-channel service experience.
The various channels of interactions: Phone, Email, Social, SMS, Live Chat, Self service like knowledge base, Chatbot or Voice bot when seamlessly integrated provides an omnichannel platform for customer service. However, omni-channel when strategized right can go on to better a number of business areas like revenue, brand image and customer experience.
In this article, we are going to look into the ways you can plan your omni-channel strategy to ensure that the best interest of your company and your users are met.
Now before we move ahead on the strategies that you should follow to create an omni-channel customer service let us first look into the things you should prepare for when planning to get to your customers on the platform they are active in.
1. Focus on Context
Giving your customers relevant content holds an unprecedented place in the world of customer service. But what is even more important is providing them the information at the right time and at the right place, meaning relevancy at the moment it is asked for.
You will only be able to produce this when you have the answers to questions like the ones mentioned below:
What kind of content are your users interacting with, on which channel and at what time?
At what point in the customer journey is your content most appreciated? And is it easily available?
Is the content optimized for the device or channel the consumers are consuming it on?
Are you cross-selling or up selling them offers?
2. Your Clients
While seemingly obvious, knowing your customer is almost always one of the most gravely ignored issues that can negatively impact your plan to go omni-channel.
So, before you take any step ahead, take a step back to truly understand your customers.
In order to truly help your customers in the best way possible, you will first have to understand where they are coming from, the challenges they have faced, what they wish to seek, and more importantly the channel they most prefer etc.
There are three ways you can gain insight into the knowledge -
Promote customer feedback
Use social listening tools
Understand their previous interactions.
3. Inter-Team Coordination
It is one of the biggest challenge faced by the multi-channel siloed work culture. "Omni-channel" evolves from its predecessor "multi-channel" where customer service representative worked on a single channel. So this siloed approach is a disadvantage to the smoother functioning of a call center. It brings several issues like two different departments generating two different tickets for the same problem or agents giving different redressal to the same customer. In the Omni-channel customer service system, the same representative supports multiple channels from a single dashboard. This ensures consistency in customer experience as well as better resource utilization.
The need of the hour is to have an agile structure where all the teams work together with customers being placed at the center
Now that we have looked into all the different elements that you will have to prepare for when it comes to creating an Omni-channel customer service, let us come straight to the strategies that you should follow to effectively start your Omni-channel implementation.
Have a plan
- For any successful strategy, plan is a must, right? Now for Omni-channel what is your plan?<br />
It is important to figure out what are the most relevant channels that you need to offer. However, you need to be flexible to add additional channels as they become more relevant in future.
- The best part of having an omnichannel is the ability to know the customer journey and their past interactions. So you should have a plan to use these data to enhance the customer experience. The customer representatives should be well trained in using the platform and how best they can use the data.
- Additionally, in an omnichannel platform, you can find the channel preference of customers. The customer representative can reach out to customer on their preferred channel.
If your customers still have to go through a buffer time in 2021, then you are losing at your customer service game. It is understandable if there is a queue time on the IVR, but your social media handles or your website chatbox should have a lower response time. Even if you don't know the answer or don't have a solution right away, aim for atleast acknowledging the comment. With omnichannel, you will have the customer data and your response can be more specific and relevant rather than a very generic message. The ideal way to approach this is by choosing automation. Instead of hiring multiple agents, deploying a bot can be more cost-effective. It can serve various people at the same time, and it will learn over-the-time, generating valuable analytics.
There is an attitudinal shift that the customer service industry is witnessing - more and more customers are now demanding to find the answers themselves.
So, when you fill all your online presence with an FAQ section that helps customers get the answers they are seeking, you give them a feeling of empowerment. An event which helps you in two ways-
You make your customers feel good and
You save a good amount of time and money in managing such interactions with live agents.
You can also incorporate a chatbot to your omnichannel strategy to provide this much needed self help option to your customers.
The Live chat option has tend to become a lifesaver for a number of businesses operating across the globe. This shift has been brought around by the trend that millennials have brought along them. With more and more millennials now entering the workforce, the need of being present in real time is becoming all the more important for businesses. It is therefore important that chat be made part of your omnichannel strategy. The chat can be initiated from any of the messaging platform like Whatsapp, Apple business chat, Team, Slack etc and connected to Live agents.
Well with this, you are now ready to start the omni-channel journey of your own. Ensure that your omnichannel strategy is completely aligned with your business priorities and have the ingredients discussed above. However for a superior customer experience, you need to ensure that irrespective of any channel of interaction, few things remain vital a) Human touch (empathy) and b) fast response time. The customer service representatives should be constantly trained and evaluated to ensure that these two factors are deeply ingrained in the customer service team.
Contact our team of experts to help set up your real-time omnichannel platform, which will let you integrate different channels like – Telephony, SMS, Email, Social Media, Chat, Chatbot on a single interface and give your agents a single queue of queries coming from different platforms. Our omnichannel tool also provides agents the full history of interactions with a customer across all the platforms.
Author Bio: Akanksha is an IT enthusiast, having an experience of 7 years in marketing and promotion. She has experience in varied industries, in positions working across the line of marketing. She is a day dreamer, an avid reader and a crazy traveler when she is not working.