As the online industry continues to evolve, it’s critical for businesses to take a proactive approach in their marketing campaigns, customer service, and more. For example, how are you sharing communication and online messaging that connects with your target demographic? In addition, businesses that use omnichannel are leading the way by improving customer experience, which directly impacts important metrics like conversion rates, purchases, repeat sales, and referrals.
As a business owner, you want to differentiate your company from the competitors. The key opportunity lies in an omnichannel support strategy to ensure that customers are “wow-ed” by every interaction. Customers rely on user experience to determine the quality of a business, and this process starts with seemingly small interactions across all platforms.
Key Differences: Omnichannel vs. Multi-Channel Customer Service
Many companies use a multi-channel approach, which means they are offering customer service on multiple platforms. For example, there might be 2 or 3 main digital locations where customers can interact with the brand, such as a website contact form, live chat, or social media direct messaging.
If you are using a multi-channel approach, then you are investing in online communication where your customers are spending their time. There are multiple communication channels in place, but these channels aren’t necessarily connected. For example, a customer might be able to reach out via text messaging, email, phone, or chat – but the conversations are standalone and can’t be continued by moving to another platform.
In comparison, an omnichannel customer experience takes multi-channel marketing a step further. Customers receive a consistent experience, even when switching to other communication platforms. With this approach, the context and conversation history move with the customer to ensure consistency on all channels. This streamlined communication makes it easier for the customer support team to provide personalized support in every interaction.
What Is Omnichannel and How Does It Work?
When you are providing a true omnichannel customer experience, it means that you are talking to the customers in the right places while maintaining full context and history every step of the way. There is a proper platform for every communication, and the goal is to ensure that you maintain consistency at all times.
Some businesses view an omnichannel support strategy as inconvenient because multiple platforms can be challenging to maintain. But the truth is that connecting all communication platforms can streamline the overall experience and end results.
Remember that it’s natural for different channels to be used, depending on the moment or context. Not all channels are created equal, which is why businesses need to be ready to interact with customers wherever and whenever they are reaching out.
Each time the conversation moves to a different platform, the customer service agent also sees the context and history. The result is a streamlined, continuous conversation thread that improves communication overall.
What Is an Omnichannel Example?
Each communication channel is useful on its own. For example, if a customer reaches out through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger initially, your customer service team can start the conversation to understand the context of the conversation.
The customer might switch to communication via email or text messaging at some point. Omnichannel services ensure that the agent has full context about the previous social media communication. As a result, the quality of the communication improves because it’s not necessary for the customer to re-explain the situation every time they reach out on a different platform.
Another example is when a customer reaches out over the phone. During the conversation, the customer service agent might need to share a link to move to a different platform that offers a better experience. So, the link can come through SMS text, which takes the user to a web chat or online form. Additionally, follow-up communication can be built into the experience, with the customer receiving a reply notification later on.
Why Every Business Needs Omnichannel Customer Support
There are many ways that omnichannel services improve customer interactions, which has a positive impact on overall results. When your customer service agents know who they are talking to and the history of the previous conversations, then they are equipped to:
- Personalize each conversation
- Resolve issues more quickly
- Increase revenue
- Reduce customer loss and churn
- Improve the ability to deliver customer satisfaction
Not only are omnichannel services important for optimizing customer service, but it also makes communication easier for customer service agents.
Best Practices for Your Omnichannel Support Strategy
Whether you are just getting started with new omnichannel services or you have a multi-channel system in place and want to streamline these platforms, you can optimize your results by implementing these best practices:
- Choose the Right Channels: Research the industry so you know where your target demographic is spending their time. Every omnichannel support strategy is unique, depending on the platforms that suit the company brand and customer needs. Focus your efforts on the most popular platforms for the target audience, but be careful not to spread your marketing resources too thin with too many channels in the beginning.
- Build in Consistency Across Channels: Now that you have picked the channels, it’s time to streamline the system with a well-integrated plan. For example, you can connect these channels to your CRM so agents can always see the current status when a customer reaches out – regardless of the platform where the conversation is happening.
- Leverage Technology as Much as Possible: Investing in quality technology is key to success with omnichannel services. When you have a back-end system, it becomes easier to manage customer needs and gain insights from data and feedback.
- Don’t Forget About Mobile: Most businesses begin their omnichannel support strategy with a website and social media. But don’t underestimate the importance of mobile marketing and customer support. For example, as online shopping continues to increase in popularity, customers depend on their mobile devices for these shopping experiences. Even if the purchase is made offline or on a computer, a mobile device is the most popular research tool.
- In-Person and Online Experiences: Do you have a brick-and-mortar store? Limiting purchases to in-person sales means that you are leaving money on the table. Customers want to shop in a physical store, browse online, and have options for both shipping and in-person pickups. Good omnichannel services not only integrate online communications but also provide a seamless experience when customers move between in-person and digital interactions.
- Give Real-Time Updates: One undeniable benefit of an omnichannel customer experience is that you can offer real-time status updates to your customers. Regardless of where the initial interaction happens, you can have an automated system in place that keeps customers updated about the status of their purchases. Additionally, these updates can be helpful for marketing because you can share information about new products and services.
- Test and Improve: The more you interact with customers through digital platforms, the more data you have to learn and improve your omnichannel support strategy. There are endless ways to improve your campaigns, and data analysis takes away the guesswork. Try something new, then see how customers are interacting with your brand or responding to the communication. Track essential omnichannel Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as sales, conversion rates, customer engagement, average order value, repeat sales, and more.
Each of these best practices can have a positive impact on your customer service strategy. Apply all of them and build a dynamic system that helps your company stand out in the local and online industries.
Is an Omnichannel Customer Support System Right for You?
Regardless of your business or industry, it’s likely that omnichannel services are a good fit for your company. It makes sense that companies and customers want to have seamless conversations on all platforms.
Here are a few reasons why you might choose to invest in omnichannel services:
- Customer authentication is needed for security.
- Conversations need to move between platforms to improve user experience.
- Notifying customers when they receive a reply to their messages.
- You want to improve privacy by talking conversations off third-party platforms.
You won’t regret the decision to implement omnichannel services. This dynamic approach improves the experience overall for everyone involved.
How to Get Started with Omnichannel Services
It’s no surprise that omnichannel customer support might seem overwhelming and complicated for business owners who don’t have much experience with online marketing and communication. Of course, you can implement a few key pieces, such as setting up a website or creating social media accounts. But the real magic happens when you find an expert team to help streamline communication across all these platforms.
There’s no reason for you to build omnichannel services from scratch. Instead, tap into the experience and insights our team offers here at Fresco Data. We use a data-focused approach to ensure every omnichannel support strategy is customized to the unique needs of each business. Reach out at your convenience when you are ready to book a consultation and learn about available services. We are always here to help!