What is consumer experience? Consumer experience is about how a customer feels during and after interacting with your brand. We’re all customers...
What Is Omnichannel Customer Service & Why Does It Matter?
An omnichannel customer experience means putting the customer at the center. Here's why it's important.
Across industries, there has been a move from traditional channels to an omnichannel customer service strategy.
The main motivation for this paradigm shift is to provide excellent customer service regardless of the medium through which a customer interacts with your brand.
In fact, the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) bots has considerably benefited customer lifecycle management initiatives across industries.
Companies that provide seamless omnichannel customer service retain customers for extended periods of time. As a result, it is critical for businesses, like yours, to make it simple for customers to contact you.
You can develop an omnichannel customer support strategy in-house or hire back office support services to assist you with the implementation.
Before we move into understanding its key benefits, let us quickly understand what omnichannel customer support is!
What is omnichannel customer support?
Omnichannel customer support aims to provide a seamless customer experience across channels by integrating all data and conversations into a single view. This gives customer service outsourcing agents an absolute view of a customer’s interactions and empowers them to answer queries more adequately.
To put it another way, if a consumer sends an email on Monday, they anticipate the phone conversation on Tuesday to continue where they left off. For a seamless experience, it becomes essential to maintain context across all channels.
Why is omnichannel customer service so important?
As a modern enterprise, you need to customize your customer’s journey in a way that ensures consistent messaging and seamless interactions across all touchpoints.
Your customers want the ability to be able to switch mediums on the fly without losing out on any information. Forcing a consumer to stay in one channel or return to the beginning every time they switch has a detrimental effect on their experience.
It may result in them never reaching the point of purchase. An omnichannel strategy improves the customer experience and gives them more flexibility to choose their preferred mode of interaction with your brand.
Below are a few key pointers that highlight the importance of omnichannel customer support for your brand:
1. Customize consumer experiences
Omnichannel customer support makes life easier for customers by providing them with multiple options to interact with your brand.
Omnichannel support not only provides convenience to the customer but also ensures that they have a remarkable experience every time.
Customer engagement channels such as chat, forums, and webinars can give you an outline of your customers’ present and past interactions.
You can obtain a sense of how your consumers' needs vary across multiple channels by placing these streams of data in a broader context, allowing you to alter operations and serve them better.
- Optimize your costs
An omnichannel strategy is more time-saving and cost-effective than allocating all agent manpower to traditional phone channels. Having a streamlined approach across channels brings a lot more efficiency to your processes and takes the burden off the shoulders of your contact center agents as well.
This way, your support executives and subject matter experts have more time on their hands to focus on business-critical tasks.
With online availability and omnichannel communication, you can integrate self-service options, such as chatbots, digital platforms, or knowledge-sharing forums that allow your customers to receive resolutions faster.
Overall, all of this brings a reduction in your customer service costs.
- Derive insights to drive competitive advantage
Omnichannel customer support is the future. Being the first to offer innovation in a field is one way to stay at the forefront of your potential customers’ minds.
As new technologies emerge, and customer expectations continue to change with the changing times, you need to leverage such technologies to gather data across all customer touchpoints.
By analyzing your customers’ past interactions, purchase patterns, and frequently asked questions, you will be able to better gauge your customers’ psyche. Plus, you can better predict demand patterns and customer needs ahead of time.
These insights can prove to be a key point of differentiation between you and your peers. Deriving actionable intelligence from omnichannel sources will definitely help you survive and thrive in this world of cutting-edge competition.
- Create brand awareness
Today, customers frequently do their own research through multiple sources, including online scouting, web searches, on social media, and by visiting physical stores before purchasing a product.
When it comes to increasing brand awareness, having a presence across all these platforms is a distinct benefit.
A prominent brand name with a significant presence across channels can influence whether you or your competition wins the customer.
It is critical to be consistent in your message across all mediums; your logo and tone of voice must match. In this way, you can ensure that your potential customers are able to identify your brand right off the bat.
- Establish customer loyalty
Within each product category, today's customers have multiple options at the ready. Plus, the information about prices and other specifications is also easily available.
As a result, it doesn't take much for a potential customer to choose your competition over you.
However, it may still be possible to achieve customer loyalty if you look at the parameters customer loyalty is most often measured on:
- Whether the customer will recommend your business to peers through word of mouth, or
- Whether the customer will buy at your store again in coming future
With an omnichannel business strategy, you have a great possibility of attaining customer loyalty. When an agent has the freedom to interact on any channel, switch channels, and see the customer’s entire conversation history – irrespective of the channel – this is where true customer loyalty is born.
In a Nutshell...
An omnichannel customer experience means putting the customer at the center.
You can provide your customers with an exceptional customer journey across channels and offer them complete flexibility - no matter where, when, and how they prefer to shop.
Companies that adopt an omnichannel customer strategy and leverage digital customer experience are well-positioned to move ahead of their competition.