Companies striving to keep up with the times communicate with customers through several channels. They are SMS, email, phone calls, instant messengers, social networks, etc. The problem is that these channels are often not integrated with each other. That’s why the dialogue with the client becomes inconsistent, context is often lost and clients experience inconveniences. Managers have to reconcile data from multiple sources to get accurate reports. Omnichannel software is the key to solving these problems.
Main Features of Omnichannel Customer Service
Omnichannel service is the most advanced type of service today. Omnichannel means not only that the company uses several channels to communicate with the client, but also that these channels work as a single system. The entire history of communication with the client (through all available channels) is stored within one program. With the help of omnichannel software, the client can interact with the brand in any convenient way. The customer won’t face any difficulties when switching from one channel to another one.
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Omnichannel vs Multichannel: Important Differences
Imagine an e-commerce company that has social media pages, a call center, and an email address to handle customer requests. If the client first contacted the company on social networks, then wrote an e-mail, and then called the call center, then (with a multichannel approach) he/she will need to explain the problem to the call center operator for the third time in a row (a total of 3 times for each channel). It’s due to the fact that the channels aren’t integrated.
With an omnichannel approach, all of these channels are integrated into a single system that, at each stage of customer interaction, combines all available data through different channels. It helps to provide consistent and fast customer service. Omnichannel is always preferable for both the client and the business.
Omnichannel Customer Service: Key Advantages for Clients and Businesses
Modern companies strive to be as customer-oriented as possible. Omnichannel customer service is one of the most important means of achieving this goal. Companies that are moving to omnichannel services can attract and retain more consumers because they always provide the most convenient service options. This creates a competitive advantage in the marketplace and leads to higher profits.
Key benefits of omnichannel service for clients
- The ability to quickly obtain information or resolve an issue in a convenient way using any channel;
- Consistent customer experience involving interactions across multiple platforms;
- An opportunity to receive personalized offers for products or services;
Omnichannel service significantly saves customers time when solving their issues, since they do not have to re-explain the problem several times.
Key benefits of omnichannel services for businesses
- More effective customer retention;
- Improved customer data collection process;
- Increased customer satisfaction;
- High service efficiency.
Omnichannel communications are in high demand today as many companies are realizing the benefits they can get.
How to Implement Omnichannel Customer Service?
First and foremost, your company should start adhering to a customer-centric business strategy. This means that your customer should be the top priority for your company. The main steps for introducing an omnichannel service are the following:
- Identifying and analyzing customer touchpoints. This step helps you understand the needs of your business to maintain effective communication, as well as identify the main problems that your customers face when interacting with your business.
- Thinking through possible use cases and scenarios. If you want to connect new channels and expand the opportunities for communication with the client, it would be a good idea to draw up a “map” of the path that each client goes through. This will allow you to come up with interactive scenarios and understand how an omnichannel service can bring these ideas to life.
- Collecting existing customer data across all channels. The more data you can collect, the better. This will create more opportunities to improve your customer experience in the future.
- Collecting reviews. How satisfied are your customers with the service quality? Is there anything they would like to improve? Collecting feedback is an ongoing process that allows you to continually improve your service.
- Data analysis. The data collected needs to be analyzed to understand which channels to focus on and how to build effective customer relationships in the future.
Having done all this, the business can move on to choosing an omnichannel solution that meets all of its requirements. An omnichannel contact center should offer all the necessary features and capabilities to interact with customers. With the help of an omnichannel platform, the company creates a unified communication system that can be integrated with the selected CRM.