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What Is Omnichannel Customer Service & How To Deliver It?

According to PWC's Customer Experience is Everything report, almost 60% of American customers say companies have lost touch with the human part of the customer experience. The same report also mentions that 82% of customers want companies to offer a more humanized customer experience in the future. 

The fact is, consumers may communicate with your sales and support staff on their preferred communication channel with omnichannel contact centers. As per Harvard Business Review research, over 70% of retail buyers use more than one communication channel during their purchasing journey. So, delivering customer service through all possible channels is imperative to achieving customer expectations. 

Consumers today don't only want to be able to make purchases and receive marketing materials through several platforms. They also demand multichannel customer service, which allows them to communicate with agents via phone, email, chat, and even texting.

Is your customer service team up to date? If present numbers are any indicator, the answer is very likely no. Don’t fret, in this article, we will cover everything you will need to ramp up your customer service and scale it to reach the level desired by your customers.

What Is Omnichannel Customer Service?

The term "omnichannel" is thrown about a lot, so let's take a closer look at what it entails. Omnichannel customer service is similar to the phrase "omnipresence," which refers to being present everywhere at the same time. From the standpoint of your customers, you should appear to be everywhere at once.

Regardless of the channels via which you provide customer care, you must provide a consistent experience across all of them. Customers can simply obtain answers to their queries and have issues fixed with omnichannel communication, regardless of the channel they utilize.

A consumer can begin a service encounter using in-app chat and end it through a phone call, or vice versa. Omnichannel communication encompasses more than just the ways in which consumers and agents can communicate throughout the customer journey. It also syncs conversations, notes, files, and any other client information across all channels instantly.

During a single discussion or several follow-ups, switching between channels, devices, and touchpoints is simple.

It also ensures that, even if numerous agents assist clients during the support process, each agent knows exactly where the discussion left off, who the consumer previously interacted with, what issues were resolved, and which issues remain unresolved.

Key Benefits Of Omnichannel Customer Service

Organizations with great omnichannel solutions for customer support can retain around 89 percent of their clients, while companies with below-par omnichannel consumer engagement keep only 33 percent. Companies can enjoy various benefits by providing omnichannel service to clients in a digitally developing world, as noted below:

  1. Provides personalized customer service - Nearly one-third of customers say they discontinued doing business with a firm because it failed to provide a personalized experience, and more than 40% say they are dissatisfied with non-personalized encounters.

    Customers will feel valued, prioritized, and emotionally attached to your company if you personalize their experience. Building enduring relationships and increasing customer loyalty through personalization is straightforward with omnichannel communication, especially when it comes to customer service.

    It allows clients to communicate with their favorite agents via the channel of their choice. Given that nearly 40% of customers want to be able to speak with the same customer care agent they spoke with previously, regardless of the channel they use, this makes a significant difference.
  2. Reduce Operational Cost - Customer service quality is not compromised by omnichannel customer service platforms, which lowers operating costs. The average SMS/Text session is up to 75% less expensive than a phone call.

    Customers prefer to communicate with support professionals using less time-consuming channels such as chat support or SMS rather than waiting in long ticket lines.
  3. Reduced Inbound Call Center Calls - The availability of numerous channels that give similar experiences minimizes incoming consumer phone calls, resulting in benefits ranging from reduced agent burnout due to high support volume to increased customer satisfaction with self-service choices.

    In the end, omnichannel support for CX results in the most efficient distribution of support tickets rather than trafficking a single customer support channel.
  4. Reduce Customer Churn - By aligning the correct channels with the right information at the right time, an integrated channel approach reduces customer effort during the research, sales, and after-purchase journey. Consistent information across media builds customer trust and boosts brand loyalty.

    Another time-saving benefit of multichannel communication is that it saves clients from having to repeat their problems to many agents. Over three-fourths of customers say repeating their problems is one of the most aggravating aspects of the total customer experience.

    So, omnichannel communication isn't just quick; it also eliminates data silos. It also boosts first-contact resolution rates dramatically. According to studies, improved first call resolution rates reduce customer churn by 67 percent while also increasing customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction rises by 1% for every 1% increase in first contact resolution.
  5. Increased Business Sales - Omnichannel customer service keeps customers in context throughout their journey and generates complete customer experiences. In the long run, it leads to both cost-saving and generating more business income.

    According to a Harvard Business Review study, the more communication channels a company has, the more money customers will spend (even if for customer service queries.)

    Consumers who have access to omnichannel support and buying alternatives spend 4% more per shopping trip than those who just have access to one communication channel, according to the survey. Consumers will spend more money if businesses provide more communication options.

    And what if these people choose to shop in a physical store rather than online e-commerce stores? They'll still spend 13% more at a company's physical store that offers an omnichannel approach than if they simply had access to a single channel. Upselling is also more likely and convenient when with an excellent customer service team.

How To Deliver Effective Omnichannel Customer Service?

We now have a better understanding of what omnichannel customer service is, why it's important, and how it boosts revenue.

When you have decided to implement an omnichannel support strategy, it is critical to understand and implement the advantages of bolstering Omni services to improve customer engagement.

Everyone who uses omnichannel communication will benefit from the recommended practices outlined here.

  1. Understand Your Customer’s Expectations - We've discussed how to meet, if not surpass, client expectations.

    However, how will you know whether you've succeeded? Every consumer is likely to have a different benchmark. To grasp client expectations, you must first comprehend their journey as well as the full customer lifecycle.

    You can provide a more personalized experience when you engage with clients and make an effort to understand them. You may improve your operations by knowing how your clients interact with your company across all channels.

    For example, suppose you've created a high-quality product and are debating whether to sell it in retail or wholesale. You could prefer retail to wholesale since it allows you to provide more personalized service. You can target a specific demographic of customers. Retailers get the freedom to choose and target the channels to reach customers.
  2. Choose The Most Appropriate Channel - Try to figure out what are the demands of your target audience. Determine the ways via which they like to communicate with you. Pay attention to all of your channels and provide consistent client service.

    Be proactive in selecting the communication channels. Try even the new channels which your current customers don’t prefer, they may lead you to find new customers.
  3. Map The Customer Journey - Businesses should evaluate new technology as they are implemented. This information can be utilized to create a customer journey map.

    You acquire insights into previous client interactions by doing so. You can check a customer's conversation history and whether they've interacted with chatbots, phone calls, or SMS, for example. If your clients prefer to connect by text messages, you know this is an area where you should focus and develop.

    You may be proactive and provide simplified help via the chosen channels once you have that information.
  4. Invest In Customer Service Technology - Data collection is aided by omnichannel tools. This allows your staff flexible access to pertinent customer data. These tools also let you track how customers interact with your brand at each stage of their journey, which reduces turnaround times.

    In the field of technology, there is a lot of creativity. Automation methods can alleviate sales pain points thanks to the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) software. This can be observed, for example, in the use of sales crm.

    Technology aids customer-facing employees in doing their tasks more quickly. The advancements in technologies like Bots and AI will greatly affect the future of customer service in the next decade.

    These technologies should be utilized in omnichannel initiatives. Customers will have a more pleasant and consistent user experience as a result of your efforts.
  5. Upskill Your Customer Service Team - Service technology will address less complicated problems as AI becomes more prevalent. But that doesn't rule out the possibility of human customer support representatives. So you should upskill them to improve their product knowledge and problem-solving abilities.

    Communication skills and support etiquette are other important areas to learn. You must guarantee that your workforce is upskilled to consistently resolve issues across all channels.

    Your agents may give a more personalized experience by upskilling. As a result, the consumer experience is enhanced. Your product experts can spend more time innovating with a highly skilled customer service workforce. This is because they spend less time dealing with customers.

    Taking an omnichannel approach means prioritizing your customers. So it's imperative to provide customers with a high-quality user experience at every stage of the buying process. And an upskilled customer support personnel is an essential part of this process.
  6. Provide Self-Service Options To Customers - E-commerce companies are increasingly recognizing the advantages of dependable self-service alternatives. They not only enhance your brand's image, but they also help you stay ahead of the technological curve.

    Tutorials and guides, as well as videos and the previously stated FAQs, are all available. Self-service portals enable personalization while also saving time and money. Agent productivity, for example, improves when the number of support tickets decreases.

    In addition, customer service costs are decreasing. Support needs are reduced if clients can find answers on their own. When clients experience favorable self-service interactions, it also helps to build your brand's reputation.
  7. Enhance Social Presence - Social networking is seen as a valuable customer care tool that aids in increasing client satisfaction. 80 percent of consumers engage with brands through social media. More than 34.5 percent of respondents stated they prefer social media to reactive support channels like phone and email.

    Users can now communicate directly with brands in a more meaningful and real way than before thanks to features like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram messaging. As a result, many businesses are working to increase their visibility in those settings.
  8. Provide Effective Hybrid Support Through Automation And Humans -
    In the modern era of customer service, hybrid support is a reality. Businesses can improve customer service by combining AI chatbots and human assistance to provide hybrid support (including the best of both worlds).

    Choosing the hybrid support method necessitates a deep understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of both live chat and chatbot. The balanced support method allocates resources to the most important tasks. You can employ chatbots for basic discussions and human support for more sophisticated ones.

    Chatbots, on the other hand, help to engage customers by answering basic questions and pre-qualifying leads by asking pertinent questions.
  9. Measure The Customer Service Metrics Regularly -
    Customer service is important. KPIs, or key performance indicators, are a type of metric used by businesses to track and analyze customer relations by taking into account the entire customer journey. Companies that succeed at customer experience have revenues that are 4 percent to 8 percent greater than the market average.

    The following are the important customer service KPIs or measures that firms use to monitor and analyze client relationships:
    1. The Net Promoter Score - NPS statistic assesses customer satisfaction and determines how likely consumers are to suggest you to their friends and family.
    2. Retention rate - It can help you figure out if your clients are happy with your service and want to keep doing business with you.
    3. Number of touchpoints - This indicator represents the total number of touchpoints a client has made to obtain the correct resolution.

Customer service measurement is critical for organizations because it allows them to evaluate how well their firm is functioning and how their consumers perceive their products and services. It also aids in closing the gaps to achieve complete success. Also, have a look at the key customer service statistics for 2022.

  1. Gather And Analyze Customer Feedback Data -
    Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) isn't just for providing rapid assistance; they're also useful for gaining insights into client behavior and the quality of your customer care.

    Analytics and data metrics provide vital information about your customers' preferred digital channels, total customer engagement levels, the amount of daily/weekly/monthly support interactions, first contact resolution rates, customer demographics, and recurring service queries.

    Machine learning enables bots to "learn" which responses have the highest success rate and better comprehend what customers want with each contact.

    Regardless of the communication method, this results in a significantly more efficient and effective customer-centric strategy.

Platforms That Help In Delivering Omnichannel Customer Service

It's time to look at omnichannel customer service platforms now that you know what omnichannel customer service is, the benefits it provides, and the best ways to provide it to your consumers.

  1. BigContacts.com - Sales and support are often separated which easily causes miscommunication resulting in dissatisfied customers. With BIGContacts, you can easily prioritize tickets for higher-value customers or valuable prospective clients as it pulls in support tickets. Your customers will always feel supported and understood with this combination.

Plans:

Big: $10 per user

Bigger: $20 per user

Biggest: $30 per user

  1. Callhippo.com - Callhippo provides highly personalized customer support that resolves issues faster. The powerful features of Callhippo allow you to bid adieu to all your connectivity issues, and allow seamless call forwarding, call conferencing, call transferring, call recording, automatic call distribution, number portability, and more. 

Plans: 

Bronze: $16 per user

Silver: $24 per user

Platinum: $40 per user

  1. Hiverhq.com -  It is the simplest path to customer delight. It enhances your Gmail so as to enable you to deliver stellar personalized customer service like a cakewalk! It helps you remain at the top of your game by enabling user-friendly collaboration features, automation, advanced analytics, and more. 

Plans:

Lite: $10.23  per user/month

Pro: $28.12 per user/month

Elite: $42.17  per user/month

Implement What You Have Learned Here Today!

For firms, omnichannel customer service is more of a strategic approach than a tactical one. Having an omnichannel approach, however, isn't enough. Businesses must also train their customer-facing personnel to be able to interpret numerous customer data points across each engagement to provide excellent omnichannel customer service.

One crucial element for transforming your organization into an omnichannel-centric and enhancing brand credibility is implementing a great platform and developing a well-trained, dedicated support crew.

Some further resources to help you create an exemplary customer experience:

By Vineet Gupta

Vineet Gupta is a SaaS marketing professional who helps businesses in improving their online presence and lead generation. Connect with him for more engaging conversations on Linkedin.

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