As technology advances, it becomes more and more integrated in our daily lives.
In competitive markets, businesses need to think strategically about how they market their services and a larger aspect of that service - their customer experience.
How customers are treated is a big value-add for businesses looking to set themselves apart. Clients will keep coming back if they are treated well.
Omnichannel customer service is a buzzword that isn’t new to the customer service or support space - but many businesses are still grasping the in’s and out’s of the omnichannel approach when it comes to customer support.
This article will go over the definition of omnichannel customer service, best practices, and how businesses can begin crafting their omnichannel customer service strategy today.
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What is Omnichannel Customer Service?
What is Omnichannel Customer Service?
Omnichannel customer service (sometimes branded as omnichannel), like other customer support approaches, seeks to provide seamless customer service.
Omnichannel customer service model gives their customers access to their products, services, and offers on all channels, platforms, and devices.
For example, a company can offer customer support through their website’s chatbot in real time. But also offer 24/7 support on social media, email, mobile devices, and other digital channels.
Another example would be if a customer leaves a message on a Facebook page earlier in the week, they could expect an email or phone call to address their concerns within the next business day.
An omnichannel approach creates a seamless and harmonious experience throughout all communication channels and touchpoints.
Having this personalized experience gives customers the support that they need – no matter the customer service channel.
Additional Reading: ‘Omnichannel vs Multichannel Marketing: Key Differences’
Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service
Here are the benefits of providing an omnichannel customer experience for your customers:
- Increase in customer satisfaction: If customers are satisfied, customer retention will increase. Customers will be happier in the long run if they have several ways to reach your support agents.
- Increase in profits: If customer engagement is right, expect your customers to spend more. With seamless communication, customers are left with less questions about products or services. An omnichannel customer experience makes it easier for customers to make purchases, renew subscriptions, and other tasks that help your company increase revenue.
- Increase in reach: With this type of customer service experience, companies reach customers in different channels. Customers no longer have to search your website to find where to contact you or where information on your services are. Customer expectations are clear when using your services, which gives your company a better reputation in the marketplace.
An omnichannel customer service experience can provide a positive and consistent experience for customers, which will increase the opportunity for customer loyalty.
Channels for Omnichannel Customer Service
Along with providing support to customer needs, omnichannel customer service also provides an opportunity for marketing your services and products across different channels.
Each digital channel has its strength - but choosing between various channels can be a challenge for businesses.
Browse the different channels businesses use for omnichannel customer service to see if one of them fit your customer relationships the best.
Complete CRM platforms like HubSpot work as all-in-one automation tools. It is a great tool to fit your business and customer needs.
If your company is focused on increasing leads, growing sales, improving customer services, or all of the above, a CRM tool can do it across all different platforms. You can schedule email blasts, use calendars to block time for calls, and invest in their social media tools.
Customer service agents can make their lives easier by using a CRM to improve their workflows and give the best brand experience to their clients.
Additional Reading: ‘Hubspot vs. Hootsuite: Key Differences’
Everyone is on their phones and mobile devices. Therefore, mobile services should be one touchpoint in your omnichannel customer service journeys.
Mobile users can hear from your business through text messages, instant messaging channels, and other mobile apps at the touch of their screen.
If your customer support team invests in mobile services, it will have a huge impact on your omnichannel customer service strategy.
Retail & E-Commerce
Omnichannel customer service works extremely well for retail and e-commerce providers.
For example, a clothing brand can sell products on an app, website, or service like Amazon.
While this mainly applies to B2C industries, B2B companies can simulate a similar experience by allowing customers to ask for quotes, schedule consultations, and request demos across different channels.
Email support is an omnichannel customer support tool that follows traditional marketing strategies.
Email communication has its own benefits - it is cost-effective, easier to monitor and analyze specific metrics, and can be sent in real time or scheduled for a later send.
Companies can also craft templates to make the email experience even more seamless. For example, customer service agents can craft email responses that go over FAQs like pricing, and then when the customer responds, they can provide a more personalized experience.
Social media platforms are how customers find out about trends and businesses. Why not use it as a customer service tool?
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, can allow your business to give quick answers to customer questions.
Along with communicating through the platforms, businesses can craft social media ad campaigns to market services, use hashtags and other elements to promote deals, and more.
If customers tag your products on their posts, you should react, like, or comment. That customer interaction will go a long way.
Best Practices for Omnichannel Customer Service
If your company is ready to provide a seamless experience to your customers, learn the best practices for omnichannel customer service.
Now that you’ve learned all about omnichannel customer service, it might be tempting just to dive right in. Remember to start small with minor modifications; this will allow you to judge customer expectations without causing major issues to their service. Once you start small,
Create a place for data storage
With all of the communication, your team will begin receiving customer data through previous interactions. It is important to store that in a preferred channel for your business to keep track of customer experience and help assist your customer service agents with future inquiries.
Providing self-service options can help your customers have an easy journey. If a customer can find an answer to fix a problem on their own, it saves everyone time and helps with agent productivity for other tasks.
Map customer journeys
Think about your target customer - what can happen during their customer journey? It is important to have all potential journeys mapped out to find out any bottlenecks or issues that might occur. If you already have the guidelines for it, it will improve customer service for all parties.
Choose the right platforms
Select different channels that are accessible for all sets of customers and work well with different industries.
Consistency is essential with omnichannel customer service strategies. Work to create consistency across all digital channels regarding brand, tone, and style. Your communication standards with response time and other elements should also be consistent. Ensure all of those materials and guidelines are accessible to your team, and then your customers will enjoy a seamless, consistent experience.
These best practices will help your business provide the best omnichannel customer service.
Craft an Omnichannel Customer Service Strategy
Whether your team is starting to plan an omnichannel customer service experience for your company or making improvements to an existing experience, figure out all the details that will help your customers and support team.
Omnichannel customer service is an excellent option but can fall flat if your team doesn’t use the right communication channels or follow best practices.