As customer demands and expectations shift, more and more consumers expect a seamless experience across channels. Omnichannel customer service, as a concept, takes direct aim at this phenomenon and empowers organisations to provide the very best service they can for the customers, no matter what channel they choose to connect on.
Getting omnichannel customer service right involves balancing myriad moving parts. Read on to discover what makes omnichannel customer service so important and how you can master it at your contact centre and across your organisation.
What omnichannel customer service means
Omnichannel customer service is a multifaceted approach to serving customers that focuses on seamless delivery across all supported channels.
An omnichannel approach to customer service leverages e-mail, chat, direct phone calls, social media, in-person communication and more, all while keeping track of the customer journey. Omnichannel service involves tracking interactions across channels to build better understanding of customer needs over time.
How omnichannel differs from multichannel
Omnichannel and multichannel customer service processes are different from one another. Although both approaches take advantage of a multitude of channels to better serve customers, they do so in vastly different ways.
Multichannel service makes it possible for customers to reach out to an organisation over a number of different channels. However, these channels are not connected to one another on the backend. Instead, each channel is managed by a specialised team of customer service agents. This keeps conversations and insights gleaned through interactions with individual customers confined to their respective channels, effectively limiting their value for the business and the customer alike.
The multichannel approach leads to frustration for customers and missed opportunities for businesses. An omnichannel approach links all supported channels together, allowing information to be shared between them and empowering agents to touch base with customers across them all without losing track of customers’ goals.
Persistent data and delivery
Omnichannel customer service is inherently customer-centric. This is largely due to the way data is handled in between customer interactions. Customer conversation data persists across channels and agents, cutting down on the need for repetition. Customer service representatives can take advantage of this sticky data to improve cohesion across touchpoints.
By adopting an omnichannel service strategy, organisations can assist their agents in creating exceptional experiences for their customers. Individual customer issues can begin on one channel and smoothly transition across several others without wasting time and effort on redundant questions. This way, persistent interaction data directly improves service delivery and customer success. Enhanced visibility of customer concerns can also improve agent intervention outcomes, potentially lowering your service rep churn rate.
Tips for great omnichannel customer service experiences
Great omnichannel experiences have the power to bring customers back for more, plus they can build momentum with subsequent interactions. The following tips should help you maximise the value your business builds with omnichannel service techniques:
Optimise for consistency
Consistency is one of the most important factors to prioritise to perfect your company’s omnichannel customer service strategy. By delivering a consistent user experience on each channel, your organisation can foster familiarity among its customers. This makes those you serve more confident in your ability to satisfy their needs.
Consistency also helps boost efficiency across the board. This applies to both your agents and your customers. Agents can quickly pick up where previous interactions left off using a truly omnichannel system and customers can work with recognisable features no matter what channel they reach out on.
Personalisation is another key element worth considering when implementing an omnichannel strategy. Customers want to know that they are being heard and understood when they contact your company. Personalising their experiences helps accomplish this and much more.
Test your system
Once you have made the move to an omnichannel system, it can help to have a hands-on approach to maintaining and improving it. By testing your own system from a user’s perspective, you can quickly uncover hidden bottlenecks and obstacles.
Issues with response speeds and accuracy are often enough to drive customers away. Testing your system by posing as a customer and contacting your company on each of the channels your team supports should shed light on such snags before they can run off your customers.
Today’s savvy consumers demand a seamless customer service experience across all the channels through which they interact with a brand, making omnichannel customer service a must for modern organisations. By following a few omnichannel customer service best practices, your company can gain an edge over the competition by providing a consistent experience and top-notch customer service across a variety of communication channels.
Learn more about how to connect the dots of your customer interactions across channel with this white paper: Understanding Omnichannel CX: Analysing Every Customer Touchpoint.
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