Customers no longer use a single channel to interact with your brand. Stats show that 73% of customers switch between an average of 4 channels during their purchase journey. This amplifies the demand for omnichannel customer service, a key strategy you should consider adopting for your brand by all means.
In this blog, we will walk you through 7 key benefits of omnichannel customer service and how it boosts your customers’ relationship with your brand.
What Does it Mean to Provide Omnichannel Customer Support?
Omnichannel customer service provides your customers with a unified experience across all channels they use to engage with your brand. Customers today don’t want to be limited to one or two channels of communication when they want to reach you. Omnichannel starts with being present everywhere your customers are so that they have no trouble interacting with you through a means that is convenient for them.
The main ingredient of omnichannel service, however, lies in integrating the fragments of customer interaction scattered across different channels to offer a connected, holistic experience. Omnichannel service affects more than customer engagement and the speed of resolution. Let’s take a look at how omnichannel help desk software can prove beneficial for your business:
Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service
- More Options for Customers to Interact with the Business
- Seamless Customer Experience Backed by Context
- Better Customer Retention and Sales with Integrated Online and Offline Experiences
- Improves the Quality of Customer Data being Collected
- Helps the Brand Cater to a Wide Range of Audiences
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
- Reinforces Customer Trust by Increasing Brand Accountability
The last thing today’s time-strapped customers want is to wait. Customers believe that they should be able to engage with a brand through the channel they want to, at the time they want. The ubiquity of smartphones has made the customers unbiased towards the use of various channels like email support, phone, in-app chat, chatbots, social media, live chat, etc. Omnichannel service helps you expand the scope of customer engagement, and facilitates a smooth transition of communication between different channels through data integration.
Integration is the key factor that can make or break your omnichannel customer service strategy. Every channel should work cohesively to steer the customer journey in the same direction. The channel your customer uses becomes the voice of your brand for that customer. With the use of integration and centralization of data, you can tailor the voice and messaging to suit the customer’s individual needs.
Most importantly, omnichannel support is beneficial to both your customers and your support teams.
- It improves the quality of customer engagement by offering a seamless experience across various channels
- It saves your support team’s bandwidth by promoting self-service and faster response times
Self-service is one of the key aspects of omnichannel approach. The factors that drive omnichannel customer service — data centralization and knowledge base functionality are the driving factors of self-service as well. In a 2020 survey, 91% of customers said they would use a knowledge base rather than phone calls to solve their issues if it is customized to their needs.
With the huge amount of customer data collected and integrated across different channels, you can upgrade your routing strategy to serve your customers’ self-service needs. HappyFox Help Desk provides self-service channels like Support Center, Knowledge base, Community Forums, and FAQs pages. It also allows integrations with Live chat and Chatbot software.
Other than improving efficiency and the speed of resolution in customer support, omnichannel resources if aligned well with your marketing strategy can yield surprising results in other areas of the marketing funnel. Omnichannel treats every channel as a support channel, which leads to more conversations. More conversations equal more sales, although not necessarily in a direct sense:
Omnichannel e-commerce is booming due to cross-sell/upsell opportunities
Cross-channel engagement is almost inevitable in industries like e-commerce, where 71% of customers deem in-store and digital user experience equally important. Customers claim to use mobile devices to research the product they want to pick up in-store and vice versa. Neither can operate in silos. The omnichannel approach uses CRM and automation tools to integrate the online and offline experiences. Doing so will help you offer a more personalized experience to your customers, thus reducing churn rates and increasing retention. For instance, the simplest in-app functionalities can help you understand customer intent and nudge them towards purchasing a product they like. You can simply send a discount or gift coupon sms for an abandoned cart item rather than wait for their reply to your third drip email.
Omnichannel approach offers ways to reward/meaningfully engage with your return customers
The omnichannel approach that is tailored around the customer journey opens many possibilities for meaningful engagement with your customers, not just when they want help or want to buy something from you. Reward your long-term customers. Send a birthday email. Introduce or improve customer loyalty programs. Redefine personalized experiences. In business, a little recognition goes a long way, as far as turning your return customers into life-long customers.
By definition, an omnichannel strategy follows customer footprints and intent extensively along various touchpoints. This uncovers customer data laden with multi-channel insights that are highly relevant to your business and your customers. Data of quality and relevance will help you make data-driven decisions for your business, more so than the new trends cropping up every other day. HappyFox Business Intelligence and Reporting software helps you transform real-time data into insightful reports, thus making it easy for you to map your strategy to your KPIs.
By limiting yourself to certain platforms and channels, you are losing out on your chance to engage with existing and potential customers. Not addressing your customers on social networks can spiral into abandonment pretty quickly. Stats show that 72% of millennials are likely to choose a brand that responds to customer queries and feedback on social network channels. Social media is quickly becoming one of the go-to communication channels for raising requests due to flexibility of usage, faster responses, and availability of honest reviews. It is important to offer omnichannel customer experience to give your customers more options for engagement beyond the usual channels.
Brands that have a strong omnichannel strategy enjoy 89% more customer retention and satisfaction than the brands that don’t. Omnichannel service aims at making customers’ lives easier from start to finish, ironing out any friction they may face while engaging with a brand. This ultimately boosts customer satisfaction. By reducing customer effort, dependency, and time across all brand interactions, you are providing a holistic eco-system for your customers to exist and engage with your brand at their convenience.
Omnichannel presence is a double-edged sword for businesses. By nature, customers talk more about bad experiences than good ones. Increased gateways into your product or service make you more visible — and importantly, make your actions more visible. There is no guarantee that an average review on social networks won’t lead to multiple comments and rants. One-to-one and one-to-many conversations have a stark contrast in the role they play in gaining customer trust. Social media conversations are public, and brands know they have an image to uphold especially when addressing the masses. This way, social media support holds the brand more accountable, and hence trustworthy.
However, if you nail your omnichannel strategy, you are one step closer to nailing organic brand reach. Word of mouth will never get outdated in marketing. In social media, the reach only gets amplified. If you offer a great customer experience on social media and the rest of the communication channels consistently, you will gain more brand reach and possibly more customers. Take a look at how HappyFox helps you integrate social media customer service with your help desk.
Customers’ first impression of your brand is the support you provide, and the smallest of gaps can cost you your business. The world of customer service is dynamic. Yesterday’s trends are today’s essentials, and omnichannel service is one of them. Sign up for a demo with our product experts to learn how to set up a successful omnichannel customer service experience for your business.