According to data gathered by Business 2 Community, 90% of consumers want an omnichannel service experience when interacting with companies. Additionally, omnichannel customers typically spend more when compared to single-channel users.
Organizations that provide true omnichannel support maximize profitability, enhance the customer experience, and preserve brand reputation. It’s clear that the era of offering customers a single support medium has ended.
What Is Omnichannel Support?
The terms “omnichannel” and “multi-channel” are often used interchangeably. While these two approaches to customer support share some similarities they are not the same.
In simple terms, omnichannel support allows customers to transition seamlessly between all available communication channels. For instance, a customer can initiate an interaction with support staff via email, then continue this conversation over the phone, and if desired, later move to text or in-app. Their entire interaction history is stored and available across all delivery channels making the end-to-end experience easy and effortless.
While businesses that offer multi-channel support allow customers to connect with agents via multiple mediums, these various channels remain separate. Customers are not able to transition easily from one to the other. For example, a customer who speaks to a support agent on the phone in the morning may realize later in the day that the problem is not entirely resolved. They then reach out via text and chat with a different agent. In a multi-channel scenario, the customer must re-start their conversation all over again during the second interaction.
In contrast, omnichannel support creates a nexus between all contact channels and the customer experience. Regardless of how or when a customer initiates contact with support, their data is centralized in a single warehouse and all interaction history is shared across the journey. Each channel is integrated so all support staff and departments have ready access to the data. This ensures that agents can leverage insights from previous interactions when offering additional support services on a different channel.
Related Article: 5 Reasons Support Starts on Your Website
Why Omnichannel Support Is Essential
Providing omnichannel support is essential to the success of your business for four key reasons, which include the following:
1. Consistency and Convenience Are Key
Few things frustrate a customer more than explaining the same circumstance over and over to multiple agents. Multi-channel support models exacerbate this central pain point as agents may be unable to access information about previous interactions because the data is stored in different systems.
Fortunately, you can remedy these issues by deploying an omnichannel support strategy. Omnichannel support streamlines the end-to-end experience by allowing agents to provide prompt and convenient service regardless of touchpoint. An omnichannel support model also enhances your agents’ ability to provide consistent service within, and among, interaction channels.
2. Customers Expect It
A hallmark of any customer support strategy involves meeting and exceeding the expectations of your customer base. Transitioning to an omnichannel model gives your organization the chance to meet customers where and when they are most active. Users who prefer text-based contacts have that option, at the same time those who prefer email enjoy the same availability. Around the clock and around the globe customer support is always on, making things effortless for customers when they need it most.
Some technologies allow agents to provide support so effortlessly that the customers may not even realize that they have been transitioned from one channel to another. If you can accomplish this level of service, your organization has reached the pinnacle of omnichannel support.
3. It Empowers Agent Collaboration
Genuine omnichannel technologies create a link between a customer’s behaviors, contact history, and concerns. These integrated platforms combine vital customer information from all channels enabling truly tailored and customized experiences designed to address each customer’s specific needs.
By facilitating better collaboration among agents, omnichannel solutions can help your team identify trends and patterns that may have gone unnoticed. Agents can leverage these insights to remedy shortcomings in the customer journey, thereby preserving your brand image and increasing customer satisfaction.
4. It Can Increase Sales
Finally, omnichannel support capabilities are a great way of increasing overall sales. Better customer experiences, higher levels of satisfaction, and a positive brand image all contribute to improved customer retention.
The longer you can keep customers and maintain a positive relationship with them, the more purchases they will make. This has become more important than ever before, as the cost of acquiring new customers continues to rise, whereas retaining existing customers is far more economical.
Overcoming Challenges in Omnichannel Delivery
While adopting omnichannel support strategies is vital, there are several barriers that you will have to navigate to enhance your support capabilities. Perhaps the most significant challenge is limited resources. Naturally, adding new support channels increases the overall cost of support.
We recommend focusing efforts on a few key popular channels first. It’s better to offer world-class service across a small group of channels than to provide subpar support across a wide range of mediums. As each channel becomes optimized, you then can work to add additional touchpoints.
If you would like to learn more about the advantages of an omnichannel support model or are interested in augmenting your support capabilities, contact Goodbay today.