Many businesses, large or small, feel like their customer support systems are up to scratch when they set up a phone system, an Outlook email, and so on. They might even use a ticketing system for a single department for their operations. Many also use instant messaging software such as Slack, Skype, or Teams to support internal communication.
Take a moment to think about whether you’re matching all the channels that your customers would choose to communicate through. Ask yourself questions such as if you have a clear picture of your customer’s journey in mind and if you’re communication solutions let you engage your customers regardless of channel (WhatsApp, SMS, Messenger and so on) whenever and wherever?
Technology is moving forward at quite a quick pace. Many organisations are struggling to keep up. The generation of people who were born between 1995 and 2010 (Generation Z) make up 27% of the world’s population. They are beginning to enter the workplace and increasing their share of spending power.
Generation Z is quite different from the generations that came before them. Their expectations are to be heard and involved. If their needs aren’t met, they have no issues changing preferences. Brand loyalty isn’t as important to Generation Z as it was to previous generations. Generation Z doesn’t just include your customers. In fact, they’re also joining businesses and expecting modern tools to communicate and collaborate in order to solve problems with modern solutions.
Today’s smartphones function as personal omnichannel communication devices with users communicating through apps designed for communication. It makes sense to give your customers an option to interact through their smartphones if that’s how they prefer to communicate.
If you need more incentive to consider opening a communication channel through smartphones, consider the data available. In 2016, 2.1 billion users used smartphones. This number is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by the end of 2019. 2.5 billion potential customers is a number which is far too large to ignore.
Generation Z grew up with computers and smartphones and hasn’t experienced a world without these devices. This has made them much more digital-savvy than previous generations. Their tolerance for poor service is quite low and they have more options than ever before to capture as well as share terrible experiences.
Your brand is whatever customers say it is
Regardless of whether you run a large or small business, what matters most today is being able to provide your customers with top-notch service. Customers stay loyal to brands that give them this.
In the past, your brand could get away with whatever your advertising conveyed. However, all this changed with the introduction of social media. The balance of power has shifted to your customers. Your brand is now whatever your customers say it is.
If you want to be able to stay competitive, you need to be able to adapt a lot quicker than your competition. This has resulted in many organisations stepping their game up to come up with a unified omnichannel customer engagement strategy powered by technology.
Customer service centers (teams of 3 or more people)
Customer service centers large or small have to keep up by taking advantage of new technologies which help with the modern customer profile. However, this doesn’t mean that customers who prefer conventional methods are forgotten. This has resulted in many organisations moving forward to achieve a central omnichannel customer engagement strategy backed up by technology.
As already mentioned, customer service centers need to make it a point to innovate in order to implement technologies that help the modern customer profile without leaving behind anyone who prefers traditional or conventional methods. Tools and solutions are very much required, which don’t just signify urgency but also supply an all-in-one-experience with the end goal of improving customer satisfaction. These tools and solutions need to be exceptional. Furthermore, they need to keep up the pace by continuously innovating because customers expect consistency. Exceptional customer experience isn’t just a one-time responsibility.
There are a lot of great communication platforms that your business must take advantage of. An example of this is WhatsApp. A mere 5 years after WhatsApp was founded, the company had a market share of 450 million active monthly users. In fact, 315 million users were using the app every day. This reach is tantalizing to all businesses. With this kind of grasp available, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not offering WhatsApp as a channel for people to contact your business through. This is exactly what offering your customers their preferred channel means.
Many organisations currently offer omnichannel support. However, many of them often limit you to a handful of channels. Most offer voice, email, and some may offer chat (often poorly implemented in our view!). The burning question is whether they need to add more channels for their customers. The ideal omnichannel platform gives an experience which is the same on all channels as well as the ability to switch channels in order to suit a customer’s needs.
All customers have different preferences. The customers of today prefer to engage with organisations through a variety of channels such as email, WhatsApp, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. This makes it crucial to work with a provider who is open to working with all of these third party systems which will effectively future-proof your entire contact platform. You may also work with your provider to develop the necessary functionality in order to integrate older technologies into your omnichannel platform.
A seamless customer experience across all of your channels is only possible with a complete omnichannel platform. Your organisation may also take advantage of a multi-dimensional approach to customer engagement.
An ideal multi-dimensional approach means that you can launch new service channels easily while delivering a unified customer and agent experience regardless of whether it is through email, video, chat, MMS, SMS, voice, social media, or app stores.
Some customers couldn’t care less as to how they contact you. Their only concerns are the way you respond as well as whether you can deliver an experience that goes beyond their expectations.
A study conducted by Aberdeen Group Inc revealed data which gave rise to the conclusion that firms that incorporated the strongest omnichannel customer engagement were able to retain nearly 90% of their customers. On the other hand, companies with weak omnichannel strategies retained only an average of 33%. This is important for companies because any company worth their salt knows that it is more effective to keep existing customers than it is to attract new ones.
A true omnichannel solution gives customers a single message across all of their interactions while also delivering a unified customer and agent experience which is visible across all channels. This lets organisations match consumer behavior as well as move seamlessly from one channel to another. This means that any solution deployed must be agile. In other words, it needs to seamlessly integrate new channels as they emerge in the market.
The contact center
Contact centers must be able to match interactions from any channel with the right person in a single inbox with an entire history of engagement. You need to be able to connect your customers with the people who are in the best position to help them out. In addition to this, the information they need must be easily accessible to them.
You need to offer a consistent customer experience to your customers. To do this, contact centers need to do the following.
- Contact centers need to give customers a variety of channels to communicate through. Customers should have a consistent experience through all channels whether it’s through WhatsApp, webchat, or through the phone. You can ensure a consistent experience by training your staff to communicate through various platforms.
- Make sure that you have a clear idea of the customer’s journey. This allows your team to calculate how many interactions an individual or an organisation has with each case.
- Integration with all external parties as well as CRM should be made a priority. Integration with CRM lets your agents sift through customer data and personalize their interactions with each customer. This is why it’s important to have an omnichannel platform.
Any business worth their salt knows that it is much easier to gain the loyalty of existing customers for them to keep coming back than it is to attract new buyers.
This article focuses on ensuring that your customers experience a consistent and enjoyable experience whenever they interact with customer service representatives or agents of your business.
Positive interactions make it more likely for customers to become repeating customers. It’s a big part of why Amazon is as big as it is today. Amazon’s seamless delivery experience coupled together with their customer-friendly return policy and excellent customer support make them the best option when it comes to buying products online. The best place to start would be to look at what successful organisations do right when it comes to their customer experience.
As we move into a more connected world, it is becoming increasingly common to see more businesses adopt omnichannel support. It is important to note that failing to adapt will certainly leave businesses behind.