Businesses and brands in all industries depend on satisfied customers for success. Equally, contact centers that deliver excellent customer service will thrive and grow.
But today’s customers and clients are increasingly accustomed to using multiple channels of communication in all areas of life. Similarly, they expect to use those channels to connect with the brands they love.
In 2021, it’s more important than ever to provide an omnichannel customer experience and meet those customers wherever they may be.
Four Benefits of an Omnichannel Customer Experience
Providing an omnichannel customer experience can improve levels of service and streamline your contact center at the same time. Phone calls are still the preferred method of contact for many customers. But phone calls take up more time than other channels of customer service.
By integrating other channels as well, you’ll be able to reduce the number of callers in the queue. In turn, this cuts wait times considerably. Here are four key benefits of implementing an omnichannel approach to customer service.
1. Channels for Catering to Customer Preferences
An omnichannel customer experience allows you to create a personalized experience that responds directly to individual preferences. Although many people prefer to interact with businesses via phone, some would rather receive real-time texts, or check email when it’s convenient.
An omnichannel approach allows you to provide the same level of customer care via whatever channels individual customers prefer.
2. Improved Customer Retention
When customers feel confident that they can connect with your brand when needed and in ways that feel comfortable, they’re more likely to remain loyal consumers of your product or service. Today, people can choose from hundreds of businesses and services with the click of a mouse or the flick of a finger. So an omnichannel experience can provide the next level of customer care that builds trust and brand loyalty.
3. Shorter Queue Times
When customers have few options for contacting a company’s service center other than by phone, wait times can be long- and that can drive frustrated customers away. But an omnichannel approach allows for multiple ways to connect with agents. This results in shorter queue times for those who do prefer to use the phone.
Reducing the number of queued phone calls also gives customer care representatives more time to spend with each caller.
4. Enhanced Data Collection
An omnichannel approach to customer service allows businesses to collect a wealth of data about consumers. The channels people use and the way they use them can reveal important information about things like customer demographics, attitudes toward the company and product preferences. Tracking comments and reviews can also alert companies to areas that need improvement, or problems with products.
How to Implement Omnichannel Solutions
Adopting an omnichannel solution could save your company money while allowing greater scalability. Creating a comprehensive map to your omnichannel contact center could help to improve your implementation strategy.
Understanding the needs and wants of current customers, strategizing to maximize their interactions and supporting those insights with the right tools are keys to implementing a successful omnichannel customer service ecosystem.
Understand Your Demographic
The channels you prioritize should focus on your ideal customer demographic. If most of your customers use smartphones, text messaging and phone calls might be channels to focus on.
Your research might reveal that your ideal customer spends more time on social media, so that should take more of your focus. The more detailed your demographic profile can be, the more opportunities you have to identify points of contact.
Strategize the Customer Flow
It’s also important to understand how your customers currently interact with your business. Are they primarily navigating your website, social media, or newsletter interactions? A customer might visit your website for general information, then subscribe to your newsletter and follow your company profile on Twitter. But to ask a question about a purchase, they might email the company directly or make a phone call.
Insights into which of your current channels customers are using and how they’re using them can help you create a comprehensive strategy for making the most of those channels, or for adding new ones to create an ideal customer flow.
Use the Right Software Tools
To succeed, an omnichannel contact center needs the right tools. Typically, this starts with a powerful CRM system.
The right CRM system can organize your customer data from all channels, which allows your agent to see a full record of a customer’s interaction with the company. Doing so eliminates a lot of after-call or chat work for your agents and creates a seamless interaction for customers.
If your business places many outbound calls, your dialing system is also essential. Integrating your dialer with a CRM system can make outreach to existing customers easier. This integrates all customer information available at every call, which makes interactions go more smoothly.
Analyze Customer Feedback
Customer feedback is essential for contact center success. It’s important to give customers a range of options to provide feedback either during or after a call.
Email and SMS surveys, a rating box at the end of a chat and a variety of other methods can give your customers opportunities to tell you what channels work best for them. In turn this tells managers how they can improve communications.
Listen to customers’ comments and adjust your contact strategies in response.
Remember the Importance of Phone Calls
Omnichannel customer service that makes use of many alternative channels is useful for many customers. However, for many consumers, phone calls remain the preferred method of contact.
Your contact center should be optimized to ensure that incoming calls are answered in a timely manner. In addition, it’s improtant to ensure that outbound calls are connecting to customers.
Bridge the Gap in Outbound Connections
A recent TNS study reported that only 11 percent of outbound calls are answered by consumers. This makes outbound outreach efforts exceedingly difficult.
In some cases, your contact center may not be able to get hold of existing customers to respond to their issues. Consequently, that is not only bad customer service, but it also has the potential to ruin the reputation of your business.
Some steps that can help include:
1. Phone Number Monitoring Software
Phone number monitoring software can show which of your phone numbers have received flags by the recipient. Dialing with a flagged number virtually guarantees that your call will not be answered. Swap out any numbers that have received flags to ensure that your dialing is not being ignored.
2. Enhanced Caller ID
Enhanced caller ID services can instill trust in your customers. With every call, they will see your caller ID name, logo and, in some cases, which department is calling.
When a customer sees the name of a business they’re already familiar with, they’re more likely to answer the call.
3. Using vCards
If a customer saves your information in their phone, they’re more likely to answer your calls. Essentially, this whitelists your number in their phone, even if it has received flags.
vCards that can be attached to any email, text or social media message can be a great outreach method. These offer your customers multiple contact channels (phone, email, website, etc.) in one easy text.
Build Your Reputation With An Omnichannel Customer Experience
Phone calls remain an important way to connect with customers, but in an increasingly digital world, many people prefer other channels. A successful omnichannel customer service system creates a frictionless, personalized experience for every customer. Ultimately, this builds trust, brand loyalty and lasting relationships with your customer base.
See how Caller ID Reputation® can support your business!