A strategic approach to successful customer service is an essential factor for success. According to Gartner approximately two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer service. Walker studies suggests that, as of 2020 customers will regard customer service as the most important differentiator when choosing which company in which they will do business. Omnichannel strategies can help businesses meet rising customer service expectations, research from Google found that 98% of Americans switch between devices in just one day, an omnichannel approach tailors customer service conveniently to that device and internet centric lifestyle.
What does Omnichannel mean?
Omnichannel customer service enhances customer engagement by integrating a network of communication channels to facilitate one continuous experience enabling customers to move from offline to online help and switch between devices without gaps in knowledge or being forced to repeat key information.
What is it not?
Omnichannel is not the same as a multichannel approach, omnichannel is actually takes the customer experience a level past the multichannel approach by offering an integrated and continuous experience as users switch between customer service platforms while a multichannel customer experience offers segmented channel for communication which are not inherently connected lacking interaction between each.
What Channels Can Be Included?
There are many technologies that can have a place in a company’s omnichannel strategy. Common platforms are live chats, or chatbots, SMS or other messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Twitter direct messages. They can also include traditional methods of communication such as email, online portals, support forms, and phone calls. Not every one of these channels need be included into an omnichannel strategy, but typically companies choose a few of them that each offer a specific advantage or appealing to their customers.
In a 2018 study, Researchscape International found that around 74% of marketers agreed that personalization either “strongly” or “extremely” advanced customer relationships. Omnichannel service allows greater personalization, enabling companies to immediately become aware of a customers’ specific needs, anticipate future challenges, and reflect on historical trends with no communication boundaries.
This approach allows companies to reach customers on the platform that they find most comfortable and convenient. It enhances flexibility for customers enabling access from any device, customers can be confident that they will always have access to frontline staff or a customer service representative no matter where they are in that moment.
One of the benefits of an omnichannel strategy is that it has no actual limitations – it does not trap your customer service within the confines of a single approach. Instead, it allows businesses to adapt every element of their customer service process to the likes of customers. Integrating an omnichannel strategy gives companies the ability to add additional communication channels for customer service at any point down the line to consistently increase the convenience offered to customers.