Customer service teams are finding new and innovative ways of interacting with customers across multiple communication channels, from social media to text messaging. But customers don’t want to repeat themselves every time they use a different communication channel or support platform.
With an omnichannel customer service strategy, you can integrate channels of communication into a single, seamless customer experience. Your customer support agents can access previous support messages in one place, helping you shorten response times and improve customer relationships.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what omnichannel customer support is and how to use it in your company.
Omnichannel customer service is a type of customer service that integrates multiple communication channels into a single platform. It can include everything from online chats and emails to text messages and phone calls. It’s similar to multichannel customer service, but there are a few key differences between them.
While multichannel customer service allows customers to contact support agents through their preferred channel of communication, those channels may be handled by separate customer support teams, and interactions may happen through separate systems. The result is often an information silo for each channel and a disjointed customer experience.
With an omnichannel approach, all interactions with a customer are stored in the same thread. This makes it easy for subsequent conversations to pick up where the last one left off and provides a more seamless experience throughout the customer journey.
In other words, a customer who initiates a support request using one digital channel and continues the conversation later using another will notice a more consistent experience. Their name, purchase history, and other details will all be carried over, so they won’t have to start all over again.
Omnichannel customer support can be effective at nearly any point in the customer journey, whether customers are visiting your website for the first time or are already familiar with your brand.
There are plenty of benefits to an omnichannel customer support strategy for customers and brands alike. Not only does an omnichannel approach provide a more personalized experience to customers, but it also allows businesses to streamline their customer service process by anticipating customer needs and routing messages to the right agent.
Here are just a few key components of an omnichannel customer support strategy:
Omnichannel customer service has a lot of benefits over multichannel customer service, but it requires a different set of tools and practices.
Consider these areas when implementing an omnichannel customer support strategy:
Before implementing an omnichannel approach, you’ll need customer service software that can marry various support channels and keep track of metrics such as customer retention and customer satisfaction across all touch points.
Depending on your strategy, this might include a CRM, social media scheduler, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications platform, and more. The key is make sure that all of your customer service tools work with each other, rather than treating them as separate platforms.
You can also outsource your customer service needs if you don’t have the infrastructure to implement the omnichannel approach in house.
An omnichannel customer service strategy can take some time to implement, but it may offer benefits over a multichannel approach.
For example, if a customer initiates a support request by SMS and later makes a phone call to a call center, a multichannel approach would likely treat these as two separate customer interactions and fail to recognize any link between them. An omnichannel approach would use data from the first interaction to streamline the second.
Multichannel customer service can also result in “agent collision” if a customer moves to a different communication channel and there isn’t a system to ensure that two support reps don’t end up on the same ticket.
Omnichannel customer support reduces this risk by providing a single view of a support request that’s accessible by all associates.
Additionally, by allowing associates to chat within the ticket, they can easily ask for support or escalate the ticket if they can’t solve an issue on their own.
Once you have an omnichannel customer support system in place, you can scale it and add more features as your company grows. With multichannel customer service, scaling is harder since teams and technologies may be siloed in their own channels.
Omnichannel customer support offers several key benefits over other types of customer service, such as multichannel support. As customers continue to seek more ways to interact with brands and show a preference to switch communication channels, an omnichannel customer service strategy helps your brand meet their expectations and deliver great service.
Customer support agents get an unified view of each ticket, along with records of any prior conversations with chatbots or other agents. Customers get real-time help and a more consistent brand experience, improving satisfaction and reducing churn.
If you’re new to omnichannel support, you can work with an established team like PartnerHero to implement your omnichannel customer service strategy. PartnerHero offers CX outsourcing for companies that care about people and performance, and can help you scale an existing customer service team or build a new one from scratch.
Get in touch today to learn more about our pricing and services.