With rapid technological change comes communication changes as well. And today, the method and medium have both shifted. Most people connect with one another asynchronously, using text, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Snapchat and more. And as our methods of communication have developed, so have the expectations of how brands should interact with us. We expect them to correspond with us like friends, at times with immediate (synchronous) responses and at times with delayed responses.
Today’s consumer naturally begins their service journey on digital and mobile. But companies and brands can still make you switch to voice even if that isn’t your preference. Thirty-two percent of consumer believe that phones are the most frustrating customer service channel, primarily because of the discontinuity and disjointed nature of switching from digital communication to phone. There is nothing more frustrating than having to start your customer service journey from the beginning, because the agent has no information about your previous interactions. It’s clear that if brands want to reach their customers, and reduce the frustrations of their customer service agents, they are going to have to change. And that change is omnichannel customer service.
What is Omnichannel Customer Service?
Omnichannel customer service is multiple communication channels integrated within a single system. A customer service CRM looks through different channels and captures the free flow of conversations coming in. It displays the data on a single screen and it also unifies your customer data, regardless of its source.
By having the right set of tools in place, brands can enable a seamless transition between different social channels and platforms. The omnichannel customer experience begins when a customer starts a conversation via chat and gets an immediate response, but then the customer continues that conversation on a different channel, whether it’s via email, phone, or text. With omnichannel capabilities, brands have knowledge of their history and are able to pick up right where they left off.
However, many brands use an outdated, siloed approach that can end up being more difficult for their customer agents. Since a lot of brand’s customers begin with a digital or mobile experience, if they’re not getting the right attention they need quickly, they become frustrated and seek out other methods of communication, or worse, other brands. When brands don’t meet the expectation of continuity of conversation, consumers get frustrated. Sixty-five percent of consumers are frustrated by inconsistent experiences across channels. And 32% switch because they are fed up with speaking to multiple agents.
Solve the Problem for the Frustrated Customer
People want to feel like they matter and when brands use a traditional multichannel approach vs. an omnichannel approach, it can feel sluggish, outdated, and like your customer is fighting an uphill battle. Brands are offering an outdated customer experience and it’s hurting their reputation and customer experience.
When you deliver an inconsistent experience across different communication channels, it makes it look like you don’t care about your customers. Traditionally, brands will respond to a customer based on the context or social platform they’re using, but what happens when the user decides to message your brand on Instagram, and then follow up with you on email?
For most companies, it means that even though it is only one person, two support tickets get created for the same issue. Now, you have two dedicated members of the support team working with one customer and that customer now has to repeat themselves twice to get their issue across.
When you implement an omnichannel customer experience, you have one agent dedicated to one person and you build a stronger relationship, because the customer has a low-effort experience. An omnichannel approach helps create a consistent experience across all channels your customers want to reach out to you on.
Personalized Omnichannel Customer Service
Offering a personal touch to your customers in such a digitalized and automated world goes a long way to building customer loyalty and raving fans. With an omnichannel approach agents can see, at a high level, who is contacting them and easily address the customers’ problem without having to switch between channels and platforms. This saves time and helps answer customers’ questions a lot more effectively and efficiently. For brands, this means their customer promise gets enforced no matter what platform customers prefer to communicate on.
By providing such a personalized experience, you not only increase the productivity of your customer service agents, but customer satisfaction expands. Customers are often surprised that they don’t have to repeat their issue over and over because this is an area where many brands fail. Customers have reported ‘falling in love all over again’ with a brand because they felt valued and understood.
Get the Right Omnichannel Customer Experience
Kustomer is the first CRM for customer experience that focuses on customers, not tickets, enabling companies to know everything about every customer. Click here to request a demo and see how we can create streamlined customer experiences.