7 Points of Omni-Channel Customer Service
There are tons of posts that buzzing about the digital transformation of business and customer relationships get a new level. Thus, the situation is the same - companies give some promises, and their clients are expecting these promises to be fulfilled. You know breaking promises is costly. And on the flip side, exceeding expectations might not be worth the effort. However, you can use best practices and apply omni-channel strategy to run your customer service.
The days of contacting with a customer or a company only by the phone or fax are faded away. Nowadays people use email, live chat, social media, sometimes SMS or instant messages. The list is still growing.
Ideally, your customer service successfully solves the problem, addresses the need, or conveys the message intended. Yet, many companies find it quite difficult to offer consistent customer experience via all channels. This can be proved with the Aberdeen Group report - it states that 89% of customers are retained by the organizations that provide their clients with a quality service via multiple touch points. What about companies that unable to offer such an opportunity? They keep nearly 33% of their customers. Not really appealing, right?
Let’s face the truth, the multiple channel support has a significant impact on the expenses, and therefore, revenue. Aiming to reduce the costs without lowering the quality, many companies decide to invest into omni-channel customer service.
Omni-Channel Customer Service: What and Why?
The key is to embrace the chaos. A definition of an omni channel customer service may sound like the integrated phone, email, social and instant messaging that offer a quality, consistent experience across multiple channels preserving the quality despite the channel used by a client.
With the help of omnichannel customer support, you may offer your customers a couple of ways to connect with your company. The clients can choose the most suitable one for them and along with convenience, your brand will grow credibility, and therefore, customer loyalty.
Besides, the Accenture’s research showed that 89% of customers had a frustrating experience with repeating the same question or problem to many support managers (or sales reps). Think of it this way: if you have an omnichannel integration of your customer service, you won’t make your clients angry, but provide a high-quality support; and preserve the existing customer.
Diving into Omni-Channel Strategy Best Practices
The mission is clear: get first hand the prospects concerns pain points and interests in specific products or services and help to solve any existing (or raising questions or issues). Moreover, you eager to create tangible, lasting connections. Unfortunately, it seldom turns out that way, if your service dispersed in multiple touch points. Thus, developing a first-rate omnichannel customer support will drive the positive changes regarding expenses and returns. Still, you need a strategy to ensure that both sides (your employees and customers) aren’t ended up disappointed and will be likely to repeat the experience.
#1 Going Mobile
Business spaces are getting extremely competitive and volatile, and almost the whole world can get in touch via mobile or smartphone. It is no surprise that people expect from you an excellent mobile service. Along with searching and buying on mobile, customers are looking forward to supporting on their devices.
The current situation shows that nearly 90% of clients have faced rather negative experience of customer service via mobile. Continuing this topic, 52% of customers say that they won’t buy from a company with a poor mobile service. As you see, despite the innovations, modern businesses are failing to live up to the clients’ expectations.
In the list of customers complaints, you may find incorrect display and complicated navigation, as well as slow page loading. Don’t miss the opportunity and a customer, but optimize your websites and make them mobile-friendly. People value businesses who care about their experience in actions, not on the slogans.
#2 Social Media Response Times
People respond strongly to messaging that is customized and relevant based on their behaviors, interests, and values. In that way, social media becomes a customer service tool and may boost satisfaction rates. Nevertheless, it is easy to fail in delivering service via social channels.
One of the main issues with this kind of service is the actual responding - the expectation of a customer to get a fast answer, more than often, differs from what businesses offer. 32% of customers are waiting for an answer within a half an hour, while 57% of them expect the same on weekends and nights. Yet, the leading businesses response in 157 minutes and only 8% respond within the expected (by customers) time. Besides, 12% of brands don’t respond at all.
The ignoring customers on social media and providing delayed responses only grow the churn rates up to 15% - frustrated customers won’t stay with such a low-quality service providers. As obvious as it may sound with reducing the response times on social media and staff that provides fast and workable solutions will considerably strengthen your relationships with customers.
#3 Self-Service as a Branch of Customer Service
Another added benefit is a self-service that helps customers to find an answer and solve the problem by themselves. Many clients find it is more convenient to fix an issue without getting in touch with a customer service.
On a practical level, there is a couple of ways to enhance customer self-service - it may be a convenient FAQs or Q&A page, ebook library or forum. In case the required information can’t be found, you can add a live chat to facilitate reaching a company’s representative for some help.
Case in point: the usage of self-service reduces the time spent on the solution of client’s problem along with the number of client’s getting in touch with the customer service agent. Briefly, it is higher customer satisfaction rates and reduced expenses of the company.
#4 Benefit from SMS
Similarly, in today’s business world texting takes its place of a customer service touch point. SMS performs quite versatile roles - places to-go orders with cafes and restaurants, books appointments and send reminders about these appointments, respond to insurance claims, banks send alerts about any activities with the account, and this list may grow even longer.
For good note-taking, 52% of customers would like to reach a customer support representative via SMS, and 47% are sure that this would improve their customer experience, and therefore, satisfaction with a customer service quality. Besides, Single POint research states that 99% of all SMS are read what in its turn gives you a hint that almost all of your customers can be reached via text messages.
#5 Live Chat Support
According to the report run by Forrester, 63% of visitors will return to a site with live chat as a customer service support. While 44% of clients said that getting the answers to their questions during their online shopping is an utmost feature of a brand’s website. In this line of thought, the live chat channel of communication will result in a richer experience for your customers.
Most clients give their preference to live chat as a customer support due to an ability to get quick and convenient answers without the hold on times. Moreover, this is also a good way to improve your sales - a support representative can walk with a client through a particular problem and offer a product or service that may be useful for them.
#6 Email as an Up-and-Coming Trend
Defining moments mark significant shifts driven by emerging technologies, email still preserves its position of the most useful marketing tool. Being used in marketing strategy email brings 56% effectiveness in a customer retention campaign (compared to 37% for social media).
With email, you can send personalized, branded messages via a secure environment. The research shows that 38% of clients are more likely to contact via email to solve some simple problems or customer service issues. Either way, pay attention to the reply times and actually reply to customers’ emails (with reference to SuperOffice report - 41% of businesses don’t respond to the clients’ emails).
#7 Test by Yourself
In developing your omni-channel customer service strategy, don’t miss one vital thing - to test it before going live. In case you are using a customer service app, take advantage of tracking the quality of service performance and find the weak spots to avoid future customer frustration.
It’s important to note that to have the overall picture - you need to start a chat or send direct or SMS message and see the actual response time and quality of the answer. So to say, you need to take off your business hat and step into your customer’s shoes.
Board It Up
Omnichannel customer service strengthens the trust between brand and customer which leads to sales later down the line. Properly investing into retrospective can produce robust results, so analyze the previous mistakes, plan the customer strategy more wisely, and train your support team with the product or service knowledge to deliver the positive image of your company.