When a company is set in its ways, it can be a hard rush to encourage managers to create lasting change. This is as true for call centers as it is for other types of businesses. One aspect where companies can become stubborn is communication. A business that has excelled from taking only phone calls at their contact centers, for instance, may not be willing to open up new lines of communication through email, live chat, social media, and other omnichannel customer engagement options.
Unfortunately, this would be to the detriment of the business. Here’s why. Some customers do prefer a phone call, but others may prefer to type a few words in a Facebook chatbox. Thus, by keeping multiple lines of communication open, i.e., offering omnichannel solutions, a company makes it easier for customers to resolve issues.
Estimates say that 98% of your customers expect you to communicate consistently across multiple channels. If it is instead easier for a customer to engage with a competitor to start a new service than it is to reach your company to resolve their issues, you may lose that customer. They may also take a few family, friends, and followers with them.
Shaping Customer Experience
Customers generally have three points of contact with a business. The first occurs when they purchase a product or service. The second occurs during the use of the product or service. The third is if or when something goes wrong with the product or service, or the customer has a query. Depending on the type of business, customers come in contact with agents for at least two of these three points.
As a result, contact centers play an integral role in shaping the customer experience, irrespective of their encounter with the actual product or service. 96% of consumers agree that an essential determining factor of whether or not they remain loyal to a company is the customer service experience. However, phone calls are not enough. More than half of customers prefer to text rather than call when seeking customer support. Forbes also notes that live chat is preferred by 41% of customers.
Omnichannel customer service is especially important when a company’s main offering is a service. When there are intangible components of a business, customers may rely on the contact center team even more for support issues, such as troubleshooting a website glitch or questions regarding successful completion of an online course. When a customer has the option of accessing that support through multiple channels, the likelihood of them viewing the company more favorably tends to be higher.
Benefits of Providing Omnichannel Service
Higher customer satisfaction is the benefit most frequently cited for the use of omnichannel customer solutions, but it is not the only one. See below for some additional advantages of applying this strategy:
- Reduced Costs: When it comes to implementing big changes, one of the first things companies look to is their bottom line. The good news is that while there is an initial investment, switching to an omnichannel approach reduces call center costs over time. One reason for this is that self-help omnichannel solutions reduce the need for agents to tackle every potential issue themselves. A customer may find the answer on their own through FAQ web pages, branded videos, or even chatbots.
- Additional Insights: Social media, live chat, forums, and other aspects of the omnichannel strategy provides the opportunity to gain additional insights. Through these channels, companies can learn what customers love best about their products and services, what they hate most, why they stay, or why they chose a competitor.
- Increased Employee Productivity: Customers aren’t the only ones with a preference for certain communication channels. Some employees may also be better suited to texting or creating DIY videos than just taking phone calls. By matching employees with the communication channels that best suit them, you may increase employee engagement, motivation, and productivity.
- Reduction in Turnover: Companies are often so focused on customer retention that employee retention often falls by the wayside. Contrary to what many employers believe, providing employees with the option of manning the different forts of an omnichannel may increase employee retention for the reasons highlighted in the point above. It also introduces the element of choice and reduces monotony.
In short, an omnichannel customer engagement strategy allows companies to communicate with people on their own terms, wherever they feel most comfortable. Customers are currently demanding better service and more accessibility to their favorite brands all around the world and this is one way to deliver this experience seamlessly. Would you like to introduce omnichannel customer solutions at your contact center? Contact Etech today to get the process started.