Today, customers have many options when it comes to engaging with brands. From traditional offline experiences to a growing number of digital channels, it is commonplace for customers to connect with brands through multiple channels and often move between them to complete a single task. With access to a wide variety of channels, from Google search to social media and telephone to chatbots, customers do not always take a linear path. Because of this, simply offering multichannel communication options is no longer enough. Customers expect a consistent and connected brand experience across all channels, and, to enable that consistency, a single customer view is essential.
As consumers moved into new channels, brands raced to meet their customers in those spaces, creating many standalone experiences in different channels such as a telephone-based experience or web-based experience. In this multichannel approach, consumers have many choices about how to connect with your brand and must pick the one that suits them best as each channel stands alone.
As a business, you might run an online store, a Facebook and Instagram page, a chatbot and even a physical location. But unless they connect to deliver a single, seamless experience to your customers your strategy is multichannel and not omnichannel.
In an omnichannel experience, a single customer view enables an integrated and unified experience. This 360-degree view empowers agents through an unbroken picture of the customer’s journey across channels enabling them to deliver an ongoing conversation with the customer. In an omnichannel experience, your customer can ask your chatbot for product information, purchase the product through your social channel, call your phone-based team with queries about delivery and request a refund through live chat all in one single, seamless experience in which the agent is aware of all interactions.
According to Think with Google, omnichannel strategies drive an 80% higher rate of incremental store visits.
Traditionally, contact centers were primarily teams of phone-based agents taking inbound requests for customer service and support. The contact center team supported customers who had few other options to connect with your brand beyond walking into the store. However, with the rise of digital channels such as social media and live chat, contact centers began interacting with customers through many more channels. At the same time, contact centers took on many new roles including sales, marketing and after-sales service. In this new environment, for a contact center to effectively cater to so many functional requirements and provide connected multichannel support, an omnichannel contact center strategy is crucial.
To establish a seamless omnichannel contact center, businesses need to first understand their customers, their journey, pain points, motivation and behaviors and then make use of these insights to segment customers according to their personas. Brands can uncover a deeper undertaking of their customers by understanding how often they visit your website, what channels they prefer to use, what kind of interactions they have had with the brand in the past, and so on and combining this with demographic and sales data.
More than half of customers engage with three to five channels on their journey toward making a purchase or resolving a request.
Once your customers are segmented, in addition to servicing customers more efficiently, brands can create omnichannel marketing strategies based on each persona. This may include creating or using channels that are more relevant to a specific set of customers or providing a higher level of technical support depending on the needs of the customer.
1. Leverage advanced analytics
For your contact center to garner customers’ trust and deliver world-class CX, your brand must first have deep understanding of your customer. Analytics enables you to discover actionable insights, for example by revealing customers' journeys and identifying when each channel is used and why. Leveraging advanced contact center analytics with a comprehensive consolidated view of the customer’s journey enables brands and agents to access meaningful customer insights from all the channels which in turn support the building of efficient workflows and frictionless communication across multiple channels.
2. Train your agents for success
Technology is only as impactful as the people using it. It is essential to take the time to train those agents connecting with your customers to make effective use of the information at their disposal. An effective omnichannel deployment not only offers a seamless experience to the customer but also empowers agents with the right technology and training to deliver better CX.
3. Enable customers to help themselves with self-service portals and chatbots
Increasingly your customers want to be able to help themselves. A self-service portal that enables customers to self-assist through a knowledge hub, FAQs or automated chat support reduces the need for live agents and enhances customer satisfaction by delivering hassle-free, 24/7 support.
5. Measure and monitor performance
Clearly defined KPIs keep your end goals front and center and ensure areas that require course correction are quickly identified. Traditionally contact centers have focused on metrics such as average handle time (AHT) and customer satisfaction (CSAT). While these metrics have value, customers may be more focused on how simple it is to get their query resolved, making solution-based metrics such as first contact resolution (FCR) important. Analytics helps you to uncover the metrics that matter most to your customers while measuring and monitoring performance against these metrics ensures your customer and their needs are prioritized in your CX delivery.
At Startek®, we support leading brands across the globe to deliver world-class CX to their customers. Applying empathy across data, technology and people, we enable our clients to build long-term, profitable customer relationships by closing the CX gap. Learn more about our omnichannel solutions.