Many pieces comprise the customer experience puzzle, and one key trend is omnichannel, wherein multiple channels are integrated in such a way that a customer can switch seamlessly from one to another including call center, chat, web and mobile. Customer experience can make the difference between retaining and losing a customer. Read on to learn more about this trend and how it can enhance your customers’ experience.
Omnichannel is an Emerging Trend
Omnichannel has rapidly gained popularity as a trend, with more and more companies choosing it to manage their customer experience. According to a CompTIA article, companies that use the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain almost 90% of their customers. Those responding to the CompTIA survey indicate that they have moved to an omnichannel approach to customer engagement in the last few years. A majority of companies in the overall economy report customer experience as being even more important than the product or service sold. So, how does omnichannel change the customer experience?
Business Benefits of Omnichannel
Each interaction with a customer leads to that customer’s perception of the customer experience. Are they able to communicate with your company the way they wish? Some enjoy a self-service approach and having multiple easy ways to connect with you. Omnichannel, in a nutshell, is integration between distribution, promotion and communication on the back end, which allows an agent and a customer to stay connected through different phases of the customer cycle, from initial contact to renewal. For example, in a call center, an agent can take a call from a customer, look up preferences from a CRM program, switch to chat if the customer wishes, and help the customer buy the product or service. Powered by the cloud, omnichannel can be thought of as Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) and Call Center as a Service (CCaaS) combined. All channels of communication are integrated, so a customer and agent can go from phone to chat to video conferencing without interruption. Omnichannel helps call center agents save more time, in that they can manage multiple customers in the same amount of time it would take to serve one customer using a single channel. This frees up time for agents to complete complex tasks and add value to the call center.
Considerations in Adopting Omnichannel
As always, consider your company’s goals when adopting new technology–how will the tool help you reach those goals? Omnichannel can be complex, even with its benefits. Consider examining your procedures for customer engagement. Where is your business when it comes to all aspects of the customer lifecycle, and what might need to improve? Are touchpoints with customers formalized and repeatable? Businesses with formalized processes tend to get the best results, and integrated channels of communication can enhance what’s already in place. The health of your network always needs to be considered–is it robust and secure enough to handle omnichannel?
Omnichannel, when combined with formalized processes and a strong and secure network, can improve your customer engagement and satisfaction. For more assistance with preparing for this technology, contact us today.