No one wants to feel like they’re reaching out to a faceless company; they’d rather feel like they’re reaching out to another human—or better yet, a friend. People don’t think about their relationships in terms of channels, so you don’t want them to think about their relationship with your company that way either.
An omnichannel customer experience provides just that, a seamless conversation with your company where the customer feels recognized by your support team no matter when or how the customer reaches out for help. A great omnichannel customer experience is backed by a well-thought-out omnichannel support strategy that reduces pain points and removes inconsistencies in your customer service. It also requires software that allows agents to move from one channel to the next, maintaining the thread of conversation and providing smooth support interactions. Opening up more channels of support and deciding how to staff them can be daunting, but businesses of any size can provide the kind of omnichannel customer experience that customers now expect from a brand. In fact, offering omnichannel support can help to simplify your operations.
Here are five hurdles an omnichannel solution can help you to overcome.
1. Service levels are inconsistent across channels
If your team is struggling to provide consistent service levels across channels, it’s not a reason to get rid of the channels that lag. It’s easy to prioritize one channel over another because there’s higher volume, or you’ve supported one channel longer than another. Lack of analytics is also often a common culprit, making it hard to take stock of your channels to learn what’s working and what isn’t. With the ability to compare KPI and SLA metrics and service loads across all channels in real time, you can easily make changes. And if you’re unsure how your service levels compare by channel, take a look at your customer satisfaction rating. If it’s lower than your industry benchmark, it’s time to take another look at your channel mix and staffing.
2. Agents are switching between solutions
Each time agents move between systems, whether to staff a different engagement channel in a different tool or to look up customer history and account information, the seconds tick by. There are times when it makes sense to use a battery of products, but increasingly, there’s little need. Providing a fluid and seamless support experience for customers can also mean providing a fluid and seamless backend agent experience.
A solution that’s flexible enough to integrate with your backend systems means less hassle and more satisfaction for your agents. By consolidating to one screen, first-response times go down and data never gets lost or siloed.
3. Context is lost between channels
You may be providing support through multiple channels, but you’re in the dark when it comes to previous interactions and context. Your agents don’t know when someone on the phone has already emailed or chatted with you, or what they did via self-service queries. This adds time to each interaction and is probably frustrating the customer. Instead, by centralizing ticket history in an omnichannel solution, you retain the context of each conversation and can reduce handle time and customer effort. This is especially valuable for businesses supporting mobile-first customers—offering in-app support makes life easy for customers and allows you to automatically pull in device and historical data, which gives agents the context they need to start troubleshooting.
4. Reporting across channels is difficult
Providing support through multiple channels is great, but it gets complicated when you have to pull metrics from multiple systems. Not only is it a drain on time, but comparing reports across channels and attempting to achieve visibility parity can be a logistical nightmare. If this sounds or feels familiar, imagine having a single source of truth for customer contacts, no matter the channel. An omnichannel solution can provide channel metrics in real-time, allowing you to make changes and adjust staffing on the fly.
5. There’s no time to set up a new channel
Piloting or offering another channel of support doesn’t have to mean vetting and implementing a new tool. When each channel is integrated into a single solution, you’ll see rapid total time to value, and will have the flexibility to easily turn new channels on and off. See what works best for your customers and your support team, and shift channel offerings according to customer trends or preferences. Or, start with a single channel and add additional channels as you grow.
Sign of the times
Adopting an omnichannel solution allows your business the agility it needs to handle—and meet—changing customer expectations. With a single solution, you can make changes without disrupting workflows—or the customer experience. In the end, that’s what it’s all about. An omnichannel customer experience is an easy one, removing obstacles for the customer and for your team.
Learn more about the omnichannel solution here