When “omnichannel” first became a customer service buzzword a few years ago, many brands rushed to offer service on more channels. However, as every successful company would acknowledge, merely adding new channels is not enough to satisfy customers. The key to an efficient omnichannel strategy lies in being perceptive to customers’ ever-changing needs and serving them on the channels they appreciate the most. Here are five essential rules for creating successful omnichannel customer experiences.
Train agents to master each channel
If your customer service agents are unprepared to handle the demands of multiple channels, your omnichannel service will suffer. Give your agents the tools they need, such as proper training in the use of a CRM solution. Once agents have understood the technology, they will be better prepared to handle inbound contacts and switch channels seamlessly. Your company may also consider assigning agents to channels that best fit their individual skills. For example, if an agent has an extroverted personality and enjoys speaking to others, he might be given more time on the voice channel. While agents should know how to use all channels, allowing them to spend more time on their preferred channels can boost their motivation and enable them to provide better service.
Integrate AI into the omnichannel experience
Artificial intelligence is arguably the new buzzword in the customer service industry, and this technology is essential to your omnichannel approach. Integrate AI into your channels in order to provide faster and more personalized service. For example, chatbots are excellent for engaging customers through messaging, as they may answer simple questions, assist with product research, and help customers make purchases.
Be consistent across your channels
A true omnichannel experience enables customers to switch channels seamlessly. However, many companies fail to deliver on this point. According to Aspect, 61% of customers have not been able to switch channels easily when requesting customer service. For example, if a customer wants to move a conversation from a social channel to a phone call, all data should be transferred seamlessly. The contents of the initial conversation should not be lost, and the customer should not be required to repeat information.
Implement a measurement strategy across channels
To truly assess the efficiency of your customer service, be sure to implement a measurement strategy across all channels. Use data analytics to measure, analyze, and act upon KPIs. For example, if your customers on social media are not getting swift responses or your first contact resolution rates are low, your company may need to change how agents handle service cases.
Adapt your practices to customers’ needs
Companies with the strongest omnichannel strategies know that adapting business practices to customers’ needs is critical to brand success. If your customers show a preference for messaging, then AI should be a key component of your service on this channel. If social media channels are in high demand, more agents should be assigned to work on them. Always follow the needs and preferences of your customers, and accept that changing your practices is essential to your continued success.
According to Aberdeen Group, companies with the strongest omnichannel strategy can retain up to 89% of customers. With a dedicated approach to offering customers the best service on the channels they enjoy the most, you will earn a reputation as a leading omnichannel brand. To deliver the very best customer experiences, learn about Vocalcom, a global leader in AI-powered contact center software solutions and premium omnichannel customer interaction platform.