It might sound like an overstatement, but having access to the internet has quickly become one of the most important aspects of our daily lives. Some may even argue that they can’t live without it. We couldn’t agree more!
This is especially the case with online shopping businesses, where the number of online stores has significantly expanded over the past few years. It particularly merited a sudden trajectory during the pandemic, with most people staying at home and glued to their smartphones and laptops.
Simultaneously, as the market changes, so do the customers’ behaviors and how they perceive brands.
The answer to this is relatively straightforward: New generation clients increasingly expect a more individualized user experience, particularly when shopping online. Gone are the days when firms could only provide at most two communication channels. Customers want speedy resolution of their complaints. They seek a two-way contact where they can interact with the business in real-time, and receive prompt and accurate responses across several communication channels. You can say they demand assistance that’s omnipresent.
Omnichannel marketing enables businesses to become capable of providing the best user experience possible and assuring corporate success.
What is Omnichannel?
An omnichannel approach is a marketing strategy that integrates different communication channels or touch points into a cohesive system with the purpose of connecting potential customers with a brand and creating a more consistent user experience.
Omnichannel communication channels include websites, chatbots, SMS, phone calls, emails, social media, on-page live chat widgets, and mobile applications. In some cases, firms include their brick-and-mortar customer strategy in their omnichannel initiatives.
Implementing an omnichannel strategy allows organizations to respond to inquiries or concerns and support clients in a more timely, efficient, and effective manner.
Omnichannel versus Multichannel
A multichannel strategy is essentially the technique of connecting with clients across multiple channels. Print ads, social media, emails, and television commercials are just a few examples. These channels, however, are not linked together.
To put it another way, your multichannel approach on Facebook may be very different from the multichannel efforts you put into your print ads. Each strategy in multichannel initiatives operates independently, offers an individualized message, and paves for more marketing opportunities.
Meanwhile, an omnichannel approach also provides multiple digital channels for customer service to connect with clients and prospects. The difference is that each channel is integrated with and learns from the others, allowing clients to access a more unified and smoother customer support desk channel. To illustrate, when a customer contacts the brand by phone, they can be redirected to the business’s social media platform without disrupting or terminating the customer’s ongoing engagement with the brand.
The key takeaways:
- Omnichannel is more of a customer-centric approach. It delivers messages that are highly adaptable to clients’ behaviors, standards, and conditions. Lastly, all channels are integrated into one another.
- Multichannel is more of a product or service-centric approach. Messages can be quite generic and static. Channels do not work with each other and provide separate sales opportunities.
Hacks to Implementing Omnichannel Support
While employing a multichannel approach is not obsolete, it is more practical to maximize an omnichannel approach if you want to thrive in this increasingly demanding digital environment. The question is, how can it be implemented more effectively? We’ve identified five surefire approaches to improve your customer service strategies below.
1. Be Mobile-Friendly
Every company needs to come to terms with the fact that browsing on mobile devices is quickly gaining traction in browsing on desktop computers in many respects. Most people at present possess a mobile device, typically a smartphone, that enables them to access the internet and view websites whenever and wherever they like. It is therefore necessary to have extremely good mobile accessibility when implementing omnichannel.
When it comes to their expectations for their online browsing experience, customers, particularly Millennials and Gen Zs tend to have higher expectations. They anticipate that the channels you use for communication will be optimized for mobile browsing. Consequently, it is essential to check all of your channels, particularly the ones that are incorporated into your website like live chat, and ensure they are supported by mobile devices.
2. Maximize Social Media
It should come as no surprise that social media is one of the most effective channels for engaging with clients and patrons. Therefore, you should strive to achieve the highest possible level of contact and engagement on all of your social media profiles. In a recent study conducted by Social Media Today, one of the most successful publication companies in the industry, it was discovered that approximately 67% of digital customers favor using social media channels whenever they want to discuss their concerns and dilemmas with brands.
Not only is it the preeminent platform for online buying (case in point, Facebook’s marketplace feature), but it also creates a setting in which your company may engage with its customers on a more personal level. It becomes a valuable resource for marketing purposes. As such, it is only reasonable to expect that once your chat channels are accessible 24/7, you gain the capacity to provide responses in a timely fashion.
3. Use Live Chat
Waiting in line for a prolonged period is highly frustrating. All it takes is one mistake for the other person to turn the tables on you.
It is more likely that a customer will be dissatisfied with the service they received from your company if they get aggravated as a result of being put on hold too long. Consequently, the public’s perception of your company and its products may suffer irreparable damage.
So, how do you go about resolving issues of this nature? You always have the option of integrating a live chat feature into your various web platforms.
Live chat is well-known for its ability to increase the satisfaction of customers. If you have live chat operators who are always ready to help different customers, it tremendously enhances your average handling time and decreases bottlenecks created by ineffective customer service management.
4. Offer Self-Service Customer Support
You can communicate information to your customers without the necessity for a real representative if you offer them self-service portals to access your website’s content. It is an effective strategy for aiding customers in resolving challenges on their own that are related to the brand. Because of this, your organization is able to dramatically cut the costs associated with providing customer care, as well as save time and streamline the process of resolving the issue or question at hand.
5. Train Your Workforce
If you don’t have the manpower who can do the actual “talking,” then none of your optimization efforts will amount to anything. You need to have a team that is equipped with the requisite level of knowledge and skill if you want to implement an omnichannel customer service strategy.
Have a solid understanding of the skills that should be emphasized in chat support. It is the key to building an effective in-house team of chat operators and customer service reps to support your omnichannel goals. Make it a routine to conduct regular training sessions for both newly hired workers and tenured staff. Doing so ensures that their skills remain relevant and auspicious amid the inconstant needs and conditions of your target market.
It is a must to have an efficient implementation of your omnichannel customer service in place to guarantee your company’s longevity. Always keep in mind that you need to adjust to the shifting conditions and expectations of the next generation of customers.
Be careful not to form an erroneous opinion. It is not necessary that your business be “omnipresent” across all channels to take advantage of omnichannel marketing. Instead, it should be seen as a strategy that conforms to a practical plan in which each channel is prepared to respond to customers’ needs with the utmost speed and precision. This is the proper way to think about it.
We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet. There are still several undiscovered and unexplored ways to make your omnichannel operations more efficient and successful, and they are just waiting to be found and used. On the other hand, we are confident that the following five recommendations will help you establish a stronger presence in your chosen industry.
Are you ready to take your customer engagement initiatives to the next level? Let us know in the comments!