Omni-channel Customer Service: Engaging with the customers across channels and mediums
Omnichannel customer service i.e. seamless and consistent customer service across all channels has become crucial. That is why, the biggest names like Accenture and Zendesk have started delivering this type of customer service.
Zendesk (with the help of Loudhouse) has surveyed 7,000 consumers in seven countries to identify consumer trends.
Here are a few of the key findings:
- 67% of online shoppers have made purchases in the past six months that have involved several channels
- 37% now expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative regardless of which channel they use and 47% expect to be able to return goods / purchases through a different channel than the purchase channel
- In the past six months, consumers have tried to resolve a query by - calling customer support (54%), emailing customer services (48%), using online self-service portals (27%) or going in store (26%).
The Conclusion from the survey–
Omnichannel customer service is on the rise. As a result, businesses really need to brainstorm ideas to deliver it. Any ignorance towards delivering the omnichannel customer service will only damage their reputation and revenue in the long term.
What the Small and Medium-sized businesses need to do?
Small and medium-sized businesses need to immediately ditch their old belief:
‘Customers will not leave unless extreme inconveniences arise’
They need to recognize the fickle-mindedness of the customers and acknowledge the fact that with many competitors in the market, they need to be ‘tough in the best sense’ to maintain a strong foothold. Unless small businesses do not understand this, they will either lose market share, or worse, struggle to stay profitable.
What is the roadmap to delivering omnichannel customer service?
Break down the traditional silos – that’s the first step to meet the customers’ demand for seamless omnichannel service. SMBs (small and medium businesses) need to integrate all the processes together and use the combined data to provide personalized services across all channels.
Accenture experts (Donald Carroll and Inés Guzman) have spoken in detail about Omnichannel customer service approach:
We bring to you a summarized version of a few of the sections mentioned in the Accenture Report.
1. Businesses should combine all Communication Channels
Traditionally retail stores, call centers, social media, and other channels have been separately managed. However, now businesses cannot take the risk of handling these channels separately as it will result in a disjointed customer service.
Today the objective should be to have a broad single channel with multiple touch points. And that is only possible when all channels are merged.
Then only will businesses have a consolidated view of the customers and deliver consistent experience across all channels. So whether customers want to make a purchase, renew a service, or resolve a problem, they can do so in any of their preferred channels.
As the customers move across physical store, online e-commerce, social media and call centers, businesses can map the entire customer journey to provide a unified experience.
2. Businesses need to have a Flexible, Integrated and Responsive technology platform
We suggest: investing in a CRM solution that handles marketing, sales and service and seamlessly tracks customers across the different channels that they use.
With all customer interactions handled together in one database, businesses can easily share customer data and efficiently provide smooth customer support.
The Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service
Once, the small and medium-sized businesses start delivering omnichannel customer service through CRM, they will successfully meet customer expectations in three ways:
- Personalized Interactions: Identifying the customers past purchase orders, buying patterns and interaction history and tailor the oncoming interactions based on these
- Targeted Marketing: Promoting products and services that matches to the customers’ present context and requirement
- Customers' Convenience: Empowering the customers to control entire purchase process by interacting with them across any channel.
Deliver Omnichannel Customer Service easily with ConvergeHub
Talking about CRM to help in omnichannel customer service - ConvergeHub is one of the few CRM solutions that does that! It has the capability to manage your customers throughout the journey. Right from the time your customers first interact with your brand till the time they continue to do business with you – ConvergeHub tracks the interaction and streamlines it within one database.
With a 360-degree view of the customers, it becomes super easy for you to provide customer service across all channels. What say?
Check out our ConvergeHub product section to know more. We are keen to clarify your doubts. So share your comments below. We will provide you a detailed consultation on both Omnichannel customer service and ConvergeHub!
Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub