I recently reached out to a big tech company for support. I was able to start a chat directly in the bot on their homepage. All was going well, but the conversation wound up taking longer than expected, and my dog was begging to go outside.
I started the chat on my desktop but now wanted to be more mobile. I asked if we could move over to texting, and to my delight, Maria said, “Sure!”.
And just like that, I was walking my dog around the block while still getting help from Maria. It was lovely.
This exchange is a prime example of a good customer service experience – which 65% of Americans would openly rave about. My raving above further supports this fact.
It was also a perfect real-world example of a practical omnichannel communication experience.
Who is this “Omnichannel,” and what do they want?
You’ve probably heard the term omnichannel thrown around a lot, and odds are, if you’re reading this post, you know what it means. In regards to communications, omnichannel is a system where customers can reach your business through multiple communication channels, and all channels are aware of one another.
But how do you create this kind of system? How do you enable your customers to communicate with customer service across dozens of channels? How do you ensure your employees have the data they need to avoid making customers repeat themselves when they’re (inevitably) transferred?
Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when designing a seamless omnichannel customer experience.
1. How are we providing information?
Create a database that all your employees can access to learn about customers. If employees don’t need specific details for security reasons, you can limit access to data with different roles. Think about how your team will use customer data.
- If one employee has limited visibility, will it impact their ability to provide good customer service?
- Does your system keep transfers to a minimum and keep track of the customer issue, so they don’t have to explain themselves at each transfer?
- If you’re using text and email, is there an easy way for an employee to see the customer’s problem across channels?
Any place where you can combine information about a customer, do so. The fewer places teams have to look to find a solution, the better.
2. Are our communications easy to manage?
Use a tool like Mitto Conversations to put all your customer conversations in one place, without the need for technical resources or complex integrations, no matter which channel they’re on.
When all your communications are managed within the same tool, it’s much easier to help customers solve their problems reliably and efficiently.
3. Should we automate?
Used wisely, automation can really make a difference for your support team and your customers. It can help customers handle simple issues, and when you log key details of their problems, your team can seamlessly take over when a case requires a human to step in.
Figuring out when people prefer automation and when they want human interaction is just as valuable as figuring out what your product should offer them.
4. How do our customers connect with us?
Figure out how customers can connect and what types of problems lead a customer to connect using one channel vs. another. Think about how you want them to engage when they’re buying across all your channels, whether online or in person. You can use this information to identify pain points, moments to upsell, and critical opportunities to define your brand.
5. What do our customers want?
Understanding what your customers want isn’t just about figuring out what you can sell them, but also what kind of experience they want. For example, there may be some situations where a customer is okay with a robot or self-service. A typical scenario is when someone is making an online purchase. They’ll want to research with reviews, maybe watch a video, land on the specific item, and then buy. It’s typically a self-guided process.
Someone buying online is unlikely to want to interact with a salesperson, that is, unless they’re buying something more complex. Understanding the complexity of your product could help determine whether your omnichannel experience needs to include an online chat for answering product questions during the sale process.
Good communication = good business
The foundation of all good business is strong communication. Ensuring your customers can easily communicate with you must be priority number one. Think of…
- The best ad campaigns you’ve experienced
- The best customer service you’ve had
- The best meetings you’ve been a part of
When you think of each of these events going well, it’s because everyone involved was on the same page and able to communicate effectively. Strong omnichannel communications are crucial to building this type of effective relationship with your customers.
Use the tips above to begin crafting, or hone, your omnichannel experience. And if you need help, Mitto is always here for you.