Part two: How to deliver great customer experience
Great customer experience doesn’t come from the start or end of a customer journey. It should be thought about and present at every touch point. Every single customer experience, whether it’s online or offline, should be an opportunity for personalised service. It should be an on-brand interaction and a seamless way for the customer to reach their preferred goal. Whether that is making a purchase, sourcing information, or resolving an issue.
It goes without saying that your staff will be an essential part of this crucial objective. You’ll hire the best candidates based on their ability to interpret empathise and resolve any number of scenarios. But whilst they have the right skills, in many instances they don’t have the tools they need to deliver an exceptional experience.
According to Forrester, 42% of customer experience or service agents say they are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. You don’t just need the right staff. You need the right tools too.
How does an omnichannel solution deliver superior customer experience?
1. It provides contextual communication
There is nothing nicer than talking to a sales or customer service agent and having them bring up your details. As if by magic. By using identifiers such as phone number or messenger ID, a good omnichannel solution will be tied to an account. This account stores key information about the customer which the agent can quickly access. This means that their interaction will not only be immediately meaningful, it can also be tailored personally in accordance with the customer’s needs and preferences.
Your customers are more diverse today than ever. So are their communication habits. Not only will you have different demographics who will prefer to use one channel over another, users may also prefer to either stick to that one channel, or to use a plethora of them. They might use them all at once with a second or even third screen experience. They might use them over time as they switch between their work computer, home device and mobile.
Omnichannel solutions empower your customers to have any kind of pick ‘n’ mix they want, encouraging them to get in contact. With all your customer communication coming in to one place, you’re aware of all messages, irrespective of the channel. Your agents can respond in an instant giving you greater opportunity to support and resolve, or engage and convert interactions to sales, building brand loyalty in the process.
3. It offers a seamless experience
No matter the channel, or the device your customers are using to contact you on, the cross over from one to another with a solution that enables context should be as seamless as possible. No matter how disparate your company is, an omnichannel solution should centralise these silos of communications so that the customer sees only one face to your brand. It should be a smart face that responds quickly from any channel, can identify customers, and anticipate their needs.
It’s not just inbound either. You can use omnichannel to send a push notification to a user’s mobile app, after a basket abandonment on their desktop. Or send an SMS after you know they have opened an email. You can also automate a pop-up that allows users to continue their web chat on another channel when they go to close their browser or chat widget. And when they speak to your agents in any of these ways, they shouldn’t have to repeat themselves!
4. It empowers agents and delights customers
With access to a central customer profile, no matter the channel they are using, your agents will be empowered with the ability to offer a tailored and personalised experience to the customer every time. Think how nice it is to be offered bespoke service. From a personal shopper, to a thoughtful gift, this is the customer experience you will be able to offer with an omnichannel solution. Your agents will have all the customer’s preferences at their disposal to offer this superior service. Despite the trend of brand loyalty declining in recent years, by offering this experience to a first-time customer, and then every time they come into contact with you from thereon after, it’s hard to think why they would go elsewhere. You may just well end up with a lifetime loyalist. One who feels heard and valued by you.
5. It gives you valuable insights into your customer base
The best omnichannel solutions pull data in from each channel the customers engage on, providing you with a wealth of demographic information. When integrated to your CRM, this gives you the perfect blend of data to drive smarter automations, greater segmentation capability, and more detailed reports. You’ll therefore be able to gain a greater understanding of your customer base and be able to continuously re-target and reassess your communication strategies. This way you can better cater to their needs, and align with your goals. Omnichannel solutions should give you insight into a customer’s buying habits. From the devices they are using, to the journey they are taking, it should all provide you with a holistic picture of the customer experience.
Typically, with the inclusion of more channels, companies experience a significant increase in customer experience markers such as NPS scores. Consumers enjoy an omnichannel approach. They’re impressed when this experience is seamless and consistent, with ubiquitous branding at every touch point. Customers love web chat – it’s pro-active instead of reactive offering them assistance in real time. They don’t need to go searching for an elusive support number, or listen to arduous list of departments like with a phone call. Instead they are connected to an agent and receive an immediate response. What’s more, an agent can handle multiple tickets at once, meaning it is still much more efficient.
Perception is everything. If customers feel you are using outdated or needlessly slow tech to communicate with them, they may feel your company is equally as old-fashioned. Whereas a sleek, modern and agile channel selection presents as a more forward-thinking and trust-worthy option.