Back in the days, there were basically only three ways to contact a company – phone, letter or fax.
Those communication channels were more than enough as the technology was not as advanced as today, but more importantly as the customer expectation from the brands was not that high.
If nowadays you are in the business of retaining your customers, you need to be able to always get their life’s easier, be always there for them and always have the right answer to solve their problem.
Omnichannel customer support allows businesses to keep up with that trend by being always available for their customers, but more importantly by offering their customers to contact them how they prefer.
Imagine the following situation – you are going on a vacation and suddenly realize that your flight leaves tomorrow and you don’t have a crucial piece of equipment you absolutely must have. With our busy daily routine, it is almost impossible to react in the last second. In this case, luckily, you have a favourite brand so you open the app and find the self-service feature and discover that you can order the equipment online, but you have to make sure the store actually has it in stock. No problem – there is an option for chat with customer support representative. The equipment is available, and your vacation is saved.
But a sudden meeting occurs and you can not complete the sale. The customer support representative sends you and SMS and offers to call you at a better time for you. When the meeting is done, you speak with him and the sale is complete.
And voila – a sale is made and more importantly, an evangelist is created.
In the process of completing one sale, we can have a self-help section for orientation, a call for more information, a chat for an update, a quick SMS for organization and an email confirmation.
According to Aberdeen group, companies that provide a consistent quality service across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that do not provide an omnichannel contact solution retain only 33%.
Furthermore, the example above demonstrates a proactive approach, keeping your customer informed and being able to complete the communication cycle by having the omnichannel tools to do that. 89% of consumers report frustration at having to repeat their questions to multiple customer support representatives.
Some key points to omnichannel support:
- Mobile support – researches show that browsing, buying and subscribing is already dominated on mobile, compared to other devices.
- Social media support – the average response time for businesses is 157 minutes. There is a gap between the business standards and customer expectations, because the customers expect an answer within 30 minutes. Only 8% of the companies are able to comply with these standards. 12% don’t even try to reply
- Self-service/FAQ support – during the browsing and researching stage three quarters of the customers prefer to find a solution on the business’ website vs any other channel. The businesses must adapt to that.
- SMS support – if what you need to communicate is important that note that SMS have 99% open rate!
- Live chat – this is a great tool to boost your business’ sales. 44% of the customers report that the most important feature a website should offer is the ability to get answers to their questions during purchases;
- Email support – it still one of the most popular channels. It has 56% effectiveness for customer retention, the highest among any other channel, and it gives the opportunity to offer branded messages, it is a secure platform that customers trust.
The customers want to be able to interact with the brands across multiple channels and those interactions must be unified. Each touchpoint during the customer journey matters. And omnichannel customer support joins those touchpoints together, so the customer journey is consistent and unified.