How omnichannel can help businesses create a seamless customer experience
In a world full of busy consumers where everyone wants everything yesterday, fluid and tailored customer experiences are vital for businesses. In fact, according to studies outlining the benefits of good customer service, up to 70% of customers will spend more money with a company that delivers excellence – and 97% will tell others about these great experiences. It is clear how important providing a great omnichannel experience is to a business’s success. Tim Morris, the MD of Cymphony, a company specialising in enquiry handling with a personal touch, gives his advice on creating the very best customer service experience.
Ensuring your business has multiple channels for interacting with customers is now a necessity in 2022. This is because customers now want to communicate through their ‘channel of choice’ – for example, web chat, form fills, social media posts, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, SMS, email and of course the phone. When given their ‘channel of choice’ prospects are more likely to convert into customers. So, linking all these touchpoints to create an omnichannel customer experience can improve your business’s interaction rates and increase sales. Here is my advice for creating a seamless customer experience.
1. Understand your audience
Your consumer should be at the core of everything you do in business, so creating the perfect omnichannel experience depends on you understanding what your customers want and how and when they want it. I would recommend researching your customers to truly understand the people who make up your audience and target specific medias depending on your customers’ preference. Bear in mind that depending on the demographic you are looking to target, the balance to strike between online and offline channels will differ considerably.
It should come as no surprise that the younger generation of consumers will prefer to use online channels to interact with your business. In contrast, older generations prefer to use the phone and branded websites. If you provide a service that requires you to speak to consumers of all ages – for example, a chocolate brand – you will need to develop several customer personas to appeal to every age group.
2. Examine your customer’s journey
Once you have identified your audience and your consumer’s channels of choice, the next step is to map out the journey your consumers take to purchase your product or service. By doing this, you will identify areas where an omnichannel experience can be implemented or enhanced.
The benefits of mapping your customer journey will highlight where people require the most help or get frustrated with your services. For example, you might notice that when a consumer gets to the ‘review basket’ stage, there is a drop-off before the ‘complete purchase’ stage. This could be because there is an issue with editing the basket, or customers cannot clearly see the next step. A solution could be to install a web chat option on the ‘review basket’ page. This way, if customers encounter difficulties editing their basket, they can quickly contact an agent for assistance.
3. Apply omnichannel support services
As customers interact with your brand across different channels, you must provide an omnichannel customer support strategy to run alongside it.
To do this, you should provide your customers access to communicate directly with an agent on the channel they are currently interacting with. Live web chat, for example, is a popular contact channel for companies and customers to use. Web chat enables you to keep consumers on your site, allowing them to ask questions, gain insights and even make purchases. Another way to support your customer is to offer a 24/7 call answering service. This way, if a customer wants to speak to someone directly, they simply have to pick up the phone. At Cymphony, our telephone answering, managed web chat, form fill, email and other communication channel services and services specialise in integrating all possible contact channels for your business and your customers, allowing you to provide a seamless omnichannel experience whilst giving you the freedom to focus on other things.
4. Give an omnichannel experience through the sales process and beyond
You must be attentive to your customers’ needs throughout the entire sales process and beyond. Why? Well, believe it or not, even if you have made a sale, your consumers still expect a good level of customer service.
Imagine you are a retail business and you have just sold an item of clothing online. However, when the product arrives, the item is not the size the customer wants. When the customer goes to return the product, they cannot figure out how to send the package back, and there is no obvious way for them to contact a support line. This is understandably frustrating and inconvenient for the consumer and could lead to complaints on social media, which damage the brand. This scenario could have been avoided by ensuring a fluid omnichannel experience was in place throughout the whole sale process and beyond.
5. Do not forget about your in-person customer services
You can have the best online customer service going. However, if you neglect your in-person customer service, you will pay the price! Remember, for an effective omnichannel strategy to work, you must understand that your customers are very rarely just online or offline. Integrating your online channels is all well and good, but if your customers are not satisfied with how your business treats them face-to-face, the omnichannel customer experience will not be complete.