An omnichannel customer experience allows customers to engage in high-quality customer support interactions across multiple communication channels, and each channel is aware of all prior interactions. The net impact is that customers have a more positive experience with your brand and are more likely to continue doing business with you.
People have become highly skilled at using a variety of online and offline platforms to research and gather feedback on just about anything. People take this ubiquitous access to information and instant input and expect the same seamless experience whenever they interact with companies on the brands and products they use. Not only do consumers want seamless access to information on your products, but customers also want to engage with brands via THEIR preferred communication channel, at their preferred time, and with high expectations on the quality of response.
As communication channel options expand, brands need to think first about how customers will want to engage with them, then how they can serve customers on each channel (balancing quality experience and cost), and, finally, prioritize the channels you will implement. Customers have more choice than ever before on how they communicate with brands; some of these options are company supplied channels like a 1-800 number, other options are public-facing social media channels where the brand does not own the platform but should pursue active engagement with publicly accessible channels to manage brand message and tone actively.
Modern technology creates a complex matrix of possible ways an individual can engage an organization and its offerings or complete a task.
Organizations constantly seek more efficient methods to handle the most common customer interactions. While some transactions can be complex and warrant a live conversation with a customer service agent, most inquiries can be resolved by channels that are cheaper for you and more convenient for the customer. The goal is to allow a customer to initiate an inquiry via their preferred channel and then steer (not force) the individual toward the channel you set up to be the most effective and efficient medium to address their inquiry while providing the best customer experience possible at a cost you can sustain, for example, deliver a better customer experience more quickly and at a lower cost to your organization.
How many channels do you provide and monitor for customer interaction?
If your customer inquiry strategy includes a 1-800 number on your website and nothing more, there is much more you could be doing for your customers.
When customers reach a customer service agent, are they polite or frustrated?
Customers contact you when they need help, so they may be a little frustrated already. If they have a hard time getting the help they need, that frustration can build as customers progress through layers of choices and channels before getting the answers they need.
Can customers initiate an inquiry via one channel and then transition seamlessly to others?
Integrating systems so all inquiry channels have a record of prior interactions is advanced, and it is what customers are hoping for when they contact you.