Consistently provide excellent customer service
You’ll find a thousand and one different definitions of omnichannel on the internet, but in practice, they all mean the same thing: consistently provide excellent customer service at all times, no matter how the customer is reaching you or how you’re reaching them.
This principle is gospel across all business areas, and customer service is no exception. Nowadays, clients can access services and products through so many channels it’s often hard to keep track of how many ways each business is selling them. Yet whereas many companies want to focus on the money-making ventures, it’s also vital to get the interaction right at every level.
Customers expect it
You can blame salespeople in shops for this. If they hadn’t been so smiley, upbeat and likeable all those years, then customers may have grown up with lower expectations that were easier to fulfil.
Unfortunately, most people have experienced good or better customer service at many points in their lives, and have come to expect it as part and parcel of their purchases. Even more unfortunately, they expect it whether you’re talking to them face to face, selling through a phone app or reaching them in any other way.
This is no passing consideration: research by Zendesk shows that 78% of people consider a company’s reputation for customer service as important to their brand choices. On top of that, 64% expect real-time assistance regardless of the channel they’re using, which brings us to the next point.
Be ready to talk
People like speaking to people. They always have and, despite the invention of computerised voices (we’re looking at you, Siri), they always will, especially when they want a particular question answering here and now.
Not only do you have to meet these expectations to leave your customers satisfied, if you ignore demands for live chat websites, face-to-face interaction in shops and human voices on the phone, then potential buyers may become disgruntled and go elsewhere. This is just one of many ways in which customer service isn’t just a convenient department for your clients: it’s a worthwhile investment too.
Only send one email
The final and most important reason to ensure you have an omnichannel customer service structure in place is that you’re guaranteed to have an omnichannel customer service structure in place whether you like it or not. The only difference is whether or not it’s well-organised.
If you have a Facebook page, a high street store and a website, then you’re halfway there already. Now add in the countless other avenues most corporations deal through nowadays and you end up with a situation where multiple members of staff are all working with customers across various platforms. Why? Because customers wouldn’t bother with them if they didn’t.
Issues arise when you don’t try to co-ordinate these systems into a well-oiled machine. Imagine someone sends you a message via Facebook which includes their email and Skype ID. With a customer service team that isn’t accustomed to working together across all platforms, two will send the same email in response, one will send a Facebook message and someone else will try to Skype call them. It all wastes time and comes across as unprofessional, hence why an omnichannel approach has to be considered from the off.