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4 Questions You’re Afraid to Ask About Omnichannel (& Research-Based Answers to Help You Make Decisions)
Omnichannel - the phrase everyone throws around, the business model few know how to implement.
Confused? We’ve got your back. Here are 4 answers to questions too many executives are afraid to ask out loud.
Omnichannel customer service means providing customers with continuity across channels, so they can contact you whatever way is more comfortable, or choose to switch channels midway, and still get consistent service.
Some of the channels you can include in your omnichannel strategy: Phone, SMS, IVR, website chat, mobile app, bricks and mortar.
A study by CFI Group and eBay Enterprise found that 95% of customers use more than one way to contact customer service. They need you to be available in multiple platforms so they can resolve issues faster and easier.
How Can an Omnichannel Management Business Model Help Me Personalize Customer Experiences?
According to an IBM study, 48% of customers prefer personalized promotions. By serving customers in multiple channels, you learn about customer behavior in stores, on your website, on social media and while talking to a call center representative.
As you keep improving what you offer at each contact point, you’ll be able to automate personalized offers based on customer preferences.
Meanwhile, when you centralize data in the cloud, team members at every contact point can provide a seamless experience to customers who need support. They’ll know the customer’s purchase history, browsing preferences and the challenge she already shared with an employee from another department. They’ll quickly resolve the issue, so the customer can go on with her day, satisfied.
Am I Late to the Omnichannel Game?
While companies everywhere are opening more and more communication channels with customers, the surprising answer is no.
According to UX Magazine, only 20% of companies actually integrate communication across channels. The rest operate each channel separately. A customer service agent, for example, doesn’t know what happened with a customer in a store, when she used the company’s IVR or when she tweeted with the corporate account.
Quality customer service is emerging as the #1 unique selling proposition for companies, and fortunately, there’s still time to stand out by offering a true, seamless omnichannel alternative.
Why Should I Invest in Omnichannel Instead of Waiting for the Next Trend?
In a business world that evolves faster than ever, it’s hard to commit your resources to one trend.
We know it’s scary. But with almost all customers seeking service on more than one channel and 86% of contact centers providing service on multiple platforms, this isn’t a trend – it’s a customer-centric approach that isn’t going anywhere.
Yes, the specifics could change. Customers might prefer text over phone or Instagram over Twitter, but at the end of the day, they want to get personalized, efficient service no matter which contact point they use to approach you, and that’s only going to get more crucial as technology keeps giving them more options.
Publish Date: December 6, 2015 5:00 AM
Clients have huge expectations for accepting incredible encounters of shopping experience across all greater part of the channels they utilize. Giving clients problematic or even run-of-the-mill isn’t an alternative – if clients are unsatisfied or baffled with their omnichannel encounters, they'll escape.
Further to which, Question rises what precisely omnichannel implies?
The quick development of digital in the course of recent years has fashioned an environment where buyers are more in control and brand savvy than any other time in recent memory. What's to come is omnichannel, where giving a consistent yet unified and steady brand experience regardless of the technology or modes of communication purchasers decide to use is critical to client engagement and aggressive competitive success.
Omnichannel is a multichannel way to sales that seeks to deliver the client with a consistent and unbroken shopping experience whether the client is shopping online from a desktop or telephone, by cell phone or in a mortar store.
How does omnichannel impact the customer experience?
As per Forrester Research, 75 percent of clients will change their channel or move to another one because they're unsatisfied with the outcomes/results from the channel they're in. This can lead to an addition of large number of dollars as expenses, also the potential for lost revenue if disappointed clients take their business somewhere else.
One of the greatest impediments to providing clients with consistent and unified omnichannel encounters is the habit of channel and organization silos that make it troublesome for customers to have fluid communication. In numerous organizations, once support for another channel such as, SMS or online networking has been added, the channel will become manageable and worked by an individual group. Regardless of the fact that this isn't by design, every channel run independently and hardly integrated with different channels, thus making simulated and artificial hindrances in the omnichannel client journey.
Further to this, it is important to recognize that before business pioneers start expanding their organizations' omnichannel vicinity, it's best to assess the present condition of the association's technical architecture. How simple or troublesome is it to include new channel support? Does the ebb and flow structural planning accommodate consistent joining between support channels? Having the right architecture and underlying technologies in place to furnish clients with easy backing is paramount to delivering a fruitful omnichannel experience. .
When an organization has a light-architecture up to include new bolster channels, business pioneers can utilize analytics and different instruments to assess which channels their clients are utilizing or are most adept to utilize. Checking this data can assist officials with figuring out if the organization has adequately talented skilled associates to support the volumes of client collaborations the organization hopes to handle and whether extra enrollment or training may be required.
As Millenials and other digitally-keen buyers grow older and become more established and build their purchasing power, organizations should have the capacity to bolster them fluidly across all of the channels they utilize. That is a reason why it's basic to get the foundational components of omnichannel client
support set up. Regardless of the fact that your organization doesn't plan to offer different channel choices to clients today, you're going to need it eventually.
When evaluating different contact center vendors, it’s important for decision makers to find a good match between the company’s needs and a partner that can meet those requirements. It’s not enough for a technology provider to offer email, SMS, mobile, or other channel support. Because customers are omnichannel, contact center platforms must also be adept at guiding omnichannel interactions and routing the right customer to the right agent to ensure that customer inquiries are being satisfied.
Also, don’t forget the associate experience. It’s invaluable to partner with a vendor that has extensive experience setting up omnichannel contact center platforms that are designed for associates to navigate easily.
Companies that carefully assess the cross channel behaviors of their customers, and deploy a flexible support environment that can address their needs and preferences, position themselves to distinguish their brands and succeed in the digital economy.
Publish Date: November 18, 2015 5:00 AM
Mastering Omnichannel doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 10 Omnichannel statistics you need to know to get you on your way.
Publish Date: October 26, 2015 5:00 AM
The hottest trend in business today is what your call center is all about: extraordinary customer service. The writing is on the wall: By 2020, see fast resolution as their #1 need. Customer experience will make you or break you, but what exactly do you need to do to keep your customers satisfied?
Phone is King, But it’s About to Get Dethroned
Hear ye, hear ye: As 2016 comes around, customers will still use the phone above any other channel.
Yes, they think it’s the best way to get issues resolved. No, they’re not happy about it. 41% of customers see fast resolution as their #1 need from quality customer service. With standard IVRs not fitting 25% of US citizens and data missing from most contact points, customers really have no choice.
Their frustration increases when they wait on hold. About a third of customers believe companies should never put people on hold. Given the choice, 64% of consumers would gladly text with your agents instead. Its fits our lifestyle: Americans make 1-5 calls a day, but send and receive 60 texts on an average day.
Social Media Isn’t Hot, But if You Stay Away, You’ll Get Burned
Despite the hype, customer service via social media doesn’t seem to be picking up. Shockingly, only 3% of companies’ communications with customers is done on social networks.
That, of course, doesn’t keep customers from complaining about companies’ poor service on these platforms. If you’re not there, you can’t respond to their comments, rectify your brand image or solve the actual issue to win back customers’ hearts.
If that’s not motivation enough, turns out the companies who do engage with customers on social media win big. 78.6% of salespeople who used social media to sell outperformed those who didn’t even back in 2012. Statista predicts that social selling will increase by 50% by the end of 2015: $30 billion worth of global sales will be tracked back to social media, versus $20 billion in 2014.
If You’re Not Everywhere, it Doesn’t Count
Simply adapting one or two strategies isn’t enough anymore. With so much choice around, customer expectations are high and you have the option to meet them or lose customers to competitors. 95% of customers use more than one channel to communicate with companies, so it’s time for a queen and she’s called omni-channel.
Make it easy for customers to channel hop as much as they want – by being consistent and offering continuity across contact points – and you’ll retain engaged customers who will go the distance with you.
Publish Date: October 19, 2015 5:00 AM
“I was asked, ‘Could you hold a moment?’ After 9 minutes and no service I gave up and hung up”, complained a customer on a Yahoo forum way back in 2008, and she’s not the only one, especially with the rise of social media. No one likes to be put on hold.
Sure, 4.1% of survey respondents told Velaro that they have no life and would wait as long as it takes, but 32.3% said companies shouldn’t put people on hold. Ever.
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible in contact centers. You get more calls than you can handle, or your agents need to check information and get approvals.
But how long is it too long to be on hold, and what can you do about it?
Testing Customer Patience 20 Seconds at a Time
Wanting issues resolved and fearing to lose their place in line after waiting for so long, some customers wait for long periods of time and think less of us with every passing minute. When they finally reach an agent, they won’t be easily engaged and open to suggestions. The 13 minute mark is the boiling point, reported Business Insider, when customers hang up and switch providers.
But most people won’t wait that long. Velaro’s survey found that 57.8% won’t wait for more than 5 minutes. 27.6% will hang up after holding for one single minute. According to Unitiv, even a 1 minute response time doesn’t guarantee satisfaction, as frustration levels increase after holding for merely 20 seconds.
How to Overcome Customer Impatience
Often, putting customers on hold is inevitable, yet fun hold music can only get you so far. Always communicate why it’s happening and offer to call customers back. You can do it through your IVR if
they haven’t reach an agent yet, or let customers schedule callbacks on your website or app in advance instead of holding in line. Software Advice found that 63.1% of customers would rather get a callback than wait on hold. Just remember that almost half of them expect you to call back within 30 minutes.
Customers want to talk to a live agent because it’s usually the best way to resolve issues. This can be easily changed if you make sure there are people who can truly help customers at every touch point – live chat, email, social media. You can add more useful information to your site and optimize your IVR for better self-service success rates. You don’t have to put customers on hold for 15.5 hours to give them the impression you don’t care. In a world where even one minute feels like eternity, you need to give customers other valuable channel options to get support.
Publish Date: September 27, 2015 5:00 AM
More than a third of consumers would gladly live without electricity for a week if the alternative was to live without their smartphones, found a Cisco study. It’s understandable. As WDS points out, every mobile device is an “omni channel platform with voice, email, web chat, video chat, SMS and social media capabilities”.
Forrester predicts the mobile revolution will only intensify, as 42% of the global population will own at least one smart device by 2016, but should contact centers even care?
How Often Do US Adults Use Mobile Devices for Customer Service?
We took a look at the numbers. Turns out 63% of US adults use mobile devices for non-voice customer service at least several times a month, according to Software Advice’s 2015 report. That means using your app, searching for answers in your website’s support database or tweeting you a question.
8% of respondents don’t believe they could get help online, but 24% do it several times a week.
It’s Not Just Millennials. Study Finds Surprising Stat on Older Generations’ Mobile Savviness.
77% of 18-24 year olds and 65% of 25-34 year olds use their mobile devices to get non-voice customer service more than once a month, says the Software Advice study, and your jaw probably didn’t drop.
But here’s what’s really interesting: Almost 40% of 55-64 year olds and over 25% of 65+ year olds do the same, reports the study.
As mobile devices become easier to use, as their screen sizes grow alongside life expectancy, percentages of older citizens seeking support on mobile devices will grow as well.
Customers’ Channel Choices for Non-Voice Support on Mobile
According to Cisco, gen X uses smartphones for calls only 43% of the time, and Gen Y – less than 25%. 67% of professionals use SMS for business communications and over 33% of sales professionals have closed deals this way, reports HeyWire.
Texting works in customer service too, mostly in live chats. According to Software Advice, almost 50% of average and almost a fifth of late tech adapters have used it on mobile.
And social media? Consumers spend more time on that than anything else online, according to the Wall Street Journal, and 60% of that time is spent using mobile devices, says comScore. More importantly, 67% of J.D. Power study’s respondents have used social media to get customer service.
While customers currently get more satisfactory responses when calling a contact center than contacting a company online, WDS predicts that artificial intelligence and customer service automation developments will soon even the scale.
Different customers take different routes to resolution, and they often move through multiple platforms. A company that offers quality service across channels is a company that sets itself to thrive.
Publish Date: August 30, 2015 5:00 AM