In the past two years, the expectations for customer service have been raised significantly. It’s not enough anymore to offer “okay” customer service.
If your customer service experience isn’t absolute streamlined perfection (insert chef’s kiss here), you’re setting yourself up to lose out on business and growth opportunities.
Before you start to panic, know that 1. it’s never too late to implement omnichannel customer service in your business, and 2. TalentPop is here to give you all the tools and advice you need to make it happen right now.
What is omnichannel customer service?
Omnichannel customer service is a CX strategy that gives customers the ability to seamlessly communicate with your brand across multiple channels, including telephone, email, live chat messaging or chatbots, social media, SMS text messaging, and even video calling.
However, omnichannel isn’t just about creating multiple touchpoints for customers. It’s about syncing your communication channels so that each conversation between a customer and a member of your customer service team is documented.
Step into your customers’ shoes for a moment: if you had to explain your issue with a product to multiple representatives during your support process, you’d probably feel pretty frustrated and, perhaps, even neglected by the company – and you’d be right to feel that way.
These feelings of frustration and disappointment from customers are to be expected if they realize your team isn’t on the same page. Omnichannel support solves this problem and more, making it the ultimate solution for creating a seamless customer experience.
No matter which channel a customer uses to connect with your team during the support process, having omnichannel coverage will ensure that whichever agent who works on the issue will have access to previous conversations across all channels, as well as all of the information they need to properly address the situation and resolve the customer’s issue faster and more efficiently.
Multichannel vs Omnichannel Customer Service
The crucial difference between multichannel customer service and omnichannel customer service is that, though multichannel customer service does offer various support channels (hence the name), omnichannel support takes it a step further by synchronizing each support channel so customers can switch from one to another throughout their support process.
Simply put, whereas multichannel focuses on appeasing customers by offering various streams of support, omnichannel places more emphasis on the experience by prioritizing synchronization & consistency across channels.
Here’s an example: say you’re interacting with a customer service agent on a road trip via email after a product you purchased from them suddenly stopped working.
If you’re trying to attach files, such as images or videos of the dysfunctional product, that are too large to email, you’d be able to easily transition to live chat to quickly send your files and continue your support conversation – all without missing a beat or having to start over with a different agent.
This same scenario with multichannel support would look a lot different (and not in a good way) – most likely, you’d have to start all over again and explain your issue to a different agent via live chat because there’s no linking or consistency across the support channels.
The clear winner between these two support strategies is omnichannel, as it creates a higher quality of service and an overall better customer experience.
The Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service
We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the benefits of implementing omnichannel customer service in your e-commerce business. To get a bigger picture of how exactly it can improve both internal and external communication and experience, let’s dive into a few more benefits together.
1. Faster Resolution Times
It’s no secret that humans are an impatient bunch – and can you blame us? In a world where we’re constantly on the go, waiting on customer service to resolve our issue with a product not only holds us up but can make us feel like the money we spent with a brand wasn’t worth it.
It’s why 69% of customers attribute their positive customer service experience to a quick resolution of their issue – customers value their own time greatly and are willing to do business with companies that value their time as well.
An omnichannel solution allows agents to respond faster to a customer’s ticket, and the consistent documentation across all channels provides the agent with the history and notes they need to efficiently address and resolve the issue at hand.
2. Better Customer Satisfaction
Creating a seamless experience with omnichannel customer service can be your biggest flex as a business in the e-commerce space.
Customers love businesses that make customer service a breeze. Not only do 86% say they will pay more for a better experience, but 54% of customers who report positive emotions throughout their experience with customer service (like happiness, value, and appreciation) are more willing to forgive brands that make mistakes.
Consistency is key in customer service, and omnichannel is the difference between gaining a loyal customer (who is willing to stick with the company even if you mess up on occasion) and driving away customers who are fed up after multiple poor experiences.
3. Higher Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV)
When done properly, omnichannel customer service has the potential to help you retain customers and increase revenue, which leads to a higher CLTV.
Customers want to feel comfortable when they’re communicating with customer service, which is why 93% will spend more money with companies that offer their preferred communication channel. After all, product issues are difficult enough without having to navigate an unfamiliar support channel, right?
Once your business is consistently delivering excellent customer service through your various channels, it also makes it that much easier to offer self-service solutions that can still be managed by agents but will free up the CS team’s ticket queue and give customers the freedom to complete more purchases, returns & exchanges independently.
It’s a win-win all around for your customers, your customer service team, and your business.
4. More Data To Improve Future Strategies
On top of higher retention rates and faster resolution times, omnichannel support’s unique ability to collect and document historical customer data gives your business more information to improve standard operating procedures and support structures.
Depending on your findings, you might make decisions that streamline the returns or exchanges process, or perhaps make changes to your support strategy that better meet the needs of your customers.
Either way, the data will give you a greater understanding of how you can continue to improve customer service to make it the ultimate game-changer for your business.
How to Implement Omnichannel Customer Service
How you’ll establish omnichannel customer service in your business might look different depending on your customers and your product, but we’ll dish on a few of our favorite tactics for you to try.
Offer support channels that are often overlooked
Some e-commerce businesses overlook SMS texting and live chat, but we advise that you don’t sleep on these two highly sought-after support channels.
With an omnichannel interface, replying to quick inquiries via SMS texting is easy and efficient, and ensures that you don’t lose business by ignoring customers who prefer texting as a support method.
Plus, because texting is typically much more cost-effective than phone support (we’re talking $1 to $5 per text interaction as opposed to $16 per phone call), it gives your team a convenient yet personal way to respond to customers quickly (and for your marketing team to send out updates and reminders on discounts and exciting sales opportunities for your products).
Live chat is another great support channel to utilize, not only because it’s a quick way for customers to reach out to your team from your website, but also because it will record the conversation between your agents and customers and email the transcript to the customer following the interaction.
Establish self-service support options
Omnichannel self-service options like chatbots can still create a record of customer data, but give customers the option to get instant assistance with their issues through auto-responses and access to knowledge bases (think FAQs pages and troubleshooting guides) without having to contact a team member and clog up support queues.
Use software to consolidate support channels
E-commerce helpdesk software like Gorgias, Zendesk, and Gladly allows you to consolidate all of your support channels into a single interface to make omnichannel support a breeze. From live chat and SMS texting to email and voice calling, each channel is synchronized and interlinked to promote a seamless and efficient customer service experience.
Outsource customer service to increase coverage
Outsourcing customer service to TalentPop will give your customer service team the support and coverage they need to manage various channels.
Plus, adding skilled agents to your team who are trained in e-commerce CRMs, tools, and resources will increase customer satisfaction by keeping response and resolution times consistently low.
Ready to start implementing omnichannel customer service in your business?
Reach out today to TalentPop to learn how we can help your brand improve CX by utilizing omnichannel customer service. From our qualified agents who go above and beyond to create a personalized experience for your customers to our scaleable and affordable support solutions (as low as $8/hour per agent), we’ve got you covered in all the ways that matter.
To get started, book a call with our team today.