We can’t really talk about omni-channel without throwing a glance at multi-channel – interacting with customers on the channel of their choice. By now the multi-channel approach has been adopted by most e-commerce companies. The idea, as with everything in marketing, is to go where your customers are. But what does omni-channel mean?
In short, omni-channel means providing customers with a seamless experience across all the platforms they might use. Sure, there are plenty of ways your clients can interact with your company: voice call, social media, brick-and-mortar store visits and others. But an omni-channel strategy allows access to consolidated, actionable intelligence, regardless of how and where consumers interact with your company and brand. In today’s fast-paced world, anticipating where your customers might interact with your company or brand is not innovation, it is a necessity.
If the growth of your brand relies greatly on consumer experience and word-of-mouth, the omni-channel approach can deliver new levels of customer satisfaction and retention.
We need to start by looking at the customer journey. Let’s say you’re experiencing some issues with your laptop. You decide to do some research before you actually ask for help. After a while, you call it quits and go to the manufacturer’s Facebook page where you leave a message with details on what the issue is. After a short chat with the representative, they tell you it be best for you to call tech support or that you’d be contacted back. Now, you’ve already explained the issue to someone from the company, but you have to do it all over again to the customer care consultant at the other end of the line. Said consultant then forwards your call to the tech support department, where, you guessed it, you have to explain things again.
If your laptop’s manufacturer were using an omni-channel approach to client service, you would have had a more seamless experience, in that once you’ve stated the issue to one customer service consultant, all other points of contact would already be aware of it, and you’d have had your issue resolved faster.
Why should you care?
Imagine that you are the laptop manufacturer in the above example. Your customer went through a lot of effort to resolve the technical issue and that does not make for a great customer service experience.
As technology moves forward, we become more and more connected with the world. As such, we have a higher need for all communication , be it with our friends or co-workers, or with customer service providers, to be integrated in our lifestyles. With your friends, you can start a conversation on Skype, continue it over text message and later call each other to finish your thoughts. This is the way in which companies must learn to communicate with their clients, regardless of whether they’re promoting a new product or service, or helping customers in need to tech support.
How do you get there?
The process of implementing an omni-channel-style of communication with your customers could prove to be a slow one. Aside from the investment in technology and processes, you also have to make sure your team is on board with your new global “one-voice” approach. It can turn out to be a costly process, but it does have major benefits in the long run.
An alternative method to get your company omni-channel-oriented is to find a trustworthy partner to outsource your customer service needs to. Outsourcing vendors with a proven track record in offering omni-channel customer care and tech support can elevate customer satisfaction and grow your business globally. However, it’s of the utmost importance that the chosen partner understands your brand, shares your values and has your customers in mind.
Already decided to outsource your customer care needs? Here’s a useful workbook to get you on the right track!