Making customer service touchpoints part of your omnichannel engagement network
What are customers demanding?
Great customer experiences are in demand. According to research by PWC, 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience, and 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. A customer experience that lives up to consumer expectations today will not be static or isolated to one or two touchpoints. Brands cannot be content with ensuring customer delight at the point of transaction or only upon the first encounter.
Instead, what consumers expect are seamless, constantly evolving interactions throughout all stages of their lifetime with the brand and across any number of channels they prefer. They want omnichannel experiences—just the way they want it. From discovery to exploration to purchase to loyalty, every step of the way matters. Customer service is no exception to this.
Making customer service omnichannel
In this context, it might not be enough to simply have customer service touchpoints—email, call centers, chatbots, live chats, social media, etc.—in place, and brands have to prepare to respond in context and at scale to whichever channel each customer has chosen to share their issues or queries.
They need to have a clear grasp of how customers are interacting with their myriad touchpoints and what they expect. More importantly, there has to be a strategic, seamless way that such insights improve not only services and responses, but the entirety of customer experiences.
It is critical, then, that the brands design and implement an omnichannel customer service strategy, one that coheres with their omnichannel marketing roadmap, as they look to optimize retention and sustain loyalty.
Omnichannel customer service: The benefits it delivers
The first step towards omnichannel is establishing a unified data foundation. By consolidating the variety of data from their customer service touchpoints and systems, brands will be able to further enrich their singular view of each individual customer.
They can discover when, where, and how each customer interacts to optimize their service strategies. These insights, attributes, and patterns can also be utilized to build targeted campaigns and refine how brands engage each customer during the non-service parts of their omnichannel journeys.
With a unified view of their customer service and marketing touchpoints alike, brands will also be empowered to map out a comprehensive self-service strategy. They can design videos, demos, instructional materials, and entire user experiences to help customers find the answers to their questions efficiently.
Brands can end up saving significant resources formerly invested in call centers, as a large number of complaints and queries can now be resolved through self-service touchpoints. Call centers, on the other hand, could also benefit as they can ensure the efficiency and quality of their services for the smaller number of queries they do receive. The customer service team will also benefit from a shift towards omnichannel, since the 360° customer view that underpins much of seamless customer engagement will help them maintain a complete understanding of each customer’s profile, preferences, interaction history, and more.
The explosion of digital and data has rapidly blurred the lines between not only channels but disciplines. As omnichannel settles into its status as the norm in marketing, customer service, a discipline so closely linked to it, will no doubt have to undergo a similar shift. By identifying their existing gaps, mapping an omnichannel service strategy around their clients’ concrete, evolving queries, and enabling it all with the right technology, brands will surely see encouraging results and stay at the forefront of their industries.