Optimum customer satisfaction is the primary growth initiator of businesses struggling to thrive in today’s service-centric market. Customer expectations have increased multi-folds due to the changing lifestyles and constantly-evolving technology. Offering a sense of ultimate convenience, multi-channel and omnichannel support has become the new norm in the customer service segment of the e-commerce industry. Now, what are multichannel and omnichannel customer support? Multi-channel customer support refers to communication with customers across more than two channels. In this case, customers get a chance to contact support agents on their most preferred channel/platform, which can be social media, email, live chat, or text message. However, multi-channel customer service is extremely channel-centric and focused on the customer journey through a single interaction. On the other hand, omnichannel customer service is an experience-centric cohesive model that integrates all communication channels. It acts as an umbrella center that holds customer data across all channels, consolidates all communication, and streamlines the customer experience.
In the case of the omnichannel model, customers can seamlessly switch from one channel to another, and the support agents can swiftly get access to the required customer data and metrics across channels to ensure smooth customer journeys. But, when it comes to the multi-channel support model, customers’ history and data aren’t shared across channels, as each channel accounts for a separate stream of conversation, which is often taken on by a different agent. Omni-channel support strategy is often considered to be comparatively more conducive because it provides support agents with deeper customer context and conversation history, and helps them to significantly reduce their handle time. Besides, with an omnichannel support strategy, the chance of redundancy is eliminated. It makes the support agents’ work easier and allows them to focus primarily on revenue-generating opportunities. By centralizing data, omnichannel customer service immensely contributes to better CRM (Customer Relationship Management). It helps the agents to understand the customers better and improve service through targeted selling and offers, based on their purchase and conversation history.
However, the terms multichannel and omnichannel customer support are often used in conjunction and both ensure an enhanced customer experience. These enable businesses to offer outstanding support to their valued customers on multiple platforms. Today’s tech-savvy generation prefers to have the option of contacting support agents on all channels. Email has been a preferred communication platform for years and still many people prefer it. Phone has been the most popular customer support channel once. But, with the advent of more convenient customer support platforms that assure much less waiting time, the importance of phones is slowly declining. Social media, these days, have turned out to be the key to multi-channel support and has enabled customers to quickly get in touch with businesses through platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Live chat is another popular customer support platform where customers can converse directly with the support agents.
Multi-channel support and omnichannel support allow customers to raise queries across different channels and each request is converted into a ticket, which is generated in a shared dashboard. Help desk software provides a shared dashboard for tickets, where the requests of customers are tracked, specified, and assigned. The agents are alerted immediately after a ticket is created, and they promptly answer the questions and offer quick resolutions. The ticket automation process is the same across all channels and the response time is generally not more than 60 seconds. Multi-channel and omnichannel support strategies help businesses guarantee their customers quicker response times, a consistent support experience, and a choice of communication channels. Hence, these models are being adopted by businesses looking to acquire more loyal customers and ensure maximum customer retention.
Reasons multichannel and omnichannel customer support services are considered extremely beneficial for businesses:
Convenient access to customer support service through the preferred channel is the primary requirement of millennials. Also, prompt support service, which is available 24×7, is expected from businesses/brands. Hence, more businesses are opting for multi-channel support to meet the changing customer demands.
Businesses, these days, are including multiple customer channels to increase their reach to a broader customer base in a shorter time. By integrating a help desk system to automate the process, businesses can easily handle the increasing volume of customer inquiries by responding quickly and efficiently. A consolidated dashboard helps to collect all incoming queries on a single platform.
To ensure continuous growth, businesses must consider offering their customers consistent support. Setting up a multichannel customer support system helps businesses to make sure the support agents getting in touch with the customers regarding the raised queries are completely aware of the issue and able to resolve the same on time.
This strengthens customers’ trust in the businesses’ customer support service while ensuring customer retention.
Businesses can get access to relevant customer reviews and feedback, given on different platforms, and evaluate the same to improve their support services accordingly. A continuous improvement and enhancement of support services invigorate businesses’ relationships with their valued customers.