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Customer Experience

9 mins read

Omnichannel Customer Service: Definition, Benefits, And Best Practices

When it comes to making a customer truly happy in a rapidly evolving customer services world, businesses need to be willing to offer quality customer support consistently across multiple channels preferred by customers. It is essential to have an omnichannel customer service strategy in place aligned with the right resources to deliver consistent customer services across touchpoints.

What is omnichannel customer service?

Omnichannel customer service enables customers to access the same level of support irrespective of the channel they use to communicate with businesses. It is an integrated channel approach for the new-age omnichannel customers who quickly switch touchpoints and expect seamless experiences throughout their journey. 

With omnichannel customer support, customer context is preserved across channels, meaning customers do not have to repeat their problems while switching tracks. Support reps can efficiently fix issues with a unified view of the customer’s journey. 

Multichannel vs. Omnichannel customer service 

Today, even the most traditional brands use more than one channel to communicate with customers.

While multiple channels allow customers to communicate with a business in their preferred mode, it does not necessarily mean omnichannel customer service if the different channels are not linked.

While omnichannel customer service does involve multiple channels, a multichannel approach falls short of delivering consistent experiences. Here is why: 

  • Standalone channels: In multichannel customer service, each channel exists independently of the other, and customers switching from email to phone support need to begin afresh with the problem. In contrast, in an omnichannel customer service strategy, channels are closely knit together to enable convenient channel transitions. 
  • Difficult handoffs: Customer context is lost in a multichannel support strategy while shifting channels, leading to a complicated and lengthy query resolution process. In omnichannel customer support, customer context is preserved across channels, enabling seamless handoffs to help support reps deliver superior customer services.
multichannel-vs-omnichannel-support

Why is omnichannel customer service important? 

Given the rapidly transforming customer experience landscape, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses need omnichannel customer solutions like Knowmax to synchronize multiple channels and deliver high-value customer experiences irrespective of their track. Independent media can impact customers’ experiences and force them to change brands.

With the rapidly evolving technology for customer service that has taken customer expectations to newer heights, here is why businesses need to adopt omnichannel customer solutions: 

  • 98% of Americans switch devices every day
  • 89% of customers get irritated when they have to repeat their issues to multiple support representatives
  • 86% of customers expect brands to recognize them across channels
  • Customer retention increases by 91% for businesses that successfully implement an omnichannel customer service strategy 
  • Customer Lifetime value increases by 30% for omnichannel customers

What are the benefits of omnichannel customer service?

1. Improved customer engagement

Customer engagement improves when brands offer consistent and quality experiences across all communication channels, resulting in higher customer loyalty and satisfaction rates. 

2. Faster query resolutions

Since context is preserved across the channels in an omnichannel customer service strategy, agents can efficiently take off from the touchpoint where customers left and help them with faster and personalized solutions.   

3. Higher business revenue 

Omnichannel support solutions increase the number of channels for customers to make purchases. A customer using a mobile app, website, or in-store medium to purchase the same experience. This results in higher business revenue through increased customer satisfaction.   

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How can organizations implement omnichannel customer service- best practices?

While organizations are increasingly beginning to realize the need for omnichannel contact centers, integrating multiple channels still seems like an added complexity. A CCW digital report confirms that only a tiny percentage of businesses can deliver omnichannel customer solutions. 

For successful omnichannel customer support, it is essential for businesses to first and foremost ensure the proper management of their information resources which form the cornerstone for consistent customer experiences. 

Here is how an omnichannel knowledge base management solution like Knowmax empowers businesses to deliver consistently high-value customer services.

1. A single source of truth for information access

  • One of the biggest roadblocks to achieving omnichannel customer service lies in scattered information, making it challenging to provide customers with relevant information, resulting in inconsistent customer service. 
  • Knowledge Management solutions enable businesses with a Knowledge base to create, organize and manage all their information in a suitable place. An AI-powered Knowledge base like Knowmax is a single source of truth for support reps and customers to find relevant information. 
  • The findability of information increases with the semantic search, while natural language processing (NLP) retrieves the relevant information from a pool of knowledge stored in the backend systems. Whether an agent supports customers via live chat, phone support, or messaging mediums, they can supercharge customers’ experiences with relevant information from a unified Knowledge base. 

2. CRM and Knowledge base integration for personalized customer experiences

  • Customers today expect brands to be aware of their past transactions with the company and not ask them to repeat the previously provided information. 
  • With a robust Knowledge base disseminating consistent information across touchpoints, CRM integration supplements agents’ efficiency in delivering more personalized experiences. Call center workflows on the Knowmax platform can be integrated with CRM to automatically-traverse customer information through any workflow step.
  • This reduces the resolution times, avoids the need for customers to repeat information, and creates personalized experiences for customers in their preferred communication channels. 

3. Disseminate relevant information to self-service channels

  • Over 90% of customers say they would use a Knowledge base if it met their needs, and over 80% of all customers try to help themselves before reaching out to a live agent. Powering self-service channels with the proper knowledge for omnichannel customer service is essential.
  • With the Knowmax Knowledge Management solution, any content created on the platform passes through the authoring process, where admins can choose the departments and channels for information dissemination. Every module, like guided workflows, articles, FAQs, and visual aids that can help customers, can be used to enhance the usage of self-service portals with a customer service knowledge base.      

4. Check Knowledge base performance timely to ensure content relevance across channels 

  • Knowledge is helpful only if it remains relevant across all channels. Therefore, a crucial part of an omnichannel customer service strategy is to timely check the content.
  • With Knowmax’s omnichannel customer support solution, admins can use micro-segmented analytics to measure content engagement and draw actionable insights to optimize content. The platform furnishes timely content performance reports for admins to constantly update the Knowledge base and maintain the relevance of information across customer touchpoints. 

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Conclusion

An omnichannel customer service strategy is no longer an option but a need for businesses to thrive in a customer-centric 21st-century world. Digital evolutions have changed the communication channel approach for companies and will continue to do so.

The right Knowledge management resources to create, organize and distribute information can enable organizations to leverage their current communication channels and effectively add new ones to improve customer services for omnichannel customers.

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