Customers want to communicate with the services they use in more ways than ever before. For urgent or sensitive issues, they want to be able to call in. While on-the-go, they want to be able to shoot a quick text message. When on the computer while watching TV, they want to use live chat. When they are upset, they’ll turn to Twitter. When it's not urgent, they will use Email.
One of the causes of poor customer service is handling the logistics and needs of the omnichannel customer in a way that makes the customer’s experience less seamless. For instance, say a customer writes in via email, and then again later on live chat because their issue wasn’t solved. If the new agent handling their case has no prior knowledge of the interaction, the customer will feel like they’re doing double the work re-explaining, and like the company doesn’t know or care about them at all. The cost of poor customer service like this can be that you lose the loyalty of that customer.
So the first challenge brands are faced with is, as they’re adding channels and building out their support channel offerings as they scale globally, is implementing a support tool that allows their team to handle interactions across channels in the same place. The second challenge is doing this so seamlessly that it differentiates them from their competitors. And the reward for accomplishing this is immense – the effects of good customer service might be hard to quantify, but making customers happy over and over again will inevitably improve your bottom line.
An omnichannel support platform will make it easier for customers to engage with your business, where and when it’s right for them. Channels are connected so conversations are seamless, agents are more productive, and information can be shared across your company (and you won’t be dealing with any of the consequences of bad customer service that could arise from clunky technology).
After implementing an omni-channel suite, your work isn’t done. You need to move to the people-challenges. It is very hard to train and manage a team of 10, 20, 100+ folks on how to speak to customers across all these mediums, personalize the communication style for each medium, and deliver both emotionally intelligent experiences and clear information.
You can't speak the customer the same way over Live Chat as Email. You have a minute to respond over Live Chat but an hour to respond over Email, with the option of getting your supervisor's help in that hour too. On top of that, CSAT is a critical indicator of how you’re doing with customers, and if you don't meet your customer's expectations, it will show.
When delivering omnichannel service, it’s mission-critical to have a robust training, quality, and coaching program. By grading interactions across all channels, and then using that information to give feedback and further training to agents, an omnichannel quality management platform can help you ensure that your team is performing well wherever your customers are reaching out.
You can use a Learning Management System like Lessonly to drive training for new hires. As these new hires leave the training program and enter the nesting period, it’s important to use customer service quality assurance software like MaestroQA to monitor how effectively they apply their training lessons with consistent quality reviews of customer conversations. QA software (particularly omnichannel quality management platforms with agent coaching dashboards) closes the loop by facilitating weekly coaching between managers and agents and provides reporting on how agents are improving over time. Graphic of the classic training loop below 👇
As your people improve, they will deliver better customer experiences that improve customer satisfaction, NPS, and customer loyalty.
Omni-channel is the future of customer experience, and good customer service impacts a business dramatically. It's important to not only invest in the technology to support each channel but also invest in the technology to develop your team’s ability to communicate with customers. The combination of the two will help you set yourself apart from the competition.