How Omni-Channel Communications Are Changing Customer Service

Text, social media, and video communications have changed the way we interact with each other, and with the businesses we deal with every day. Especially in the wake of 2020’s rapid shift to remote teams, customers are increasingly turning to new communications channels for their service needs.

To accommodate this multitude of communication channels, providers have developed “omni-channel” solutions for contact center environments. These systems empower agents to utilize voice, chat, social media, text messaging, or video, giving consumers the option to choose the medium they are most comfortable with.

If businesses are not equipped with omni-channel capabilities, they stand to miss serious opportunities – and potentially harm their brands. Here’s how omni-channel contact center solutions can empower agents to create rich, consistent, and effective customer experiences, and meet the challenges of these multimedia environments:

 

Facilitating Seamless Communications

According to CRM provider Salesforce.com, close to 70% of consumers crave a seamless process when they reach out to customer service. This includes the ability to easily switch between channels and active conversations without disruption, including but not limited to:

  • Texting from a mobile device
  • Engaging with agents via web chat or videoconferencing
  • Getting a quick answer to a question on a company’s Facebook page

Customers expect a swift response no matter which of these digital platforms they choose, so businesses need to handle inbound omni-channel queries with the same diligence, empathy, and efficiency as they would a voice call.

 

Immediate Service = Customer Retention

Urgency is critical in resolving a customer problem or question. Data from industry research firm Aberdeen Group confirms that companies who provide consistent quality across a breadth of communications channels retain 89% of their customers. In comparison, companies that cannot deliver consistent communication quality see their customer retention level drop to 33%.

Customers become extremely frustrated when they’re shuffled between operators or media channels, only to be repeatedly asked questions they’ve already answered in earlier conversations. A system where an agent can easily review previous conversations between the business and customer saves grief for the customer—and gives the agent the background he or she needs to effectively address the situation at hand.

 

It’s a Mobile World

According to Customer Contact Week Digital’s 2020 Consumer Preferences Survey, 55% of consumers said a positive customer experience is highly dependent upon how easy it is to engage with businesses through a mobile device. Omni-channel solutions should allow consumers to seek customer service as easily on their smartphones as they would through any other means.

The ability to resolve issues through mobile-friendly channels like texting or social media must be just as simple as voice, web chat, or any other communications conduit. Without this capability, customers who prefer to conduct business on their cell phones will become frustrated and likely look for other options. Today, no company can afford to lose customers based on insufficient technology.

Businesses should recognize this demand and make the necessary changes to ensure they can address any question through the consumer’s preferred medium. By implementing sophisticated omni-channel contact center solutions, companies can meet the evolving, dynamic needs of this competitive marketplace. 

To learn more about the need for omni-channel communications in customer service and the wide range of businesses that could stand to capitalize on cloud-based contact center solutions, download our exclusive Frost & Sullivan white paper.

 

Download the White Paper — Customer Contact Can Happen Anywhere