Remember the days when contacting a business meant only having a phone number to call or a physical office or store to visit?
Today those are just a few options mixed in with instant messaging, emails, online managed live chat and direct messaging on social media.
This ‘omnichannel’ customer experience has made providing a seamless and exceptional service a challenge, because customers expect the same great experience across every channel.
But by getting to grips with and using an omnichannel approach, you can improve customer interactions and build better, long-lasting relationships.
What is the Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Omnichannel customer experience is the integration of multiple channels and customer touchpoints to create a single, unified, experience.
This isn’t the same as multichannel, which is having different channels but having them operate separately from each other.
Omnichannel is about breaking down the barriers between your communication channels, ensuring customers have a seamless, consistent and personalised experience, regardless of how and where they interact with a brand.
It’s important to get this right. Today’s customers expect a smooth transition between various touchpoints, whether they’re contacting you on the phone, via email, online or in person.
Not meeting these expectations runs the risk of frustrating and losing customers or new business opportunities.
Where Phone Calls and Technology Work in the Omnichannel Customer Experience
The key to omnichannel experiences is not favouring one communication channel over the other (or trying to force customers to use the channel you prefer).
It’s about creating a great experience regardless of which channel the customer prefers and allowing the easy transfer from one channel to the other without a drop in service.
This is where many companies can go wrong because they put a lot of focus on the newest technology, like chatbots and social media, and take their eye off more ‘traditional’ comms channels like phone calls.
Doing this can be a big mistake because, according to research by the National Retail Federation, 80% of customers would rather call a business than use a chatbot or digital communication.
And this is the point of being omnichannel. Every communication channel is connected so customers can go from email, to phone to live chat without disruption and receive the same level of service.
At Face For Business, we help businesses create an omnichannel experience through our telephone answering service and managed live chat, allowing businesses to focus on other communication channels without worrying that phone calls are being missed.
It’s by combining traditional customer service channels with new technology and focussing on the personalised, human-centric experience customers want that you can create a great level of service that keeps customers happy.
Steps to Enhance the Omnichannel Customer Experience
Integrating Online and Offline Channels
The first step in creating an omnichannel customer experience is to take an inventory of your existing communication channels and start to break down the barriers between your online and offline channels.
Make sure customers can seamlessly move between phone calls, your website, social media, shop and every other communication channel you use.
The main thing to focus on is ensuring each channel creates a personalised, human-centric level of service.
For example, make sure that if a customer phones your business a real person answers the phone – rather than sending them to voicemail or allowing the call to ring out.
Having a real person answer the phone creates the human experience instantly, and also makes it smoother to either answer a customer’s enquiry directly or at least get them to the best person to help them.
You can either manage your phones using a traditional receptionist, having your team answer calls alongside their regular work, or invest in a professional, dedicated telephone answering service.
Personalising the Customer Journey
Personalisation is key to offering an exceptional omnichannel experience.
This starts with the human-centric focus we’ve already spoken about.
That starts by having real people available if someone calls or by using managed live chat on your website.
You could also examine how to make the best use of the customer data you have to hand to create personalised offers and recommendations.
Finally, you could gather regular feedback from customers across your communication channels to understand how each one is working so you continuously improve your strategy.
Measuring the Success of Your Omnichannel Strategy
Measuring the success of your omnichannel strategy is critical to understand how effective it is, and what areas need to be improved (and at what speed they need to be improved).
When you’re looking at the elements of your business’ communication, there are a few key indicators you should focus on:
Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
Regularly monitor customer satisfaction scores to assess the impact of your omnichannel strategy. High satisfaction and loyalty show your approach is working for customers.
Review conversion rates across channels to evaluate how effectively you’re driving customers towards making purchases. Analyse which touchpoints bring the highest conversion rates and identify any bottlenecks or opportunities for improvement.
Use tracking tools like web analytics or customer journey mapping to gain insights into customer behaviour and identify pain points. These tools help you understand how customers interact with different touchpoints and inform your decision-making process.
Benefit from omnichannel customer service
Improving the omnichannel customer experience has become a necessity for businesses seeking to engage and retain customers in today’s competitive market.
By understanding the concept of omnichannel, from telephone answering to using new technology and channels, you can create a seamless and personalised experience that will not only delight your customers but also drive your business to new heights.
Put telephone answering at the centre of your customer service
If you’re struggling to manage your business’ inbound phone calls, then a telephone answering service could help.
A dedicated team of Face For Business PAs take the stress of missed calls away by ensuring every call coming into your business is answered professionally every time.
We can handle all your business’ calls or be on hand to handle overflow during busy periods.
We can simply take messages and make sure a real person answers your phone, or we can act as a full switchboard, ensuring callers get put through to the right person, or easily get the information they need.
Why not sign up to a 7 day free trial of our call answering service and see how it can help you first hand.
02nd August, 2023
Posted by Face For Business