First, let’s be sure we know the true meaning of omnichannel and its variations (omni-channel or omni channel), shall we? A simple definition of it, no matter the spelling, is:
Adjective - Denoting or relating to a type of retail that integrates the different methods of shopping available to consumers (e.g., online, in a physical store, or by phone).
According to Google, “80 percent of sales for omnichannel retailers happen in the offline world.” So, if you are an organization that provides customer service solutions and you aren’t crossing over all platforms, you need to make a change.
This definition is accurate; however, it doesn’t quite cover all the bases. The digital era is ever evolving, and it really does need customer service to keep up.
Why Is It More Than Just Being Available?
Cloudtags writes, “The way that many are explaining omnichannel today is: ‘cross channel being done well.’” This quote embodies what we truly mean by using omnichannel. It is truly not being available, it is how you use it well.
More than that, omnichannel means being available and able to interact with customers on any or multiple channels simultaneously. Let’s say a customer, while on the phone, needs to send you a picture or a PDF. As an omnichannel contact center, you can stay on the call while your customer emails or texts the file to you, and you can tell them in real time that you got it. You’re able to interact on multiple channels within the same conversation.
HubSpot says it best:
What Channels Are a Must?
Clearly every customer-service solution should include phone and email. But is it necessary to cross over every single social channel as well?
Omnichannel doesn’t just have to mean an extra chatbot—it means answering customer service issues across all social networks. That sounds like a beast to wrangle but it is so worth it for the top-notch experience your customers receive.
Ask yourself these questions:
Who, what, and where are my customers?
What do they want to accomplish?
What are the best channels that will meet and exceed their needs?
Channels that should be included are:
Inbound and outbound voice
Social networks: Facebook Messenger, LINE, Viber, Telegram
Chat is the ever-evolving way that people want to reach out these days. We get it, it’s easy, convenient and pretty much instantaneous service. How available would you like to be for your customers? Weekdays? Weekends? 24/7?
In 4 Steps to Transform Your Call Center into An Omnichannel Superstar, Jade Longelin of Playvox writes, “According to a recent survey by ICMI, 53% of consumers say that they prefer online chat before calling a company on the phone.”
Justin Robbins, Founder of JM Robbins & Associates, adds, “It’s the first year that a digital channel has surpassed telephonic support.”
Finding the balance in your omnichannel customer support solution is key. Once you know your customer needs, create a roadmap of trackable time spent on chat.
Learn the customer expectations and follow accordingly.
How Do You Staff for Omnichannel Support?
We asked VIPdesk Connect’s own team how they staff for omnichannel support. The answer is this: very carefully. Staffing across all timezones ensures that you are offering 24/7 support, which in some cases is crucial!
The vetting process is quite detailed as well because you do need accountable, reliable work-from-home “brand ambassadors” that are skilled at certain software and social platforms. Training most definitely comes into play!
VIPdesk Connect’s recruiting team sifts through hundreds of emails daily, looking for passionate brand ambassadors with the heart for customer service.
Bright Pattern helps keep omnichannel support easy to use and up to date. Bright Pattern offers a blended omnichannel communications platform that makes for effective communication for any contact center.
VIPdesk Connect and Bright Pattern together creates not only an omnichannel experience but has always evolved to stay up to date with the current customer service needs. It’s a customer-centric mentality to think, breathe, and act as they would! We essentially want to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes.
Omnichannel or bust!