Customer service and satisfaction are important to having a successful and growing company. Contact and call centers are a way that many companies choose to build their relationships with customers. Most centers are multi-channel, but an omni-channel system provides a better way to improve customer satisfaction and retention—using an omni-platform, meaning a software platform which integrates multiple channels into one unified communication system.
Omni-channel customer service is an improvement to contact and call centers that gives a unified approach to customer interaction, allowing you to prepare for future expansion, with the ability to do it all through one location.
Omni-Channel vs Multi-channel Customer Service
While they are related to each other, there is a difference between omni-channel and multi-channel contact centers. Multi-channel services are able to process and address multiple communications channels through which customers can contact your company. For example, a multi-channel service allows customers to reach your company through email, phone, or social media separately.
An omni-channel customer service center takes the multi-channel structure and advances it so there is a unified strategy behind every digital touchpoint and all channels are connected for a more holistic experience. Rather than dealing with multiple channels individually, it handles all channels together, providing one program for your customer service needs in all social media platforms, texting, email, and phone.
How Can an Omni-Channel Contact Center Help Your Business?
Going with an omni-channel experience for customer service might seem overwhelming or even not essential, but it is worth looking into because it can benefit your company in ways no other system can provide. Here are just some of the major ways switching to an omni-channel system can help you.
Improved Customer Service
Even with the best products, if you do not provide good customer service, your company can struggle to retain customers or create a loyal base. Switching to an omni-channel contact center can help improve your customer service, leading to better customer satisfaction and retention. With omni-channel customer service, customer complaints or queries can come from any source and have a unified response. It also allows your customer service team the opportunity to give the same attention and quality of service no matter where the contact is made.
With an omni-channel call center it doesn’t matter if a customer gets in touch with you via social media, text, phone, or email. Rather than a customer having to endure transfer after transfer, telling their story or asking their question over and over, an omni-platform allows a single point of contact, because each channel has access to the same information, and has the ability and authority to address and resolve the customer’s claim or problem. Their claim is valid and can be resolved without forcing them to jump through unnecessary hoops to get a solution to their problem.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
By going with an omni-channel solution, you give your customers more options for meaningful support when and how they want through the channel they are most comfortable with. Putting more power in the hands of your customers lets them find what works best for them, which will increase customer satisfaction.
For many companies, customer service is the most important metric, the foundation to company success and growth. Customer service gives you the ability to retain existing customers and results in a reduction of problems throughout the entire company. With improved customer service, your marketing will become stronger, because the best kind of advertising you can get is through word of mouth referrals.
No matter how your company determines success, customer service will be related to it. Being able to provide the best in customer service will help improve your sales, revenue, and profits. Research shows that improved customer service can be directly tied to customer satisfaction. Even more so, that research shows that customers who are able to use different channels to communicate with a company have a larger investment than those who are not, and when the response come within five minutes, the figures grow even larger. That ability to respond quickly through all media channels is only possible through using an omni-channel contact solution.
Omni-channel support is future proof. No matter which apps, programs, or features get created, your system will be prepared and ready to grow with that change. Rather than having to create new ways to integrate them, you have an omni-platform established to integrate whatever comes your way. It also builds customer support avenues for your business as it continues to grow and develop. Other solutions might not grow with your business, but an omni-channel contact center provides scalability to your customer support.
Accessible Customer History and Information
If you choose to go with a multi-channel system rather than an omni-channel, your contact channels might not communicate with each other. This can lead to lost information, and more touches, with customer frustrated with having to repeat their problem each time they switch channels.
A customer complaint might start on Twitter, move to email, and ultimately result in a phone call, but that might mean three separate applications that do not share information with each other, resulting in three different support tickets with repetitive or incomplete information. In a multi-channel system, a customer with a complex history that spans multiple channels becomes a headache to deal with, because to see the full picture you have to juggle the different tracking programs that have been used.
In an omni-channel solution, no matter where the customer comes in contact with your company, their history and information travel with them. Instead of needing multiple programs to track a customer as they communicate with you, their entire journey is unified in one location. Your agents can see the full picture and history of the customer, rather than having to juggle multiple programs which still might not provide the full picture of the issue.
Having a customer’s history in one accessible location provides your customers with the support and care they might not get anywhere else. Rather than having to repeat their story multiple times, they know that no matter where or how they get in touch with your company, the person on the other end of the conversation will know their story. This takes away the time and hassle of getting agents up to speed about the history of a claim or question, which can help a customer feel a sense of importance from the company.
With the unification of all channels into one program and system, each customer is treated individually and there is a stronger push towards individual resolutions that are unique to each customer rather than scripted responses. No matter if a customer gets in touch with your company through SMS, in-app messaging, social media, or video chat, their interactions with your company are personalized and unique to their circumstances and chosen communication method.
You are still able to have unified goals and intentions throughout your company, but omni-channel contact centers are focused on making sure each customer gets a personalized touch and relationship with your company.
What to Look for in a Contact Center
If you are looking to use an omni-channel option, you need a center that is accessible to all of your customers and should include an integrated context for a seamless customer experience, no matter which channel they choose for contacting you. Some centers are not prepared or able to provide that level of support or service with their technology or employees, and getting them up to speed would require a complete overhaul. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you have a center that is able to provide you with unified communication (UC).
You need a contact center that is able to meet both your technological and personnel needs. Some might have the technology to make sure you can meet customers where they want, while others might have world-class agents, but you want both. It doesn’t matter how great the technology is if there is not a personal, knowledgeable human touch as part of your customer service. That’s why it’s important to look for a company that knows how to increase the performance of contact center agents.
If you’re looking for a modern, up-to-date center, look for one that is cloud-based. These centers allow for a modern technologically advanced system that gives you the opportunity for global expansion and reach while still providing reliability and connectivity. Cloud-based centers are a great fit for the omni-channel option.
FirstDigitas contact center solution is ready to provide you with both the technology and professional agents to get the job done right. Get a free quote from FirstDigital to find out more about how you can improve your customer communication, satisfaction, and retention with an omni-channel contact center solution.