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How Omnichannel CX Will Transform Your Customer Support Strategy

Why Omnichannel is Key For CX Success -- And How To Ace It

Omnichannel CX is a must-have in today's on-demand customer support model. Social media platforms have changed the game for how we communicate with customers, and digital-first Millenial and Gen-Z consumers have new sets of expectations for brands -- and they’re coming at you from multiple directions. 

Quick example: Pew Research from 2021 shows that about 70 percent of adults ages 18-29 are on both Facebook and Instagram. To reach them, you need to be omnipresent.

As a result, brands looking to better understand the customer journey and evolving customer demands need to take an omnichannel approach to customer engagement. True Omnichannel CX programs enable brands to reach their audiences holistically and consistently across platforms.

Despite the importance of an omnichannel strategy, many brands are struggling to create one. Gartner research found that 50 percent of brands will not have successfully unified their customer engagement channels by 2022. 

Part of the challenge is that CX professionals have full plates as-is— having to now advocate for a shift in strategy, determine the right partners and technologies, and allocate budget - all while minimizing any disruption to existing CX programs - can be a daunting hill to climb. But it’s an important one. Here’s why it’s worth it.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

People often use omnichannel and multichannel interchangeably. Having both strategies baked into your customer experience plan is crucial, but there are important distinctions.

Multichannel

Multichannel means you connect with customers on multiple platforms, like blogs, email, and various social media channels. Most brands employ multichannel marketing strategies these days. 

Omnichannel

Omnichannel refers to how these channels come together to create a cohesive, seamless customer experience. It ensures that your customer feels like they are speaking with the same person, regardless of what channel they choose to engage you on.

Why Omnichannel is Important

A survey by Aspect Software found that businesses with omni-channel strategies achieve 91% more year-on-year customer retention rates. This sentiment was echoed in a study by Aberdeen Group that compared 89% customer retention for companies with the strongest omnichannel strategies, versus only 33% retention among those with the weakest omnichannel strategies. 

Additionally, Accenture found that 83% of U.S. consumers prefer live agents via digital channels to resolve customer support issues. With customers engaging your brand across voice and digital, it’s essential to have a cohesive strategy. Doing so allows you to maximize reach and focus on retention. One of the largest drivers for customers to feel connected to your brand is the ability to connect across multiple channels -- and in a 24/7 digital economy, customers expect to be able to reach your brand to get information, seek support, and resolve issues on-demand. By offering omnichannel CX availability, you ensure that customers can connect with your brand where, when, and how they choose. 

What’s more, since Gartner predicts that many brands will continue to struggle with omnichannel customer experiences in 2022, nailing yours can set your business apart.

Keys to Omnichannel Success

Creating a cohesive omnichannel customer experience involves transforming your approach from the inside and out.

  • Decide Which Channels Matter Most To Your Customers. Find out where your customers are, what avenues they prefer to pursue customer service, and reveal the gaps to create a more seamless customer experience. 
  • Connect Your Engagement Platforms. Omnichannel is about more than having everything look cohesive. Your customer must find it as easy to interact with your chatbot (or click it off of it if the customer doesn’t need it) as it is to initiate a phone call or live chat, seamlessly navigating each preferred channel to reach a consistent resolution.
  • Train agents for consistent messaging. You likely have brand guidelines that your editorial and marketing teams use when writing copy. These same guidelines should apply to how people interact with customers over the phone and in person. Run programs and tutorials across the company, so everyone is on the same page.
  • Find the balance between human and automated support. To meet customer expectations in time of response versus human empathy or solving unique issues, a mix of automation and human interactions is key. Utilizing chatbots at the start of an interaction and allowing self-service options, and then moving to a person to resolve a complex issue will be a key differentiator.
  • Tap into CX data using analytics. Your own data is holding the key to successful CX and your customers’ preferences -- analyzing all interactions across all channels will show you a much clearer picture of customer experience, sentiment, and overall satisfaction.
  • Secure a CX partner to ensure proven results and available resources. With a customer expectation for more digital, on-demand support, additional channels will require more bandwidth. By outsourcing your CX, you have access to experienced agents that can help navigate new, high-traffic channels to make sure you’re always ‘on’ for your customers.

Omnichannel isn't just the wave of the future—it’s essential now. Many brands are struggling to create a cohesive channel across platforms. Business leaders can work with employees across the company to ensure consistent messaging, whether they’re communicating with a customer on a chatbot, over the phone, or in person. This consistency can increase brand loyalty and differentiate your business from the many who haven’t created an effective omnichannel strategy. 


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