Omnichannel is the mot du jour for modern day CX strategies. But what does it mean? And how does it help start-ups scale quickly?
Whether you’re kickstarting or accelerating a start-up, you’ll have heard of omnichannel support. It’s now considered the benchmark for superior customer experience.
In the 20 years that we’ve been championing CX, we’ve seen customer service change on a dime. We were around before social media, webchat, and even 1G.
We’ve seen it all.
We’ve been providing exemplary customer service since Snake II was a thing. And in more ways than one, feel omnichannel support is the culmination of everything that came before.
These days, customers expect many channels on which to find support. All customers are comfortable with different things. With an omnichannel strategy, you can provide all of them.
What is omnichannel support?
Omnichannel customer support provides CX across multiple channels. By combining these channels into one system, you create a unified customer experience.
With omnichannel, your customers will be able to switch channels — like from social media to webchat — and not feel like they’re dealing with 800 different people.
On the flip side, your agents get a comprehensive look into a customer’s intentions. As a result, they can then offer them more efficient and personalised means of support.
This is a great way of supercharging your CX. After all, successful customer experiences lead to brand loyalty. And if you want them to be brand ambassadors, loyalty is your first step.
Omnichannel vs multichannel
Although they might sound similar, omnichannel and multichannel support are different breeds. While they share the same basic principles, they differ radically.
Multichannel customer support is traditional. It’s the well-established formula we’ve seen a lot of over the last decade: a website, a blog, and social media.
Customers and brands can interact across multiple channels. But the difference between the two is that those channels function on their own.
Omnichannel customer support functions seamlessly. With every channel connected, people get cohesive and consistent answers across the board.
According to Aberdeen, 89% of consumers get frustrated if they must repeat questions to multiple customer service reps. So, if you want customer satisfaction, you have to consider going omni.
Types of omnichannel customer support
Email, text messaging, webchats, social media. Even using the phone or in person. Whatever your audience’s channel of choice, omnichannel support covers everything.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the basics.
It’s the 21st Century and 64% of people would rather message than call a business.
For certain demographics — particularly millennials and zoomers — social media is the first port of call. If they have want to reach out to a brand, they’ll head straight to Twitter.
Most people looking for support want a solution as soon as possible. And social media is one of the fastest and quickest ways for them to get a response.
But to build successful customer-brand relationships using social media, you need to interact. Yet, this is also where a lot of brands drop the ball.
Most of us prefer doing things for ourselves rather than asking other people.
Luckily, there’s recently been an uptick in brands including comprehensive FAQs on their websites. These provide people with answers without having to talk to anyone.
Some sites even use chatbots that respond to queries with specific links to FAQ articles. If they don’t find answers in the FAQ, they can then contact you directly.
Another great thing about self-service channels like this is you get to see recurring trends. Then you can investigate those topics and add or improve them until you’re satisfied.
Plus, once it’s in a FAQ on your site, it’s there forever.
Incredibly convenient and accessible from anywhere, webchats are incredibly popular.
63% of visitors are more likely to revisit a site with live chat and over 41% of customers expect to see it on a brand’s website or app.
Webchat is an excellent way of bringing customers and brands together. With short hold times and the ability to respond to multiple queries at once, many prefer it.
This is also one channel in which experts stand out. Agents who know what they’re talking about are invaluable — and we’d know a thing or two about that.
Some people think email communication is archaic, but the figures don’t add up. Email is still a huge part of the most effective marketing strategies.
It’s also way more cost-effective than phone support.
Additionally, email is a secure platform that people of all ages trust. Whether they’re tech-savvy or don’t have a smartphone, most people can send emails.
But just because you’re using email doesn’t mean you can slack on response times. People still want prompt answers, and that can be easy to forget.
The fastest growing start-ups are early adopters of omnichannel support
As Zendesk proved in their CX Benchmark Report, start-ups that grow fastest are those that are quick to implement omnichannel support.
Fast-growing start-ups are 33% more likely to add omnichannel support within the first two years. They’re also 20% more likely to add channels like live chat within that same period.
Many of these start-ups also understand the need customers have for self-service. Tools like FAQs streamline the process and help teams prioritise speed, convenience, and efficiency.
The sooner you bring omnichannel customer support to your start-up, the better. Zendesk recommends doing so within 9-10 months of your first round of fundraising.
With customer satisfaction taken care of as soon as possible, you’ll be heads above the rest. To do that, omnichannel support should be number one.
Get in touch
Ready to supercharge your start-up’s CX with omnichannel support? Why not get in touch and find out how 5CA can help supercharge your CX support?