Offering customer service on round the clock basis is the necessity of all businesses, irrespective of the kind and the size of the work. Customers are active all throughout the day now and might ask questions at any time of the day and expect prompt response in return. Not receiving an answer might turn away the customer within few seconds as other options are readily available to him. Along with not receiving proper response, cases of poor customer support are also very common. Customers might shuffle from agent to operator and vice versa and might end up at the wrong department altogether. In each place, the problem or the issue has to be explained from scratch. It is obvious that this leads to frustration and the brand image is hot badly. As per survey reports, it has been seen that almost 82% customers have stopped business with some company/organization and the sole reason is poor customer service.

In today’s highly competitive world, customer experience and customer satisfaction play a pivotal role in deciding the success of a business. Customers now look for personalized experiences from the businesses with which they deal. And Omnichannel customer support is an integral part of the same.

Understanding the difference between multichannel and Omnichannel support

In multichannel customer support, the support is offered over multiple channels like live chat, phone and even email. Though the channels work parallel to one another, they are greatly different. For instance, if a customer talks to a customer care personnel on chat during the morning and calls into another personnel later in the day, he will have to start the conversation from scratch. It is like beginning a new conversation every time, which is sometimes pretty difficult. These conversations are independent and not goal-guided or cohesive in nature. There are advantages of multichannel support as customers can avail different routes of communication as they feel comfortable and customer engagement is enhanced through the same.

In Omnichannel customer support, the communication channels are integrated into one so that there is no communication gap of the customer support with the customer. So when a customer calls the support center in the morning and again chats with the customer support in the evening, there is no gap in the conversations. The customer can begin from the place he left and the customer service agent can pick up the query from the right place without needing the introduction from the beginning. It is possible to tap into the mindset of the customer directly with this setup. Using Omnichannel help desk software plays an important role in this regard. With the use of the software, communication management is enhanced considerably.

Modern metrics for Omnichannel support

Integrations and widgets have very important roles to play in Omnichannel support. Just imagine that a customer support professional has three browser tabs open and the email queue on each is increasing at progressive speeds. Managing the incoming requests is practically impossible without channel integration. Hence the integration is not only convenient, but it is kind of mandatory at the same time. Even if agents are able to handle just two channels at one time, it will help in minimizing the back and forth of the requests considerably.

Reduced multitasking for customer support agents

Many people think that multitasking is a great ability and a special skill. However, it has been seen that multitasking is actually more hurting than customer relationships. Multitasking is considered as a productivity killer. Scientifically, the brain takes long time for recognizing new things. When we try to do this with many things at the same time, productivity is hampered significantly. With Omnichannel support, multitasking is reduced significantly for customer service as the customer history is unified. Instead of looking through and browsing chat and mail transcripts, you will have cohesive information making the picture clear for the customer care executive. Everyone is happy – the agent, the customer and the business overall.

Designing organized customer experience

Consistent and organized service is guaranteed for satisfied customer experience and that is possible through Omnichannel customer support. There are no chances of getting run-around on various issues and chase for proper answers by the customers. When the support agents communicate with the customer, they do so at the customer’s levels. The customers’ needs and preferences are kept in mind when the service is being provided. The agent will already have an idea of your issue and will not need to begin from scratch. They will pick up the issue right from the place the customer needs and hence the solution providing time is also quick by the agents.

Omnichannel Integration

When it comes to Omnichannel customer support, integration is the main keyword. Without proper data integration, this would simply not work the way it is intended to be. When the customer history is unified at a single place, clear visibility and picture is obtained of the issue. All the support channels are integrated in such a manner that they feed the data into one main view area. As a result, the customer care desk has the whole picture placed in front of them. They do not need to look into various places for searching data related to the same case. In the customer history, every email, tweet, call, chat and even community post will be included. Tackling tough and complex cases becomes easy and convenient with this integration.

New metrics are needed for Omnichannel solutions  

With changing nature of customer services, new metrics are needed so that one is able to understand the value that the service is bringing to the customers. For instance, Average Handle Time (AHT) can help in providing insight into the overall efficiency. However, this metric is applicable and valuable only if one is approaching the service organization as a cost-center and not as a revenue driver. However, if you are looking to build relationships with customers and treating the service as a tool, then metrics like QA reports and Customer Satisfaction surveys provide more value. However, these surveys and reports will only provide limited insight and context as what is the real experience of the customer and how do they feel about the same.

Measuring customer support

Informed decisions on measuring customer support cannot be made without data on performance of the agent, on general efficiency and on customer happiness. Most of the time, the decisions are based on hunches rather than on metrics and hindsight. There are some analytics which are offered by customer service solutions, which help in filling up gaps in the process. Keeping a track of the time when most request tickets are raised, topics regarding which people are asking etc. help the customer support managers in making staffing decisions. Not only can this, with such inputs the customer needs be communicated to other departments in the organization or business as well.

Success with Omnichannel support

It has been proved that with Omnichannel support it is possible to reap great benefits and advantages for the business. Companies which follow Omnichannel support have high retention rate of customers when compared to businesses which opt other strategies. Higher the customer retention of the company, better is the base of the business on which new levels can be built.