A recent study discovered that 69% of Internet users would consult their smartphones for product reviews in-store rather than seek out a sales associate. More than half would also shop for deals on their smartphones while in the store.
These findings show that businesses, particularly retailers, need to provide multiple channels for customers to interact and communicate with them. This is where the distinction between omnichannel and multichannel becomes important.
The customer experience
Both omnichannel and multichannel involve selling products or services across more than one channel. The main difference comes down to the customer experience.
With the multichannel experience customers can’t easily switch from one method of communication to another. They have to start the conversation all over again and repeat their information, which leads to frustration and wasted time. With the omnichannel experience silos are broken down so customers can engage while moving between channels without any interruption in their journey.
Benefits of omnichannel
When you break down silos, the full potential of omnichannel communication can be realized:
Create a customer experience hub. With your contact center transformed into a hub, agents and executives gain a full view of the customer journey. Agents can seamlessly transition from one communications channel to another, sending an SMS to a customer in the middle of their chat session. Or they can switch from chat to a voice call with one click without losing any customer details in the process.
Gain a deeper understanding of customers. The combination of cloud communications, machine learning and AI enables businesses to analyze customer communications across all channels, including social media. This also allows potential problems and customer complaints to be identified so they can be addressed before becoming a real issue.
Improve productivity and efficiency. When call agents can seamlessly move from one channel to another, the first contact resolution rate improves. The option to interact and share information across channels reduces wait times for customers and the total cost per contact. AI technology identifies bottlenecks in the communications process, which can then be corrected, increasing employee productivity and efficiency.
Create a more personalized customer experience. Customers want personalized interaction. Integration of your CRM system provides agents with detailed customer information at all times, regardless of the communications channel.
Improve communications with suppliers. This enables you to stay up-to-date on deliveries via the channel that makes the most sense at any given time, allowing you to address delays or other issues before they impact the customer.
The transition of omnichannel communication requires CRM and API integration to create a personalized customer experience and provide truly stellar service. This means the choice of technology partner is critical for a successful implementation.
Ready to improve the customer experience with omnichannel communication? Contact CTS today at 800.787.4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.