The Key to the Omnichannel Experience? Live Voice Support
Have you ever had this experience? You’re in a store shopping for a piece of clothing, but they don’t have your size in the item you select. You whip out your trusty cell phone and check the company’s website from the store, hoping to find your size.
Then you do a quick scan of customer reviews for this product to make sure they are generally positive. Finally, you have the clerk in the store order the item for you so you can waive the shipping fee, but still have it delivered right to your door.
If the transaction goes smoothly, and your item arrives within the specified time period, you have just experienced a multi-channel customer support experience. You have used more than one way to communicate with the company—in-store through the sales agent and online to check the store’s website.
Let’s suppose your package did not arrive on time. You could call, use online chat or tracking, or email customer support to check on its status.
Ideally, regardless of how you pursue your answer, the customer experience would be the same. That means that all channels would have access to your information, and deliver that information to you accurately, quickly and professionally.
Enter Omnichannel Customer Support
If your customers can use multiple platforms when communicating with the company and easily switch between platforms in a single conversation, then you are taking advantage of the new trend in customer service: omnichannel customer support.
The key is that the information is always up-to-date and consistent, regardless of which platform you choose.
Providing a good customer experience throughout their “journey” with you is a top priority for almost every business today. Entrepreneur.com reports that you want to make customers “feel good about not only making the purchase but making the purchase from you. It’s a significant part of the overall customer experience.”
Make Customers Choose You
With the near-infinite number of choices available through the internet, customers can easily switch to competitors the minute the smallest thing goes wrong.
Even if your business is fairly localized and specific, it’s safe to assume that there’s always someone waiting in the wings to claim a new opportunity. A 2011 American Express Survey reported that 59% of Americans would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. That means you have to work hard to keep your customers loyal.
Of course, every customer’s journey will be different, encompassing all possible interactions with you—whether it’s physical or online. Some may prefer visiting the brick-and-mortar store. Others are perfectly comfortable dealing with you entirely from the comfort of their home.
That means that it’s critical to unify your brand messaging so the customer views you in a positive, memorable and consistent way, regardless of how or where they do business with you.
The Advantage of a Live Voice
If a customer has a great shopping experience with you in person, but a lousy experience with a follow-up phone call to the store or customer support, it may be enough to tip the scales toward your competitor.
Despite the huge array of options open to customers, vocal communication holds a unique position in terms of customer support, and for many people, is the preferred option when other avenues of communication with the company have failed them. (68% of people prefer to contact customer service by phone, according to New Voice Media.)
When customers talk to a live operator, they can describe their situation in detail, express their thoughts and frustrations about the problem, and get an immediate response.
The live operator usually can find the appropriate source to address the issue and help avert a lost customer or even worse—a customer that is dissatisfied enough to post a negative review online for the world to see.
You decide how much live voice support is needed, depending on the nature of your industry. After all, you know your business better than anyone.
You can monitor competitors. You can send out satisfaction surveys to get a better idea of your customer expectations. Better yet, you can make the decision to become an industry leader by implementing the most comprehensive voice coverage out there.
By hiring a virtual reception service, you pay only for the hours you need, without the expense of a full salary, benefits and other overhead that a company employee would require. Virtual receptionists only cost 1/10th of the cost of an in-house receptionist.
Create an Excellent Omnichannel Experience
From the moment your customer logs online or walks into your place of business, they will judge your business on all aspects of performance—and with so many points of contact between you and the customer, achieving that ideal customer experience is no easy feat!
Try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to really understand what he or she is looking for. Then, do what it takes to make that vision a reality.