The quality or standard of customer service can make or break a business. Since the internet has put a vast wealth of information and access to nearly anything in the hands of anyone with a connected device, people have enhanced their expectations of customer service. They want help, and they’re impatient.
Omnichannel customer service allows you to maintain a high standard of customer service across multiple platforms through multiple modes of communication. The ability to assist customers when and where they want to be assisted is important, and if you’ve not implemented strategies that deliver yet, you’re behind the times. Start rethinking customer service with omnichannel strategies.
5 Steps to Follow If You Want to Create a Powerful Omnichannel Customer Service
1. Provide a Top of the Line Mobile Experience
Since people do so much shopping on their phones, they expect to receive customer service in the same place where they made a purchase. This means that your mobile customer service solutions need to be delivered on par with every other method you utilize. If your online customer service interface is slow to load or doesn’t display properly on a mobile phone, your customers aren’t going to be happy.
Failure to optimize for mobile can hurt your business in a multitude of ways. Google will take lack of mobile optimization into consideration when ranking a site, pushing it below competitors who offer ease of use for every device. Your customer service tools need to be optimized for smartphones to ensure that people won’t have a difficult time getting the help they need.
2. Be Quick to Answer Comments
It would be ideal if every comment or question that warranted a response was directed to a single inbox, but that’s simply not the case. You’re going to get a lot of comments and questions on your social media profiles, and some of them may be legitimate customer service requests. Teach your social media team to monitor your comments regularly and provide support where needed.
If your social media team isn’t trained or prepared to handle specific issues, instruct them to respond by directing commenters to the appropriate resource (or email address) for issue resolution. If you don’t respond quickly enough, you risk potential customers seeing a wealth of increasingly more impassioned pleas for customer service that have gone unanswered, and the optics of that situation have the potential to negatively impact you.
3. Create a Robust Self Service Center
Some people just want answers quickly and efficiently, whether or not someone else is directly helping them. The same kind of people who prefer to use the self checkout at the grocery store will prefer self service tools for customer service. Many people don’t mind resolving an issue on their own if it means that they won’t have to wait.
One of the best things you can provide is a thorough, comprehensive, and easy to navigate FAQ. An FAQ page that directs people to answers as well as troubleshooting methods will allow more people to help themselves, minimizing the amount of support requests you’ll receive on a daily basis. If you don’t have an outstanding FAQ or support center, it might be time to hire someone to build one. Be sure to link customers to this resource in your auto response emails for submitted support requests. This will encourage them to take initiative while they wait.
4. Maintain a Consistent Customer Service Voice
Omnichannel customer service is about providing a consistent experience, no matter how your customers reach out to you. Everything needs to be the same across the board, and the same high standard should be met on every platform. Consistency in training is the key. You need every member of your support staff on the same page, from policy awareness to the voice they use when responding to customers.
Ideally, every single one of your customer service staff will be equally helpful. You want them to work like a hivemind. Having two different customer service people give conflicting opinions reflects poorly on your business. Be sure that everyone has access to the same training materials and that training is updated frequently. Many companies use eLearning for this purpose, as updates are easy to roll out and are accessible anytime and anywhere.
5. Utilize Live Chat When Possible
Not every business will need live chat customer service – only those with a high volume of customers and the resources to constantly keep support staff ready at the wheel. If you’ve grown to a size where you feel as though customer service is frequently busy or backed up, expanding to include live chat can help you navigate the queue without leaving your customers feeling frustrated about a lengthy wait. Simple requests can be fulfilled in real time.
Omnichannel customer service is about having every method you use provide the exact same outcome. Customers value quality and consistency of service. By giving them options and keeping competent staff at the helm, you’re giving your customers the experience they truly deserve.