Omnichannel communications - what is it in simple words?
According to research, 67% of buyers in the world use at least 3 channels to communicate with a business, and 39% use more than 5 channels. More and more companies are moving towards omnichannel customer service. This is a new marketing strategy for engaging with the audience and increasing sales.
According to Aberdeen, the customer retention rate is 56% higher in companies with an optimized omnichannel service than in those without it.
Are you already imagining omnichannel communications as a marketing panacea to increase conversions? Let's figure out what this approach is, why a business needs it and what results it can bring.
Omnichannel - what is it in simple words and why does the business need it?
Omnichannel is the principle of business operation, which consists of the mutual integration of independent communication channels into a single system, through which continuous communication is set up between the client and the brand.
The term "omnichannel" is translated as "all-channel", that is, one that uses different methods of communication.
Key channels in omnichannel customer service are:
- voice calls,
- social networks,
- offline stores.
According to statistics, more than 50% of companies use at least 8 channels to interact with customers. This allows you to establish closer relationships with consumers and increase audience loyalty.
However, omnichannel is not about using as many channels as possible. Its meaning is that all sources of information are consistent, work seamlessly, and are personalized.
It is important to distinguish between the terms "omnichannel" and "multichannel".
Difference between multichannel and omnichannel services
Even though the terms are similar and to some extent imply the same strategy for interacting with the client, multichannel and omnichannel are different phenomena.
Multichannel, in contrast to omnichannel, is an approach in the work of a business in which several ways of communication with the consumer are used in parallel, which is not united into a system and does not pursue the same goal.
In omnichannel customer service, the main thing is the consolidation of communication channels, and multichannel pursues the use of as many communication paths as possible, most often independent of each other.
How do companies with an implemented multi-channel strategy work? For example, a consumer placed an order in an online store via a chatbot, and a month later contacted the seller by phone. For the company, these are two different clients. The user will have to fill in the data again and set up payment and delivery methods.
In a multichannel business, communication paths are out of sync, which is a major problem with this strategy and a major difference from omnichannel customer service.
Benefits of omnichannel customer service
According to the Harvard Business Review, shoppers who use multiple channels of communication spend on average 4% and 10% more in offline and online stores, respectively, than those who choose one channel for shopping. The implementation of omnichannel communication has benefits for both businesses and audiences.
Benefits of adopting omnichannel services for business:
- Instant response capability.
- Deep audience segmentation.
- Advertising budget savings.
- The unity of the organization of work processes.
- The attraction of new clients.
- Automation of communication processes.
- Increase in LTV (English loan-to-value - lifetime value (of a client)).
Benefits of adopting omnichannel technologies for clients:
- Ease of interaction with the brand.
- High level of service.
- Personalized approach.
- Communication without repetition.
You can build an omnichannel customer service model both in a new company and in one where other approaches are already operating.
How to implement omnichannel communications in business
To implement omnichannel customer service technology in business, you need to follow a five-step algorithm.
- Collection of information
In the first stage, collect data on the company's current communications: what communication channels customers are involved in, and through which sources the most interaction occurs. CJM (customer journey map) allows you to build a route from point A to point B. It will show how customers go through the sales funnel.
At the same stage, draw up a detailed portrait of the buyer. Analysis of the target audience (TA) will allow you to segment it and personalize the experience of interacting with the brand.
- Selection of communication channels
Based on CJM and information about the target audience, determine the optimal communication channels for working with clients: SMS, instant messengers, email, and social networks. Eliminate irrelevant audience interaction channels from the company system.
Please note that the fewer channels you choose, the easier it is to implement omnichannel communications in your business. It can be Viber + SMS, Viber + WhatsApp, and other combinations.
- Training of the company's personnel
This stage is one of the most difficult because your employees must go through the training process in the omnichannel communications system. It will be difficult for people who worked according to a different principle to quickly reorganize. Set responsibility for the operation of each of the channels.
- Development of a marketing strategy
To build effective communication through omnichannel customer service, minimize the intervention of live service. Automate marketing tools with platform-integrated CRM systems.
Next, set up a CRM. With its help, you can track the history of interaction with the client, store information about buyers, and analyze data in a single place.
- Implementation of omnichannel technology
The choice of an omnichannel customer service platform depends on the complexity of the business and communication tasks. The hallmark of a good omnichannel communication platform is seamless, real-time communication between the help desk, sales teams, and customers. This communication should be available through a single interface.
Decision Telecom, for example, organizes all interactions with customers from different channels in one convenient account. The platform gives you full ownership of your customer interaction data across all channels, providing a single, multi-channel experience and 24/7 support.
Omnichannel customer service is the main market concept of the 21st century, which modern business is just mastering.
Omnichannel communications are a must for any brand that wants to increase customer engagement, increase audience loyalty, become more recognizable in the market, and, therefore, increase sales. And the only question is: will you wait until your competitors generate leads using omnichannel communication, or implement omnichannel in your business right now?