By now, a single-stream consumer experience may as well be stone age technology. It was once possible for companies to deliver an entire, end-to-end brand experience – including every customer touchpoint – in one (or, at most, a few) communication stream: in-store interactions, say, or customer support calls.
But no longer. These days it’s important – essential – for businesses to interact and engage with consumers in multiple channels, deploying an omnichannel strategy to create a seamless experience. As well as the communication channels mentioned above, this would include platforms such as: social media, SMS, an eCommerce store, email, AI web chat and beyond. The business benefits of doing so are plain to see: Invesp reports that brands with multi-channel experiences retain 89% of their customers (Invesp), and almost 90% of retail leaders agree a seamless experience is essential for business success, according to Research Live (Research Live).
But what exactly is an omnichannel experience, and how can our cloud-based Virtual Contact Centre help you improve?
What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience with Our Virtual Contact Centre?
The best way to address this question is by first asking: what is the virtual contact centre?
In brief, our VCC (Virtual Contact Centre) is a cloud-based communications software through which all of your customer relationship management, service touchpoints, brand experience and even analytics are conducted.
Our VCC differs from a traditional contact centre or call centre in that it isn’t tied to a geographic location; the VCC enables full hybrid and remote working, and can massively increase the efficiency and quality of client communications across sectors: charity, retail, construction, public services and beyond.
We can think of the omnichannel customer experience as happening via the VCC.
The omnichannel customer experience (CX) itself is a seamless communication and brand experience that a client has with your organisation. It aims to deliver a singular, unified approach to customer service, spanning various channels and a number of different touchpoints or interactions.
An omnichannel strategy built into your customer relationship management might include channels such as:
- AI-powered chatbots
- Marketing outlets
- An eCommerce store
- SMS on mobile devices
- Email or digital marketing
- Interactions with sales agents
In the words of Salesforce, an omnichannel and seamless experience means that “if a customer sends an email on Monday, they expect the phone call on Tuesday to pick up exactly where they left off. Context is preserved across all channels to create a harmonious experience.” (Salesforce.)
What are the Benefits of Our VCC Solution?
There are numerous operational benefits to implementing an omnichannel customer journey via our VCC. Unifying all client interactions and touchpoints in a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) centre can bring about huge advantages, and even affect a culture change within your organisation.
Below, we’ll explore some of the key operational benefits.
- Drive operational efficiency: Put simply, an omnichannel consumer experience allows your organisation to do more, at a better standard, with less expenditure. More to the point, omnichannel customer relationship management is holistic; you can implement just one strategy across all communications, rather than developing a plan for each individual channel.
- Increase sales and conversions: Omnichannel retailing works. A study by Harvard Business Review found that omnichannel customers spend 10% more in an eCommerce store than single-channel consumers (Harvard Business Review). Providing a seamless experience across multiple channels is a sure-fire way to generate an increase in sales and ROI.
- Improve your customer lifetime value (CLV): As part of the rising tide of customer-centric culture across industries, an omnichannel user journey allows brands to put the customer first – and that’s something the customer appreciates. When a business delivers seamless experiences across various channels, it can turn one-time shoppers into lifelong, loyal customers.
- Leverage advanced analytics: Our VCC is future-proof and sophisticated software. That is to say, implementing it opens the door to a world of data opportunities. Your business can utilise insights and learnings from data to inform marketing strategy, deliver personalised incentives (such as rewards points), tailor branding to user segments, and much more besides.
- Offer a flexible brand experience: The modern user doesn’t want to be dictated to as to how, when and where they can get in touch with your organisation. Some users prefer social media, others like email; where one customer wants VoIP, another is happy with chatbots. The VCC software allows you to pivot according to the customer’s individual preferences.
5 Methods to Improve Omnichannel Customer Experience
When you set about elevating and improving your omnichannel customer experience, be aware that there are no silver bullets, and it is most certainly not an overnight fix.
Rather, it’s a process; it takes time, commitment and dedication to reach the levels you’re dreaming of, and you’ll need to equip your organisation with our specialised virtual contact centre in order to pull it off.
With that said, approaching the issue with a clear strategy ensures the best chance of success. Here are our 5 ways to improve the omnichannel customer experience.
1. Leverage the power of our Virtual Contact Centre
This first point is, without doubt, the most important. An effective omnichannel customer experience strategy is effectively impossible without the use of future-proof software, and the myriad opportunities it presents.
Our VCC is a veritable Swiss Army knife of client communications.
Digital marketing (as well as ‘out-of-home’ marketing), eCommerce store sales, social media effectiveness, branding efforts, customer relationship management, business strategy and data consistency are just some of the operational business elements that will feel the benefit of our Virtual Contact Centre.
And that’s to say nothing of the primary function of the VCC: to elevate, enrich and add efficiency to your client communications – whenever, wherever they occur.
Want to improve the omnichannel customer experience? Implement our Virtual Contact Centre. That’s the first, most important step on the journey.
2. Use data to keep it a seamless experience
Nothing irritates a customer more than having to give the same information to multiple agents, multiple times, as part of one customer journey.
Think of it like a train ride. How frustrated would you be if you were required to show your ticket after every station? Wouldn’t it be better for the conductor to check it once, log the necessary information and leave you to enjoy the journey?
That’s the kind of high-level customer service you’ll be positioned to deliver with a VCC-enabled omnichannel experience.
Vital customer behaviour data and information – things like account details, addresses, previous purchases – are stored accurately in one centralised location. This gives your agents (and software) the resources they need to provide a smooth and seamless experience; they have all the important information to-hand, as soon as a customer makes contact. Smooth, simple, satisfying.
3. Be savvy with social media
The crucial insight here – one that so many organisations fail to grasp – is that social media is a dialogue, not a monologue.
Successful omnichannel organisations don’t rant, rave and ramble at their users through social channels. They use these nuanced platforms as forums for discussion – a place to personalise interactions, respond meaningfully, and add texture to the brand experience.
Social media is an incredibly powerful outlet to manage feedback and complement your digital marketing with (hopefully positive!) interactions with your users, so ensure you’re making full use of it.
4. Remember: omnichannel includes mobile
These days, a massive number of customer support enquiries are facilitated exclusively through mobile devices – and this trend is only going in one direction.
An effective omnichannel experience must include mobile optimisation – that means the channels which can be experienced on mobile devices, must be designed to do so in a smooth and efficient manner.
And don’t forget, mobile devices are, in and of themselves, important communication channels. Oftentimes, consumers use their phone to go through emails or social media; then there’s SMS, another potentially-valuable channel.
If your organisation isn’t equipped with a VCC that allows seamless client communication on mobile devices, you’re already fighting a losing battle.
5. Implement AI chatbots
Did you know that AI-powered chatbots can help a business save 30% or more on customer service costs (IBM)? Or that over 87% of customers and consumers rate their experience with chatbots as positive (Drift)?
The beautiful thing about chatbots is that they take so much of the burden away from your customer support agents.
Often, it is a small number of essentially identical enquiries that represent a large volume of your service interactions; moreover, these frequently-repeated enquiries tend overwhelmingly to be simple in nature, requiring the execution of several ‘routine’ steps in order to resolve.
In other words, AI software and chatbots are ideally positioned to take care of a huge amount of your customer support work. This, in turn, gives you back the resources needed to spend on higher-priority tasks, and elevates the customer experience in other ways.
Improve Your CX with a Sector-Specialised VCC
Having read our 5 Ways to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience, hopefully now you see the best way forward, and the steps you can take to make it happen. Essentially, it all follows from the implementation of the Virtual Contact Centre; that is the keystone. With the VCC in place, the numerous benefits of omnichannel brand experiences become attainable, and the opportunities to improve become achievable.
And that’s where we come in. VCC, our flagship product, is specially-designed to help companies just like yours maximise communications and elevate the overall CX. So, with a seamless experience across multiple channels such a demonstrable necessity, what’s stopping you?
If you’re interested in learning more about our VCC and how it can help you deliver an optimal customer experience across all digital channels, book a free discovery call today.