23 August 2017

0

5 Reasons Omnichannel Communications is Critical for Enterprises

Unified Communications by Tom Collins

Twenty years ago, customers primarily communicated with brands through just two channels; phone and mail. Today, consumers don’t think twice about using a combination of channels for communication, including sending an email, SMS messaging, phone calls, chat and social media.

87 percent of today’s customers wish organizations would work harder to provide a pleasant customer experience. An additional 35 percent expect to be able to communicate with the same customer service representative on multiple channels, such as phone, email, and chat messages. Companies who offer omnichannel customer service even experience 91 percent higher customer retention than their competitors.

Providing multiple avenues for seamless customer communications, or omnichannel communications, is not only convenient for your customers, but it’s a highly effective tactic for enterprise organizations as well.

Omnichannel Communications

When “all of the company’s channels are aligned and present a single face to the customer, along with one consistent way of doing business,” you have achieved omnichannel communications, per Accenture.

Globally, enterprise organizations are starting to realize the value of omnichannel communications with their customers. From a customer experience (CX) perspective, this approach simply makes sense for what customers want from brands:

  • 83% of customers head to the web first for information, such as self-service information portals on a brand website.
  • 52% of customers may be less likely to engage with a brand after a bad experience on one channel, such as a mobile website.
  • 62% of customers believe that the quality of customer service they receive over the phone from customer service representatives (CSRs) is a competitive differentiator.

While omnichannel communications is a relatively new concept, it’s quickly taking over the business world.

Several years ago, brands like Amazon were among the first to dip their toes into offering a truly unified customer service experience with personalized product recommendations and multichannel support. Today, thanks to technologies like Broadsoft Business, unified communications is within reach for virtually all enterprise organizations.

5 Advantages of Omnichannel Communications

Let's discuss some key advantages, as well as use cases of why these concepts matter to your organization.

1. Timely, Proactive Communications

Today’s customers may book their plane tickets from a restaurant while they’re waiting for their mission-style burrito to be delivered. Others may research mortgages or insurance while they’re commuting to work.

Information is available on-demand, which has changed the way people think about their pre-purchase research. According to Google, these "micro-moments" are important because they are :

"Moments when consumers act on a need, e.g., to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something. They are intent-rich moments where decisions are being made and preferences shaped.”

If it’s easier to purchase from your competitor than it is to get an answer about your re-ordering process, why would a modern consumer buy from you?

The age of micro-moments has given rise to highly-personalized communications. Brands are discovering the value of emails, push notifications, SMS messaging, and phone calls that meet their customers in a moment of need, based on behavioral triggers, such as searching for answers on your company website.

With omnichannel communications, your brand can move towards the future of customer communications. Examples of this can include:

  • Customer service representatives who can acknowledge a customer’s four-year history with your organization, product purchase history, and communication preferences from the moment of contact.     
  • A customer service experience that feels unified and seamless, regardless of whether a customer is chatting with a CSR or interacting with an employee in your businesses’ brick-and-mortar location.
  • Personalized, behaviorally-triggered offers via mobile, email, and other channels that reward customers for loyalty and entice repeat purchases through special deals.

2. Centralized Technology & Data Insights

Behind every omnichannel communications strategy is a backbone of technology.

For many enterprises, cloud-based unified communication tools like Broadsoft Business can offer the advantage of ease-of-implementation, mobility, and centralized data insights. Broadsoft Business for enterprises is an advanced communications and collaboration solution that integrates with your existing business infrastructure and can quickly scale to meet the growing needs of your workforce.

By integrating cloud-based communication tools with customer relationship management (CRM) software, your employees benefit from the convenience of centralized insights and a single point-of-truth.

Your business also benefits from superior data insights, including:

  1. Enriched customer data, including a single source for all relevant client details and interactions with your organization across multiple channels.
  2. Instantaneous access to the full history and context of your customer relationship, including auto-population of firmographic details.
  3. Automated alerts and warnings based on behavioral data, such as frustrated chat messages or repeated calls to customer support for proactive relationship management.
  4. Insight into your customer’s preferred channels for communications.
  5. Behaviorally-based insights, including the intelligence necessary for automatically-triggered, personalized outbound communications via email, mobile push notification, or mail.
  6. Smarter allocation of your customer service resources based on customer data insights, including contact center staffing and technology investments.

3. Better Employee Experience

Did you know that 70% of employees would rather work for a small or mid-sized organization (SMB) over a large enterprise?

Why? Because they perceive smaller companies have simpler communications and better collaboration.

An additional 64% of workers say that communication bottlenecks negatively affect their productivity in the workplace.

Your employees want the tools necessary to communicate with clients and colleagues effectively and deliver superior customer service. An angry customer who’s explaining a return request for the fourth time is experiencing a negative brand interaction. But, these experiences also frustrate your CSRs who don’t have the communication history necessary on the client to understand why the situation has escalated.

Omnichannel communications tools make it easy for your customer-facing employees to understand your clients and deliver superior service the first time.

4. Customer Convenience and Satisfaction

Research by Accenture reveals that customers have higher expectations when it comes to convenience of communicating with brands. Today’s buyers want convenience.

Omnichannel communications give your customers and employees a major upgrade to the convenience of communication.

5. Insights-Driven Business Strategy

As organizations begin to understand how their leads and existing customers interact with their brand across channels, they can adjust their customer communications for improved sales, customer retention, and satisfaction.

Examples of ways that omnichannel communication technologies can support business strategy include:

  • Using customer insights to inform better-targeted “push notification” touch points via mobile apps.
  • Improved mobile or web design to reduce “friction” in the online buying experience.
  • The introduction of new products and offers for more satisfied customers, such as the release of cost savings for people who choose paperless-only billing.

Can You Afford the Risk of Failing to Offer Omnichannel Communications?

Modern enterprises are faced with some real challenges when it comes to meeting and exceeding the expectations of today’s multichannel, micro-moment driven customers. Without a single-unified approach to personalized customer service, your firm could risk falling behind to competitors who offer a more unified CX and seamless customer service interactions.

Your firm may survive without omnichannel customer experiences, but research reveals that your retention and satisfaction rates will likely be significantly lower. Not only do you risk damage to your recurring revenue and reputation, but you’ll also struggle without the other business advantages of unified, multichannel communications. Failing to understand your customer’s interactions with your brand can result in an inconsistent, challenging customer experience that feels dishonest to your clients, or like you’re not living up to your marketing promises.

Unifying Your Communication Tools for an Omnichannel Customer Experience

Organizations today understand the value of offering more than just phone-based customer service to their clients. By expanding beyond voice-based contact centers to offer convenient, digital options like chat, email, self-serve knowledge portals, and mobile apps, your organization can communicate with your customers in the way that is most convenient for the client in the moment. Unifying your communication tools in the cloud can allow you to go beyond just digital convenience to offer a truly seamless, multi-channel approach that makes your clients feel valued, personally-known, and connected to your organization.

Atlantech Online has been offering cutting-edge communications tools for enterprises in the greater Washington DC metro area for over two decades. While best practices have evolved significantly during our years in business, we believe that organizations that pivot to meet customer need will always win. With cutting-edge service offerings, including Broadsoft unified communications tools and direct connect to the Equinix Cloud Exchange, Atlantech customers gain the advantage of real-time access to the most advanced cloud omnichannel communication tools available today.

To talk to a communications expert about your brand's omnichannel potential today, click here.

Download Now





10-Questions-to-Ask-Before-Buying-Phone-Service-for-Business
free ebook

10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Phone Service for Business

Get all the information you need to make the smartest decision for your business’ communications.

Download


Subscribe to our blog for more helpful articles like this


t-tom-collins

About the author:

Tom Collins (Twitter, LinkedIn) - is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.

Popular Posts

Subscribe to the Blog