5 inspiring omnichannel customer service examples
A few decades ago, to contact a company’s customer service, you had to call a toll-free number, follow the automated prompt, and endure listening to an unpleasant amount of adverts for a long period of time. Yikes!
If you’re lucky, a representative picks your line and solves your issue. However, If you’re not, you may need to go through this frustrating experience again.
Fast forward to today, and options such as email, social media, live chat, text, and phone have made interacting with companies easier.
Or so we thought.
Currently, frustrating customer service experience still plagues customers. According to Gladly's 2021 Customer Expectation Report, the most common issue reported by 73% of customers was the need to repeatedly explain their issue to customer service representatives across different channels.
In today’s world, customers want every interaction with a company to be seamless and consistent —regardless of the channel they're using to interact. In fact, 46% expect seamless conversations across all channels. Only in this case, the paradox of choice comes into play, i.e., “many options come with less satisfaction.”
But with so many different ways to communicate, how do you fix this unwavering disconnect with your customers?
Simple, you use an omnichannel customer service strategy.
What is omnichannel customer service?
Omnichannel customer service is a strategy that provides customers with a seamless experience across different channels and points of interaction. This can include phone, email, live chat, text, social media, —or even in-person interactions.
For example, a customer might start a conversation with a company through live chat on their website, continue the conversation via email and social media, and then finish it by speaking to a representative on the phone, all without dealing with disjointed communication.
The goal here is to prevent siloed conversations and provide customers with a consistent experience — irrespective of how they choose to interact with the company.
How does omnichannel customer service work?
In omnichannel customer service, customer requests flow into a single, unified database. This allows your support agents to access the required information and continue the conversation without needing the customer to repeat themselves.
Omnichannel vs. multichannel customer service: What’s the difference?
It’s not uncommon for people to confuse omnichannel and multichannel customer service. The obvious reason is that both approaches involve the use of multiple channels of communication. However, the two approaches have some important differences:
Mode of integration
In omnichannel customer service, the system is integrated and cohesive. This means customer information and interactions are centralized and accessible across different channels.
Meanwhile, in multichannel customer service, each channel operates independently, and customer information and interactions are stored in separate databases.
📚 Related → 5 Trengo integrations to improve your efficiency
The seamless integration of all channels in omnichannel customer service aims to provide customers with a consistent experience — regardless of where they choose to interact.
In contrast, customer experience in multichannel customer service varies and highly depends on the communication channel.
Level of efficiency
Omnichannel customer service tends to be more efficient for both the customer and you (the company) as it allows you to continue the conversation across different channels.
However, in multichannel customer service, customers have to repeat themselves once they switch to another channel. Also, your support agents risk missing out on important details that could help resolve the customer’s issue.
What are the benefits of omnichannel customer service?
It’s no debate that customer loyalty and satisfaction are highly dependent on their experience with customer service. In fact, 91% say they’re more likely to make another purchase after a great customer service experience. And not far off from that, 71% say they’ve made purchasing decisions based on the quality of the customer service.
This shows that if done well, omnichannel customer service can foster a long-lasting business-to-customer relationship. Some other benefits include:
1. Easier customer conversion
Potential customers are mostly hanging out in the decision stage of your conversion funnel. As such, they want to get as much information as possible on your product or service.
In this case, they might contact your company via phone, then move the conversation to email and end it on social media. Because you use omnichannel customer service, your customer service representative can access the customer’s previous interactions. With this, they can provide all the necessary assistance.
If this experience is good, more than 74% of customers are likely to recommend your company to their friends & family. And a staggering 90% of people are more likely to trust a recommended brand (even from strangers).
2. Improved quality of data collection
By having accurate and up-to-date information about your customers, you can better understand their needs and preferences. Since it’s all in a unified database, it’s easier to analyze customer data and extract actionable insights.
For instance, you can analyze your company’s customer interactions over the past six months to identify commonly asked questions. This analysis can then serve as a foundation for identifying customer reactions, preferences, and behavior. All of this will allow you to provide more personalized and efficient customer service.
3. Enhanced customer personalization
Implementing an omnichannel customer service strategy can yield positive results — especially in personalizing the experiences of individual customers.
As an example, using insights from data previously collected is critical here. In this case, your support agents can tailor responses and recommendations based on a customer’s previous questions or issues. This improves your customer loyalty rate considering 63% of consumers expect businesses to know their unique needs and expectations.
4. Access to a larger audience
When you provide omnichannel customer service, you expose your company to a larger audience because customers now have more options for reaching you. This increases your company’s visibility, engagement, and chances of conversion.
For example, if a customer prefers to use social media, they can send a message through the company’s social media account. And if they’d prefer to send an email, they can use the company’s customer service email address.
On the flip side of this, social media has proven to be the channel that drives the most ROI for customer service. Resolving queries on your social media channels can bring in 20-40% more revenue and increase customer advocacy by as much as 25%.
Also, compared to email or phone, social media provides the easiest access to a large variety of customers. In fact, nearly 80% of consumers use social media to engage with brands, and 33% would rather contact a brand via social media than by phone.
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5 Examples of Brands Using Omnichannel Customer Service
Now that you know what it means, it's time to share some inspiring omnichannel customer service examples that we spotted in the wild.
If you’ve ever tried buying some Nike, Adidas, or any other running shoes, then Zappos shouldn’t be new to you. In fact, some would even argue Zappos is a household name because of its customers’ loyalty to the brand.
But what brought about this loyalty, and how is 75% of the company’s total revenue coming from returning customers?
Zappos offers customer support through channels like Twitter, text, and its 24/7 call center. And no matter which channel a customer uses, every support agent is equipped with enough information to pick up and continue the conversation at any time.
Another major highlight of Zappos’ success is their 365 days return policy and free shipping. This approach takes the risk away from customers making them enjoy their purchase.
Zappos customer service has been widely renowned as the one going “above and beyond” to please customers. For context, Zappos employees Steven Weinstein and Stephanie Van Hasselt hold the record for the longest customer service call — more than 10 hours.
“At Zappos, we encourage employees to stay on the phone for as long as the customer is happy, even if it’s over 10 hours long. We know it sounds crazy, but as long as the customer is happy, then we’re happy too.”
Here are a few snapshots from Twitter on their excellent customer service:
Every pet owner's second language is “Chewy.” Talk of pet food, toys, supplements, furniture, treats, and even drugs — and you’ve got Chewy.
You’re busy and need someone to make an appointment with your vet on your behalf? — Chewy makes it happen.
On the outside, Chewy is an online retailer for pet food and other related products. But its customer service experience across different online and physical channels speaks volumes.
Chewy’s main acquisition strategy is personalizing every interaction with customers. For example, in one holiday season in 2018, Chewy sent handwritten holiday cards to all of its six million customers. Two years later, that number has grown to 15 million customers.
Chewy stands as a brand winning the two sides of the business world.
First, their customer service representatives love the customers they help, and use all physical and online channels to stay connected whenever they need them.
Next is on the part of the customers. Several customers have taken to news outlets, social media, and even in-person visits to advocate for Chewy’s customer service experience.
Sumit Singh, CEO of Chewy, when speaking with Retail Touchpoints had this to say —
“We try to come at what we do from a point of view of compassion. That’s an important attribute in dealing with customer scenarios, both in happy times but even more when both customers and team members have been under stress.”
Brewing your own coffee at home would probably taste and look better. No doubt.
But someone making you a coffee and putting your name on it all without you breaking a sweat— now that’s Starbucks!
Starbucks’ omnichannel customer service strategy takes on the approach of making customers feel like they’re part of the business.
For instance, on Twitter, the @StarbucksCare page is constantly engaging in conversations with customers to help resolve their issues. The same goes for Instagram and Facebook.
Another example is the “My Starbucks Reward”, a loyalty program that rewards customers based on their purchases. For every $1 you spend, you earn two stars as a perk— which you can later use to redeem free drinks when you walk into any Starbucks restaurant.
This “give back to customers” initiative by Starbucks has a whooping 16 million active users resulting in 40% of its total sales. For the most part, customers love the ease of payment via the app, and the ability to order ahead and pick up upon arrival — hence, no more waiting in long queues.
Additionally, Starbucks takes omnichannel customer service a step further by helping their employees with whatever they need to do their job. For example, they partnered with Spotify so employees can enjoy discounts and also listen to the music they’re playing in stores — even when they’re not there.
You‘ve definitely thought about flying to your favorite destinations — perhaps in first class or private.
But have you considered taking a ferry there and enjoying the peaceful, tranquil setting of being on the water during your journey?
Well, that’s what ferrying is all about — and Ferryscanner makes it a whole lot different.
Ferryscanner is a Greece-based platform that allows users to search for and book affordable ferry tickets to their favorite destinations in Greece, and 24 other countries.
One of Ferryscanner’s major selling points is its partnerships with major ferry companies in the county and beyond. This allows them to give their customers special discounts and offers they won’t get elsewhere.
Also, their omnichannel customer service seals the deal for their business. They provide support for customers using platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, live chat, email, and responding to Google Business messages. And their reviews on Trustpilot are top of the line with customers advocating for their customer service.
In a conversation with Trengo, Alvertos Iskinatzis, Customer Success Supervisor at Ferryscanner had this to say —
“As customer success supervisor, it’s my job to make sure the team is fully equipped and trained to provide our customers with the best experience possible.”
Thinking of rugs to fit your style or budget? Or perhaps you’re deciding whether to pick a mix of bohemian, traditional, or modern rugs?
Then Volero would likely be your go-to online store for rug needs — especially in the Netherlands.
Volero stands as the biggest webshop for rugs in the Netherlands— but rugs aren’t the only thing they’re good at. The brand’s customer service has one the highest ratings for a rug shop in the country with a whooping 9.2/10 from nearly 18,000 customers.
In Volero’s omnichannel customer service strategy, the company used channels such as email, chat, and social media to constantly engage with customers’ questions.
Start your omnichannel customer service with Trengo
Now more than ever customers want to interact with brands, and they want to do so through their preferred channels. According to Alvaria’s Consumer Index Report, 46% of people said they prefer to interact with a method of their choice.
Omnichannel customer service goes beyond having a presence on several channels. Rather, it’s a synced form of communication that aims to personalize the customer’s experience. And in the long run, this approach impacts your revenue, builds a loyal customer base, and increases your customer retention rates.
If you’re thinking of streamlining your customer service across all channels, then Trengo is the right tool for you. Trengo unifies all your communications channels so you never have to worry about constantly switching between different apps.