Why omnichannel customer service software is a game changer
When was the last time you called up a store to order a product?
Depending on your age, the answer is most likely either ‘ages ago’ or ‘never’.
Well, not much longer than a decade ago, this was the norm. There were limited channels to interact with a company — so calling was the only option.
Fast forward to 2023, and 51% of businesses today use at least eight channels to communicate with their customers. This includes email, SMS, live chat, social media, phone, forums, self-service, and mobile messaging apps.
However, the lack of seamless integration in all these channels poses two problems:
- Businesses found it difficult to sync all their customer conversations.
- Customers had to repeat themselves or restart the conversation when they switched to another channel.
All of this has led to increased siloed and disjointed communication between customers and support agents.
But now, there’s a solution.
One that seamlessly unifies different systems and tools to handle a wide range of customer needs and preferences.
This type of solution is called omnichannel customer service software — and it’s a game changer.
What is omnichannel customer service software?
Omnichannel customer service software is a solution that helps businesses provide a seamless, consistent, and personalized customer service experience across all channels and touchpoints.
In simple terms, omnichannel customer service software provides a unified platform for managing customer interactions across multiple channels.
These channels include email, SMS, live chat, — and all of your customer’s favourite platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp Business, Google Business, Telegram, and Twitter.
But with these many channels comes the next question —
How does omnichannel customer service software work?
Omnichannel customer service software works by integrating all your support channels to streamline communication between you (the business) and the customer.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say a customer reaches out to support via email to resolve an issue.
- First, the omnichannel customer service software auto-detects the email and creates a ticket in the system.
- Next, it routes the ticket to the most appropriate agent — often, this is based on the customer’s inquiry, skills, and availability.
- Once the agent receives the ticket and reviews the inquiry, they can check the software to see if the customer has had previous interactions with the company via other channels or similar to the same issue.
- With this knowledge, they can respond to the email by sending a knowledge-based article or a link to a practical guide that solves the customer’s issue.
- However, the customer is unsatisfied with the response and decided to follow up on Twitter with additional questions.
- The conversation via a new channel will be seen in the exact same conversation thread.
- The omnichannel customer service software detects this again, then creates another ticket, and routes it to another (or the same) agent to handle the inquiry.
The baseline here is that omnichannel customer service would preserve the context of conversations as customers move between channels.
Like in the example above, the customer only used email and Twitter. If the customer had moved to live chat, phone, or any other channel they’ll still receive the same support experience — irrespective of their preference.
📚 Related → 5 inspiring customer service examples
5 reasons why you should consider using omnichannel customer service software for your customer service
Let’s face it — your agents can’t be around all the time.
- Who will handle customer inquiries at 2 am Friday morning?
- Or respond to customer emails at 11 pm on the weekend?
In most cases — no one!
But with omnichannel customer service software, customers can use self-service options like chatbots and knowledge bases to get immediate responses to their inquiries. With this, customers have more control over their interactions and don’t have to wait for responses from live agents.
A few other reasons include:
- It helps you satisfy the 75% of customers who desire a consistent experience
It’s not uncommon to find customers using three to five channels to engage with businesses during and after purchase.
However, 75% of customers still want a consistent experience regardless of the channel used. Unfortunately for most businesses, this isn’t realistic due to low budget, and support capability.
Meanwhile, with omnichannel customer service software, businesses can unify customer interaction across 20+ channels into one platform. This way, customers can move seamlessly between channels without repeating information or starting over.
A quick example is a customer using email to start a conversation with a support agent, then following up on Instagram, and ending the conversation on WhatsApp Business. Throughout the journey, the support agent(s) responsible for handling the interaction can use the omnichannel solution to check chat history to continue the conversation.
- It helps raise your CSAT scores to the industry standard
Quick question — how satisfied are your customers after talking to customer service?
40, 60, 80%?
If you’re doing anything below 70%, your business is in trouble. Just as 72% will share a positive experience with 6 more people, 13% will share their negative experience with 15 — or even more people.
A good way to fix this is using omnichannel customer service software to gather customer data (such as purchase history, recent inquiries, and preferences) from multiple channels. With this data, you can tailor each interaction to fit their needs anytime they reach out.
For example, when a customer reaches out, you can automatically use the software to provide all necessary customer information to the support team. This creates a sense of an existing relationship between the customer and the agent, making the customer feel appreciated and seen.
After resolving the issue, you can ask the customer to complete your CSAT survey and use their rating to shape future interactions. With this, you get real-time insights into customer behavior, and pain points that can help you make data-driven decisions leading to higher CSAT scores.
📚 Related → Customer satisfaction survey: 5 best practices
- It improves your support agents’ productivity
A chunk of poor customer service experience is less about the company and more about the support agent. Sadly, the lasting effect is felt by the company.
In a recent report by Verint, 64% of customers have jumped to a competitor due to poor customer service experience.
So, what’s really the problem?
Well, support agents often juggle interacting with customers on multiple channels, entering data manually, and other meagre tasks. With all these happening at the same time, agents are unproductive and might make a mistake with a customer inquiry leading to a negative experience.
Meanwhile, you can use the automation features in omnichannel customer service software to streamline routine tasks such as:
- Generating and sending automated responses.
- Scheduling appointments or callbacks with customers
- Creating and tracking customer tickets
- Collecting customer feedback.
For example, an agent using omnichannel customer service software can use the team inbox feature to manage all customer interactions across different channels. This centralized view can help the agent better understand the customer's history and needs, and provide more personalized and efficient service.
The agent can also use automation tools such as chatbots, auto-responders, and canned responses to quickly handle routine inquiries, freeing up time to focus on more complex issues.
- It’s cost-effective for your business
Hiring support agents can be quite expensive. In most countries, each support agent would set you back roughly $10,000 - $37,000 yearly.
And scaling a support team without more hires becomes an issue when your company starts to grow.
Here’s an example—
Let’s say previously, your five-person support team manages sixty customer inquiries via phone, email, and live chat daily. As such, they were logging in to different systems to access customer data or respond to inquiries.
However, when the number of inquiries increased, your team could not keep up, leading to longer response times and increased customer churn.
In this case, omnichannel customer service software is a good investment as it creates a streamlined support process that reduces overall operational costs.
With this, your team can now handle and resolve more inquiries in less time. This increased efficiency translates into cost savings for your business — while at the same time increasing your revenue and customer retention rates.
- It gives you a competitive advantage
The structure of your customer service will either make or break your business. If you’re doubting, let’s run some numbers:
- A customer is four times more likely to switch to a competitor if their problem is service-based.
- 70% of customers report that technology makes it easy to take their business to a competitor —( all they need is a google search!).
- 70% of the customer’s journey is based on how the customer feels they’re being treated.
These stats further prove that excellent customer service is the best way to drive more customers and revenue for your business. In fact, 89% of companies with “significantly above average customer service” perform better financially than their competitors.
So, how can you replicate this for your business?
One effective way to achieve this is by utilizing omnichannel customer service software to provide exceptional customer service experience. This gives you a head start since many of your competitors aren’t using this software— therefore provide mediocre experiences to their customers.
Lastly, due to the positive impression on customers accrued over a long period, it’s easier to stand out, ultimately leading to increased revenue and market share.
What are some use cases of omnichannel customer service software?
- To personalize the customer journey
Case study → Parfumado
Parfumado is a perfume brand based in the Netherlands with customers worldwide.
Their business model was a subscription-based service that allowed customers to try new scents every month. This type of model means they were at the forefront of constant interaction with customers during their entire pre & post-purchase journey.
However, since they sold physical products, tailoring the customer experience to their needs was impossible.
According to the founder, Martijn van Rooy, —
“Selling perfumes online is tricky, and everyone immediately understands why. Customers cannot smell what they’re buying through the screen.”
To fix this, Parfumado opted for an omnichannel customer service solution that is set up in a way that ensures customers have the experience to choose the right perfumes. This is done through perfume quizzes, perfume calendars, and so on.
For example, after customers contact Parfumado on WhatsApp, they request a screenshot of their perfume calendar. If the customer doesn’t have one, they quiz the customer to help them make the right decision. After which, they’ll receive an automatic link with a form to fill out.
The same process goes for phone and email— and customers still enjoy a consistent and seamless experience.
According to the customer happiness manager, Sanne de Ruiter, —
“Personal communication is the way for my customer happiness team to win over customers. And a crucial part of that is customers can reach us in the way they want”
- To handle an increase in customer queries
Case study → Ferryscanner
Ferryscanner is a search and booking engine for ferry tickets to all destinations in Greece — and 24 other countries.
Their business model simply involved helping customers find affordable ferry tickets with access to choose from over 60 ferry companies.
However, Ferryscanner experiences an influx of customers, inquiries, and bookings every summer. While this increases revenue for the business, it also caused longer response time leading to many customers being unsatisfied and cancelling their trips.
According to the customer success supervisor, Alvertos Iskinatzis, —
“Last year, we had to have our Facebook opened next to our customer contact platform to see if we had missed any comments or direct messages. This took up a lot of my time”
Luckily, Ferryscanner implemented an omnichannel customer service software solution to integrate customer communication across WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, live chat, and Google Business.
For example, when customers contact Ferryscanner, they’re first asked a few questions by a chatbot. This chatbot collects all necessary customer information before routing them to a support agent. This saves the team loads of time as they don’t have to ask for a booking code from every customer.
Alvertos when talking about making the switch —
“The main reason for making the switch was that we wanted to offer our customers more channels to contact us. And for us to be able to better manage those channels.”
Improve your customer service game with Trengo
It’s no debate that investing in omnichannel customer service software can drive positive results for your business.
Trengo’s omnichannel customer service software helps you streamline your customer service operations with collaboration tools like internal notes, labels, and tags which can help agents work together seamlessly to resolve customer issues.