After a year of operating virtually to slow the spread of COVID-19, customers expect the businesses they engage with to be efficient, no matter the size of that business. Whether they’re reaching out via live chat or email, social media or text, customers not only want their pick of digital channels to communicate with companies through, but they expect responses across these channels to be quick and thoughtful.
If you’re a business operating with a limited team, delivering this level of engagement might sound daunting. Unattainable, even. Unfortunately, failure to stay on top of every customer touchpoint can mean souring the customer experience, risking a negative review online or losing the customer’s business altogether.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Deploying omnichannel digital customer engagement tools empowers you to be everywhere your customers are, while also providing an experience that rivals your big business competitors. More than meeting customers’ heightened expectations for quality and speed, this type of software alleviates the pressure on your staff, which means they have the availability and alertness to deliver service that further encourages customer sales and loyalty. Here’s how:
Offer customer support, 24/7
Many small businesses are getting on board with multichannel customer service strategies to meet customers across the spectrum of digital touchpoints. There is merit to this approach. Logically, the more communication paths brands set up for customers to use, the more likely customers are to reach out and, ideally, make a transaction.
However, multichannel solutions tend to silo platform access from one another, each managed through a separate system. Agents would have to check each social media account one by one to ensure they aren’t missing any messages, costing them time that could be better spent addressing those messages. Even a social media management platform like HootSuite can’t solve for this disconnect, since it still won’t help manage channels like live chat, SMS, messaging, or email.
An omnichannel solution can pick up this slack by aggregating the data from all touchpoints into one centralized interface. Your agents won’t have to manually log into each platform individually to stay up to date on customer interactions occurring, which saves them time to focus on more pressing business activities. Additionally, when you receive high volumes of inbound messages, a strategic omnichannel system helps employees route and assign queries more efficiently, with the option of marking conversations for follow up later on the original channel or on another channel to prioritize workloads.
Having coverage from an omnichannel solution can help you stay organized and ahead of customer demands during periods of increasing demand, making it less likely customers will abandon inquiries because they didn’t receive answers quickly enough.
Make employee workloads more manageable
The reality is, customers aren’t concerned with which communications strategies your business adopts—only that they can receive assistance whenever they need it, however they want it. To this end, omnichannel digital customer engagement tools can offer the support your business needs to provide a seamless customer experience.
Beyond being difficult to manage, having siloed channels puts employees at a disadvantage when it comes to answering customer messages as thoughtfully and efficiently as possible. That’s because having disconnected conversations limits the value of the customer data collected through each of them. For example, if a customer decides to email you after they’ve already shared their information via Facebook, the employee responding to the email doesn’t have easy access to that data and must spend time collecting it again, which is frustrating for both your staff and the customer.
After all, part of the draw of engaging smaller businesses is that they tend to offer a more thoughtful and personalized customer experience than big corporate enterprises can—but if you’re not equipped to deliver on this promise, you risk customers and prospects feeling forgotten.
Digital customer engagement tools help you avoid this risk by consolidating conversations from every channel onto one platform. This provides your team with access to the complete customer story so that they’re positioned to make the interaction as intentional as possible. Plus, if you opt for tools that integrate with a CRM system, employees will be able to reference relevant insights like purchase history so that they can deliver more informed service. Besides inspiring loyalty from the customer, this personalization can increase the value of transactions by allowing the agent to make strategic recommendations to the customer. Plus, these insights also help agents better understand customer pain points so that they can not only avoid them but work quickly to remedy them.
Not only will customers receive the responsiveness and efficiency they’re looking for when interacting with a business, but your team is saved from the tediousness of having to source information across platforms. An omnichannel solution expedites the task of responding to customer messages and mitigates the risk of employee burnout. As a result, agents are more engaged in their interactions, making the experience more satisfying for employees and customers alike.
Customer Service that Excels
Premium customer service shouldn’t be exclusive to your big business competitors. You and your team—no matter its size—can achieve the same level of responsiveness and thoughtfulness by investing in the proper tools today. Solutions like omnichannel digital customer engagement software empower you to be available to customers at every hour and through every channel to ensure no business opportunity goes unnoticed, while also setting you up to respond with ease and intention. As a result, your employees won’t feel overwhelmed keeping up to date with customer demands and your customers will receive the positive experience that keeps them coming back.