In terms of communications, the last few years have been bountiful with the creation of several new channels, such as social media or messaging applications. Indeed, our individual behaviours have been transformed, both on a personal and consumer level.
Therefore, companies have no choice but to consider this aspect in their interactions. According to a survey conducted by Aspect Software, companies that adopt an omnichannel approach achieve 91% higher annual customer retention than companies that don’t. What’s more, the omnichannel conversation is more than a trend, it’s becoming a must.
“Companies that adopt an omnichannel approach achieve 91% higher annual customer retention than companies that don’t.” (Aspect Software)
And Microsoft is inviting its users to seize this opportunity with the Omnichannel for Customer Service tool: a centralized approach to the customer conversation in your CRM platform.
What is Omnichannel for Customer Service?
Integrated into your existing Dynamics 365 CRM, the omnichannel platform allows you to centralize communication channels into one efficient tool, all geared towards the customer relationship and customer satisfaction.
Indeed, it becomes an additional asset in your customer relationship management. Once again, you are at the forefront of maintaining and enriching the relationships you have with your existing or potential customers.
True to the principles of omnichannel marketing, responses, timeframes and overall customer experience remain consistent no matter how the customer chooses to communicate with you.
Whether it be:
- Through a chat available on your website
- By text message
- Via Facebook or Twitter
- On WeChat
- On WhatsApp
- Or even through a conversation channel specific to your organization, which can be integrated into the platform
Incoming messages converge towards your team, which has all the tools to respond effectively.
The Agent’s Experience
Although the primary objective remains the customer relationship, the agents on the other end of the line also benefit from this approach.
In fact, agents have access to:
- a library of tools to guide them through the answers;
- keyboard shortcuts that save them from typing an entire sentence;
- a support team.
With the interface and automated processes, they are able to maintain several conversations at the same time. Of course, on the phone it’s difficult (but not impossible for some!) to answer several people at once. Conversely, the advantage of messaging is the ability to switch from one window to another while waiting for the other person to answer.
Even the physical environment of a workstation is bound to change. Indeed, there is no longer any need for coloured Post-it notes around computer screens waiting to be tracked or binders with call scripts. Moreover, the tools available don’t just reduce this physical clutter; above all, they provide flexibility and intelligence that fixed call scripts can’t offer. For example, simple clicks, keyboard shortcuts or even proactive suggestions support the agent during conversion.
The Power of Immediacy
Unlike email communications, an omnichannel strategy allows you to establish a live relationship with your customer. On the one hand, being so available means that you avoid their looking elsewhere for their question or request. On the other hand, it also allows you to adjust in real time to reality. A chat, unlike e-mail exchanges, reduces the delays between each exchange. Therefore, it allows you to readjust if messages don’t go over well or if you feel their dissatisfaction.
Similarly, a mood tracking tool (Sentiment Analysis) quickly gives you an overview of the conversation’s mood, so you can adjust your approach during exchanges or ask your supervisor for help to rectify a situation if needed.
That’s right, even when chatting in not quite standard French. Indeed, without dissatisfaction being explicitly expressed, the tool is able to perceive impatience.
Only for customer service?
It’s fairly clear: the name of the tool itself indicates its compatibility with customer service. However, it’s still important to point out that we offer customer service that goes beyond the after-sales service. Of course, we want to make sure that we answer our customers’ current questions and problems.
But why not leverage the tool to:
- Maintain conversations with potential clients
- Accompany your customers in their buying process (for example with a chat on the website)
- Offer a technical service accessible on multiple platforms to help your customers solve their problems
And to take it a step further, why not engage in social media conversations when your company and brand are mentioned?
So now what? How to get started with Omnichannel?
How to start? Just as with any project; one small step at a time.
1. Identify your most frequently used channels
A chat on your website? A chat on your customer portal? Are you on Facebook? Do you want to be available through text message? The ideal approach is to start with the existing channels; it won’t take long for your ambitions to be met…
2. Target inefficiencies
Do you have frequent topics that could be pre-scripted? Are there any repetitive actions that you could automate?
3. Make yourself known!
Using modern communication channels is great news! Take advantage of this opportunity to announce it with great pomp and circumstance on your monthly newsletter; make your chat visible and attractive on the web; advertise your page on social networks. And why not enjoy a little home celebration, too?
This article is an initiative of our expert Sarah Deschênes.
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