Do you know the difference between Omnichannel vs. multichannel? The latter refers to how customers complete a transaction. Omnichannel refers to providing customers with a variety of how they begin and end their customer journey.
Companies seem to be scrambling today to implement some form of omnichannel strategy but just how important is it to your business?
Based upon the Aberdeen Group, it’s very important to year over year growth.
But how is your company managing resources and your investment to support these channels? First understanding your target customers will drive which channels you support. If you sell a line of hearing aids, more than likely you’re not going to use a lot of Social Media to drive customer experience.
But what about brands who may have a prospect click on an image on Instagram, then connect via chat. The chat rep could then recommend a coupon or other products and increase their chances of closing a deal – in minutes vs. days.
In order to provide this level of experience the organization may need to completely restructure how it supports these operations. I’ve spoken to many consultants who help companies make these transitions and one of the biggest – as usual – is the change management process to make these modifications.
One fear they have is losing a customer because they don’t feel completely confident about their ability to manage these channels and risk losing a customer.
The majority of contact centers are starting with some form of self-service as their first point of contact. Even if these channels provide great customer experience, some people still need to reach a live person. When this happens, it’s usually not a basic interaction. This is why it’s so important that your channels have some path to carry interactions with a live person to reduce the need to “re-explain” the situation. No one likes to do this. You will need to enable these agents with skills to handle the more challenging situations vs. the basic interactions. This is one reason our simulator ACES™ is sparking interest. Companies need a scalable way to help teach more complex skills in a small window of time. Using simulation-based training is a great way to immerse employees into realistic training situations.
So please don’t forget all of the legs of the stool when deploying your omnichannel strategy:
- Deciding which channels drive results
- Putting a strong change management process in place to support this strategy
- Ensure the culture and skills you train to support your strategy