The Role of CRM in an Omni-Channel Strategy
Customer behavior has evolved with digital advancements. It is no wonder that customers desire complete control over the engagement in addition to effectiveness and convenience.
According to Google research, 90% of multiple device owners switch devices daily, utilizing three devices on average to finish a task. Customers could begin an activity on a desktop computer, continue it on a mobile device and complete it on a tablet.
Therefore, businesses must adapt and pick up strategies to fit the bill in the changed scenario of customer behavior. So this comes down to pursuing a unified and comprehensive strategy called the omnichannel, where all channels and platforms work together. In this blog, we go over every aspect of becoming omnichannel and the role of CRM in the omnichannel strategy.
What is an Omnichannel Strategy?
An omnichannel strategy entails offering a seamless customer experience across multiple channels like website, app, social media, chat, email, and so on by integrating them within a single system. The strategy gives you a comprehensive view of the customer interactions, which will have you answering customer queries more efficiently.
For example, if a customer calls two days after sending a message on Instagram to inquire about the status of a complaint, he can expect to continue the conversation from where he left off. It is only possible because omnichannel Help desk software platforms preserve context across channels.
In the omnichannel approach, a company gives customers access to its products and offers support services on all channels, platforms, and devices.
The Role of CRM in Omnichannel Strategy
The omnichannel strategy cannot be effectively implemented without a CRM or customer relationship management system. In other words, without a CRM system in place, it is impossible to deliver the true benefits of an omnichannel approach. The omnichannel CRM improves organizational performances by facilitating team collaboration, agent productivity, personalized customer experience, and effective customer service. CRM helps successfully implement the omnichannel approach in customer-facing operations, which improves channel-to-channel convenience, speed, consistency, and operational insights in real-time. This results in a satisfied customer base and contented workforce.
Facets of the CRM such as an omnichannel help desk and customer service increase efficiency, flexibility, and speed of operation and provide a unified experience by engaging with customers across multiple communication channels.
Here’s how an omnichannel help desk and customer support software works together for your advantage in building stronger relationships with your customers.
Benefits of Omni-Channel Help Desk and Customer Support
- Preserves the context of a ticket as it moves from one channel to the other as channels are synchronized with each other.
- Increases customer convenience as they can choose to engage with your business through multiple channels.
- Enables accurate gathering of customer input from integrated channels, which aids in the detection of customer trends.
- Enables you to plan your resources and strategies for effective operations by helping you understand the major aspects that impact customer satisfaction and agent performance.
- Collects customer information from external apps and systems and aids in its utilization through accurate data segmentation.
Why are Businesses Adopting an Omnichannel Strategy?
Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on an average 89% of their customers compared to a 33% customer retention rate for companies with weak omnichannel strategies. – source
Your customer service initiatives will profit significantly from using an omnichannel strategy. The advantages include:
1. Unified Communications
According to a study, “Millennials spend nearly 6 hours a day on their phones and surf different channels to use chat, social media or mobile devices for support options.” Moreover, when it comes to digital media, the waiting time for a customer is only 2 minutes. With increasing wait times, customer frustration continues to build up, and customers, in their fury, will try to contact agents through various channels.
Omnichannel support helps you sail smoothly through such situations by optimizing customer interaction through the unified collaboration of all channels. For instance, a customer may start a conversation with an agent about a customer service issue on Facebook and wind up live-chatting with a manager about the same issue.
2. Integrate and Collaborate with Modern Tools
The omnichannel software allows you to expand support by integrating multiple channels or third-party applications into your existing system. This enables you to handle all customer and channel data from a single platform. Furthermore, you stay updated with emerging market trends and technologies by having the third-party systems sync with your current working model.
3. Improve Agents’ Productivity
Agents can be overwhelmed when they deal with high volumes of customer queries streaming in from different channels. An omnichannel help desk platform will let them access all customer data and handle all customer queries from a single interface. Agents can easily access customers’ past interactions and every other information that will give a 360-degree view of the customers, thereby increasing agent productivity in resolving customer queries.
4. Improved Reporting
Since the omnichannel strategy lets you integrate multiple touchpoints of customer interaction and brings together data collected from multiple sources, you no longer need to analyze each channel separately. You can use customer data to generate comprehensive reports in real-time when all the channels work in synchronization.
How does an Omnichannel Strategy Benefits Businesses?
Businesses have more chances of interacting and engaging with their customers if they increase their presence across different channels. Not just this, here is a list of other reasons why you should consider becoming omnichannel right now:
1. Improve Customer Lifetime Value
The omnichannel strategy guarantees a consistent and coherent experience across all channels customers prefer to reach out to you. What’s more, businesses have the opportunity to deliver personalized messages and accurately target a suitable customer base. Connecting on a personalized level strengthens customer relationships and improves customer lifetime value as customers prefer to stay with the brand that offers excellent customer service.
2. Improve Customer Segmentation
The omnichannel mode of operation lets you monitor customers across several touchpoints, thus giving you an immense opportunity to learn about your customers and their history of interaction. This will help you segment your customers better now that you have a wide range of customer demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal information derived from several interaction channels.
3. Improve CSAT
Customers feel satisfied when there are several ways to reach out to your customer service team. When the context of customer interactions is preserved across channels, it eliminates the need to repeatedly explain customers’ situations to every new contact in the company.
The omnichannel strategy allows every staff to gain a complete picture of the customer interactions, including past orders, buying behavior, and preferences. When customers can get across their problems with whoever they interact with in your company and resolve their issues smoothly, they experience great satisfaction catapulting your CSAT scores.
4. Increase Sales
Businesses can review customer data to identify customers’ favorite channels and reach them across those channels. Customers can then be introduced to your products, new offers, and add-ons, increasing the likelihood of buying opportunities. Customers are likelier to choose businesses that offer consistent access to information, products, or services across all channels.
5. Improve ROI
Since the omnichannel approach allows for better customer data segmentation and personalization of the services, there will be higher customer satisfaction, leading to repeat business, customer retention and improved ROI.
Best Practices for Creating an Omnichannel Strategy
Adopting an omnichannel strategy has become necessary since customers prefer multiple channels to contact business reps and customer service teams.
Below, we will explain the most successful businesses’ best practices for omnichannel strategies.
1. Prioritize your Mobile Response
If customers aren’t getting a smooth mobile experience, then it is likely that they will switch brands. Your agents can update tasks, resolve customer queries, and access customer data if given a mobile-friendly customer support app.
Therefore, ensure that you have a mobile-friendly website and customer support platform that make it equally possible for customers and agents to have a seamless mobile experience to take action when they are on the go.
2. Maintain Consistency
Research from Harvard Business Review claims that almost 46,000 buyers find that 73% of the participants use several communication channels as a part of their customer journey. So customers expect to receive a consistent experience across all channels.
Therefore, you must ensure that you deliver a consistent experience through all the channels you choose to serve the customers. For this, analyze customer behavior throughout the journey using metrics such as average resolution time (ART) or average handle time (AHT) across channels to ensure that your service level is consistent across them.
3. Strengthen Social Presence
The tech-savvy customers frequently switch channels to communicate. If you want to successfully implement the omnichannel strategy across all customer touchpoints of interaction, you must be proactive in responding to customer inquiries coming in through all channels, particularly social media.
Customer complaints on social media can tax the brand’s reputation if not handled properly. Therefore, in the digital era, social media presence is very important to stay competitive and send prompt responses to customers.
4. Keep all Systems Integrated
To provide a personalized and coherent customer experience, all the systems you employ must be seamlessly connected. An omnichannel strategy can be successfully implemented if the systems such as eCommerce, CRM, mobile apps, payments systems, accounting software, etc., are integrated. Properly inter-connected systems will yield a streamlined experience essential for determining a great customer experience.
5. Leverage Technology
Having a unified-technology platform is imperative to implementing a successful omnichannel strategy. Customer segmentation, customer feedback analysis, and seamless integration of all the online and offline channels can provide a great omnichannel experience.
How to Choose the Best Omnichannel CRM?
Since there are so many CRMs on the market, deciding on the best omnichannel CRM can be difficult. Thorough research and consideration of the following steps can help you make an informed decision.
1. Know your Goals
Each business is unique, and so are its goals. Outline your objectives and see how adopting the omnichannel CRM strategy can get you to resolve the existing operational problems. For example, if you consider boosting productivity across all of your teams, you will gain the most from investing in a CRM solution that provides the greatest level of automation of manual operations.
Determine the KPIs that the omnichannel solution implementation will impact. This will help you analyze and keep track of the business goals to understand the effectiveness of the CRM implementation.
2. Make a List of Features
Know your priorities and needs, and list what features you need to fulfill your business requirements. Some essential features to look out for are data security, customer support, automation, knowledge management, third-party integration, and reporting, apart from omnichannel capabilities.
The best course of action in this situation is to request a one-on-one demonstration so that you can both watch the product’s operation and determine whether it meets your requirements.
It is crucial to see that the CRM incorporates the latest technologies to help you stay ahead of the curve. This is one of the most important considerations when choosing a provider. You will have to frequently seek third-party assistance if the CRM lacks the technical expertise to smoothen your business processes. Intelligent and smart automated ticketing system makes the workflows and customer service operations laser-focused and accurate.
4. Implementation and Support
The speed of implementation is the next thing you need to look at while choosing a provider. Find out how fast they can implement the system and get it running for you and the support services they offer at the time of implementation and later. A provider with expertise in your industry can be advantageous when offering you support. Therefore, assess the testimonials and feedback of the clients they serve in your industry before you choose the CRM provider.
5. Scalable and Flexible
Check whether the CRM is capable of scaling with your growing business needs. Whether you only require a few key features or the entire set, and whether you have 10 or 1000 users, the CRM should be flexible and scalable to adjust in a matter of seconds and a few clicks.
6. Cross-device Support
A CRM mobile app is a must-have in today’s changing world, where quick access to information or a solution to a problem cannot be delayed. Businesses must work extra hard to beat the competition and eventually develop into successful enterprises, including working on the go and outside business hours. The customers enjoy 24/7 connectivity with your business which goes a long way in garnering happier and loyal customers while you never miss an opportunity to grow. You should therefore pay particular attention to choosing a CRM omnichannel solution that can be installed on your mobile device when looking for a solution for your business.
Kapture: Delivering Omnichannel Customer Service Operations at its Best
Kapture’s omnichannel customer service solutions focus on making everything about the customer experience efficient. As channels evolve, we provide omnichannel support to transform your customer service like never before. You get the benefit of real-time data and reporting to drive your business operations without worrying about data security and privacy. Furthermore, our platform converges technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Automation to accelerate your growth.
About the Author
|Seema C Mohan|
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.|