One of the buzzwords among contact center vendors these days is “omnichannel” – the idea that customers can communicate with you via all available methods of communication.
What is omnichannel?
For a large retailer this might mean that a customer can ask a question via any of the following means:
- text message
- web-based chat
- social media messages (e.g. Twitter DMs, Facebook Messenger).
The general idea is that it’s good to allow customers to communicate however they prefer – although not all businesses agree (as you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to contact Google or Amazon by phone).
Contactless service ordering
I attended the Cloud Communications Summit this past week, and one piece of research they shared was that people (especially younger people) are increasingly keen to order services online, without directly interacting with another person.
In part this is a long-term trend, as people grow up with more advanced technology available, but of course COVID-19 has exacerbated this situation as people are much less likely to drop by a physical office these days.
So today I wanted to ask you a few questions:
- What channels do you offer for residential and business subscribers to order new services?
- What channels are available for those same subscribers if they want to report a problem or request assistance?
- What channels would your subscribers LIKE to use to contact you?
Are more channels better?
At first glance it certainly seems like the more communication channels you make available, the better.
However, the right answer for you may be more complex. Google have decided that for efficiency they’re not going to provide service by phone, and you may decide that you can best serve those who value human interaction.
Whatever you do, I recommend that you are conscious about your choices, and that the channels you make available fit with your overall strategy.
At Award Consulting, our business model is to emphasize relationships with our clients and therefore we make it easy to talk on the phone or on a video conference, or by email. On the other hand, we haven’t invested in a fancy IVR or a custom-built, high-end ticket system – and that’s okay, because our strategy is about service, not efficiency.
Not every added channel will be worth the effort, or fit with your strategy, but for most people, you’ll provide better service (and receive more orders) if you expand your available channels – to make it easier for people to communicate via your website, via email, via SMS and by phone.