Putting the prefix “Omni” before most words makes them sound all kinds of important.
For instance, the teenagers in your world are likely omniscient, as in knowing everything. Jeff Bezos can be classed as omnipotent, having great power and influence. And your mother is likely omnicompetent, able to deal with all matters competently.
With that in mind, when we talk about omnichannel communication in the domain of commerce, you can quickly see the link.
However, while the world is going about its business using omnichannel marketing, we believe that there’s a little more to it.
What Does Omnichannel Mean?
The term “omnichannel” relates to various integrated shopping methods available to consumers—for instance, the ability to buy a product online or in a physical store.
Businesses that have been alert to consumer trends over the past few years have adjusted their online activities to cater to this shift, and rightly so. With an ever-growing mobile audience and a host of social channels, you simply never know where your next customer is coming from.
Omnichannel marketing means meeting your customer where they are and then basically following them around until they buy.
What we’re more interested in, though, is omnichannel communication.
Advantages of Omnichannel Communication
Hold up a sec. What’s the difference between omnichannel marketing and omnichannel communication?
These two terms refer to much the same process initially: achieving a presence on multiple channels and integrating them into the buyer’s journey. However, their paths diverge at a critical point which is where the focus shifts from simply engaging a potential customer to communicating with them.
Here’s what that looks like:
Maria wants to buy her child a gaming console for his birthday, and she’s been on the lookout for a few weeks for the best option. A few ads have popped up in her Facebook feed based on her online search history, and she remembers seeing a digital ad while out at the mall recently. After a couple more online searches, she finds what she’s looking for and adds it to her cart.
So far, it’s clear that omnichannel marketing is at play. Maria has performed mobile online searches, has received information about the product on her social channel, and sees digital display ads. Now she’s sitting at her laptop with her credit card in hand.
What happens next?
The website throws up an error, and she can’t continue with her purchase. She calls the helpline at the bottom of the page and is placed on hold. Eventually, when her call is answered, the polite but pointless customer service rep can’t see what went wrong, doesn’t know who she is, and encourages her just to keep trying.
Let’s pause here for a moment. Omnichannel marketing has done its job and got Maria to the checkout. But, and here’s the kicker, there was no sale.
Omnichannel communication differs in that when Maria’s purchase request failed, a diligent agent received an alert and immediately picked up the phone, called her, used her name, and commented on the product that she was trying to buy.
He saw on the dashboard that Maria was a great customer with a good purchase history. He talked Maria through the problem and sent her a discount code, assuring her that the problem was sorted and completing her purchase. He then followed up after the delivery to make sure she was happy with her product.
It doesn’t take a brainiac to see the difference here.
Unpacking Omnichannel Communication
Omnichannel communication puts the customer front and centre. Not only can they view or make purchases from their phone, desktop, laptop, retail outlet, or social platform, but they can effectively communicate with you on all these channels.
At a minimum, businesses must provide a manned telephone number to assist customers. But today’s online audience wants far more than that.
They want to communicate with you on their terms.
Millennials don’t like calling people.
Boomers don’t like texting.
Gen Z doesn’t know what they like.
So, to keep all your customers happy all the time, you need to be present on all the communication channels they want and use.
Today’s shoppers know that they possess that all-important buying power and that there is a dozen more of what you sell available with just a few clicks of a mouse.
They want answers, they want excellent service, and they want it right now, on whichever channel they’re on.
If you’re lamenting the fact that this sounds like a whole lot of work, trust us when we say the benefits are so worth it.
Imagine you’re lost in cyberspace, and a reassuring voice says to you, “Hi Maria, I see you’re having trouble with your purchase. How can I help?” Isn’t that a hundred times better than waiting on a call centre agent who doesn’t know who you are or what your problem is?
Omnichannel communication means that your team has access to all the information that they need to assist each valuable customer, no matter where they are in their journey.
Integrating the right tools for your business allows your team to react to the same real-time information, no matter who picks up the phone.
This unified communication makes your customer happy and sets you up as a professional organisation with its finger on the pulse.
We are all acutely aware of the cost of gaining a new customer versus retaining existing buyers, right?
A happy customer is not going anywhere fast.
We all appreciate that things go wrong; websites fall over, and payment gateways collapse in the middle of your purchase. Nevertheless, when you have someone who knows what they’re doing and has all their facts in front of them, we tend to be a lot more forgiving, don’t you agree?
Add to this the fact that your sales and service team don’t have to start from ground zero every time they pick up the phone.
Having access to the customer’s history and other online activities improves efficiency and will undoubtedly make your staff happier, far more efficient, and more productive.
User-friendly Messaging Platforms
SMS is falling behind other messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and FB Messenger, to name a few.
These apps offer features such as read notifications, location sharing, and super-fast media sharing. They are secure and integrate beautifully into multiple CRM and eCommerce systems.
Something else to consider is that when customers see that they can contact you on email, telephone, SMS, WhatsApp, website contact form, and live chat, it offers a level of trust. They know that you’re going to be there for them if things go south.
Flexibility and Convenience
We’re all busy, and we know the frustration of getting halfway through a task and having to abandon it for something more urgent.
Our customers are the same, so let’s cut them some slack.
Keep their live chats open if you need to, call them back when it’s convenient for them, refer to previous messages if it helps – just use the tech available to make their lives simple.
Knowledge is power. All the information you’re storing on your cloud systems on customer buying habits, preferences, questions, and pretty much everything else is worth its weight in gold!
This information in the right hands will lead you to better marketing campaigns, more targeted audience selection, a different product choice, revised opening hours, and all the other preferences that your audience desires.
What Our Customers are Saying About Mobile Service Cloud
There’s so much more to add to the topic of outstanding customer communication.
However, we’d like to leave that to our customers who have made the wise choice to work with our Mobile Service Cloud software and move into conversational commerce.
Katharine Neill, Marketing Manager at Skin Renewal says,
"Technology is only valuable when it enables one to communicate to a customer in the way that they chose to be communicated with. We have found increased engagement with our customer and patient base through using this channel effectively."
Travys Wilkins, CEO at CompareGuru has this to say about Mobile Service Cloud,
"Since we went live with Mobile Service Cloud, we have seen that we lowered the barrier for our clients to reach out to us, our response rates and the first-time response rate has improved. In line with our general process automation, we had been searching for a communications partner that would be able to assist us in streamlining and enhancing our customer journeys. CM.com has been invaluable to the way we now communicate with our existing and prospective clients, decreasing human error and improving our contractibility by 20 and 30% respectively."
We firmly believe in using the formidable power of today’s tech to reach more people, provide better service, and create a happy and loyal customer base. Our mission is to turn any conversation into a conversion.
Empower your marketing, sales, and customer service with our Communications Platform. Respond to the customers' need for real-time and personal contact with businesses and automate and personalise all customer interactions through their favourite mobile channels.
We know that these systems can only benefit your business, and we’re all about sharing the joy. Please request a call back from our team.