When it comes to serving customers effectively and efficiently, an omnichannel approach is regarded as the best for more reasons than one – smooth communication, ease of transition, less wait time are just a few.
An omnichannel service allows businesses to form a secure communication system for customers to reach however they please. This could mean calls, emails, social media, chatbots, and more.
But what’s the best thing about omnichannel communication?
It doesn’t just allow multiple avenues for contacting the firm. Rather, it provides a unified and coordinated set of platforms for business communications. If a customer reaches out via their preferred channel, all their information gets synced for the business agents, regardless of the channel they are handling.
For example, if a client contacted the business via a chatbot on the website, and later in the day, decides to call an agent on the helpline, they will not have to submit their personal and query details all over again. Instead, all the information will be in one place, making it easier for the next agent to serve them better.
One of the most sought after benefits of such an arrangement is the ease of switching modes and smoothly transitioning between various channels of communication.
Being available for your customers on almost all possible platforms, round the clock, shows your reliability. You’re able to resolve their issues swiftly, seamlessly and effectively, while maintaining a continuous flow of conversation.
While an omnichannel approach is tried and tested for retaining customers, it is also dynamic and constantly evolving. And if 2020 has proved anything, it’s that change is the only constant.
As the pandemic continues, businesses have come up with newer and smarter ideas to cope. These changes, however, are here for the long haul and not likely to disappear quickly.
Here are 4 omnichannel trends that you should keep an eye out for in 2021:
1) Emphasis on the human element
If there’s anything that has been lacking this year, it’s human interaction. In an attempt to understand customers better during the new normal or remote work, businesses are focusing more on building and developing a long term relationship with their clientele.
According to a Harvard Business Review report, ‘Research across hundreds of brands in dozens of categories shows that it’s possible to rigorously measure and strategically target the feelings that drive customers’ behavior. We call them “emotional motivators”.’
Known to generate brand loyalty and drive sales up, businesses definitely profit with this communication strategy. Keeping the ‘emotional motivators’ in mind, if firms can humanize more touchpoints across their communication channels, they’re bound to build stronger relationships with customers.
Companies need to undertake more technology-driven initiatives while retaining the human element. It’s time for businesses to renew their strategies in terms of hyper-personalization, data customization, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven machine learning.
2) Seamless transition
Let’s say a customer has to buy a book and they head to a bookstore. They will easily be able to touch and feel the hardcopies and obtain all the necessary information before buying the book.
Some may even chat up fellow readers or the store owner to ask about reviews and opinions on the book. Similarly, they can also look at other works from the same author or ones in a similar genre.
Now if we compare this to cloud communications, how will this work for online solutions in an omnichannel approach? Well, businesses aim to make the transitions easier for customers to switch and interact between channels.
If they are looking at one thing on their mobile phone, they should easily be able to land on the same information—and probably a step ahead—on any other medium that they choose to communicate on.
3) Shop-able social media and channels
The power of social media has been emphasized time and again. Building a successful social media customer base is an effective business tactic. And if this power is harnessed tactfully, then its benefits are paramount.
Let’s say your customers come across a video about one of the retail products and wish to inquire about pricing, validity and other associated costs. They might not want to straight-up call your helpline to get the details. Your social media handle should be equipped enough for it to lead from the engagement stage to a successful sale stage.
Provisions for all information of the products, clickable links with successful redirection to the actual sales page, along with other factors will make up for a lot of missed opportunities. The term shop-able social media is self-explanatory. And in 2021, businesses will aim to reap as many benefits as possible, especially out of social media.
4) Mobile integration
Owing to the transition to a remote lifestyle during the pandemic, the whole world has been glued to their phones constantly. As a result, people are getting increasingly comfortable with the technologies. Need veggies? Tap on your screen. Want to hear the latest news? All essential headlines are right at your fingertips.
Considering how handy mobile phones have become, customers are also looking for services that they can avail on the go. They will look at more things that they can do from their phone, like availing solutions via texts, emails and chatbots.
According to a report by Statista, ‘Worldwide, e-commerce growth is primarily being driven by customers using their mobile devices, phones and tablets, to acquire goods and services.’
With more time spent on the phone, there is more engagement and it presents itself as a golden opportunity for businesses to tap into. A lot of businesses already have WhatsApp accounts to resolve customer queries or provide solutions swiftly and this network will only grow bigger in the coming year.
According to another report, ‘the average user spent 27% of daily waking hours, or 4.3 hours, on their mobile device in April 2020—up 20% from 2019.’ The same report also states, ‘According to CCW Digital research, more than 82% of consumers are now open to using chat technology—including mobile chat apps such as Viber, Facebook Messenger, Apple Businesses Chat, and of course, WhatsApp.’
Hence, it is evidently clear that people are doing more with their device. Businesses will soon integrate all their channels into a more mobile-friendly version.
2021 is going to be huge for businesses across the globe. The world is reeling from a pandemic. A lot of businesses are on the edge and are constantly thinking of new and innovative ideas to serve their customers better.
In the foreseeable future, a more digital-based approach will be preferred, both by consumers and businesses. As people are getting more comfortable with technology, it is opening up new avenues for businesses to reach out to their customers. And 2021 will be the year when technological advancements will be at their peak. Look out for the next big thing, for it might just be around the corner.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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