The Social Customer Service Blog

Stephan Delbos on March 7, 2016

The Omnichannel Checklist

Keeping up with incoming customer requests and complaints on all digital channels sometimes feels like trying to catch confetti. Ever done it? Not easy. 

"Omnichannel" is a word that keeps popping up in discussions about customer service, and that's a good thing. Being available for customers in more than one place is essential to providing efficient, responsive customer service. But we'd humbly suggest a shift in the way we understand omnichannel. 

Being truly omnichannel means so much more than just being available on different social networks. It's about being available to make real human connections with your customers, wherever they are, then developing relationships through repeated interactions.

At Brand Embassy, we want to help brands be better to their customers. So here's our omnichannel checklist, or four signs you're doing omnichannel right. 

You stay in the channel of customer preference

When someone asks for an apple you don't give them an orange. Staying in the channel your customer has used to get in touch with your brand is essential. If you're still replying to tweets or Facebook messages with requests for the customer to get in touch via email you're doing it wrong.

First thing's first, and that's to have a presence across all digital channels. Your customers are out there and they're talking about you, so make sure you're listening. It's also a good idea to have an array of talented people on your customer service team who are versatile in several different social media platforms.

How to make it happen: Grow your presence across all digital channels. Employ people who are good at communicating on different channels, from Facebook to LinkedIn, live chat to Snapchat.

It's easy for customers to contact you

You know that feeling when you need to get in touch with a brand, whether it's a restaurant or your internet provider, and you just can't find their contact details no matter where you look? Houston, we have a problem. If customers can't quickly and easily get in touch with you, frustration will be the result and that might lead to customers abandoning you.

I'm not saying that every brand needs to start a WhatsApp account tomorrow. It's about knowing how your customers feel and what they need. Don't give them the hassle of searching for contact details. Make sure you're active and readily available on all the channels where you have service connections. 

How to make it happen: Make sure your contact details are clear and present on your website as well as your social media accounts. Stay active on all your accounts and respond promptly when a customer gets in touch. 

Marketing doesn't handle social customer care

In the old days, the marketing department would handle any queries from customers that came in via social media. That's because people used to think of social media for business as a marketing tool and nothing more. But if you're doing omnichannel right, your customer care team should be taking care of social media. 

If you don't have a dedicated social customer service team, at least be sure that customer queries via social media are handled by your customer service agents. That's what they're there for, right?

How to make it happen: Shift the responsibility for social customer care from your marketing team to your customer service team, or assign a dedicated group for social customer care. 

In-store, digital, and call centers are connected

It's 2016, so we're calling for a totally new approach to omnichannel, one that means connections between brands and customers don't disappear when the customer goes offline. To reach true omnichannel perfection, your in-store employees should have instant access to customer data gathered by call centers and digital customer service.  

Wishful thinking? Maybe, but some companies, like Nordstrom and Virgin Atlantic, are already experimenting with this. Imagine if the employee helping you make a purchase in-store had instant access to your social media profiles and had a complete picture of your personality and desires from your past interactions with the brand. How cool would that be? That's exactly where we're heading.

We here at Brand Embassy are enthralled with the idea of taking omnichannel into the real world. Our customer excellence platform can help you be there for your customers, wherever they are. You'll be more connected and your customers will love you for it. Check out our website to learn more, or request a demo today. 

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