Providing your customers with an exceptional customer experience across all your selling and marketing channels is essential to building an efficient and profitable business. The ecommerce and shipping experts at ShipStation explain why omni-channel customer support should be a focus for your business in 2022 and beyond.
What is omni-channel customer support?
Over the last two decades, consumer shopping behaviour has changed dramatically with the rise of the internet and connected devices. If you’re reaching customers via a multitude of selling channels, providing support across all those channels is known as omni-channel support.
An example of this would be when a customer sees a product on Instagram and places an order. They then contact Live Chat via their PC the next day to enquire about the order. The customer expects a seamless transition from Instagram on their mobile to another device. Providing this will ultimately give the customer the exceptional experience they are looking for – and build your brand’s reputation simultaneously.
Why is omni-channel customer support important for my business?
The world of retail has evolved beyond only brick and mortar stores. While these are still a major part of how people buy goods, customers no longer want to be pigeonholed into one way to buy.
At one point in recent history, possessing a branded website to purchase from was enough for consumers, but this did produce flaws.
Brick and mortar stores that had websites often operated both as if they were separate businesses. They had their own stock, and if a customer purchased online, they couldn’t return those goods to their local physical store. Those days are now in the past. Here are a few ways integrating omni-channel support could help grow your business:
Exceptional customer experience
Today’s retailers have to cater to the wants and needs of their customers. Customers want the ability to shop when, where and how they want – and not be held back by businesses that silo their physical and online stores. Additionally, they want real-time responses to their queries, whether in-person, online or on a mobile device. Fulfilling these needs in a unified way will take your business from merely providing a service, to being a seamless omni-channel retailer.
Increased conversions and profitability
Delivering on customers’ expectations will ultimately increase their likelihood of purchasing from you. Customers often abandon their basket if they have questions and can’t find the answer to them. Implementing live chat, led by artificial intelligence, provides customers with those answers without the individual having to search for it – and the service is available 24/7.
Learn more from analytics
Implementing tagging across all your digital channels will provide invaluable insight into your customers’ behaviours. From social and live chat to forums, you’ll easily see the journey customers take from the initial point of interaction right through to purchase. These analytics can give insight into what is important to those visiting your channels and how you can optimise them to even greater benefit.
Be more cost efficient
Omni-channel support is a one-stop-shop for servicing your customers across multiple selling channels. This translates into fewer human customer service professionals needed to answer phones and digital communication. Implementing artificial intelligence for services like live chat or chatbots will relieve pressure on your customer service team. This will allow them to focus on more business-critical projects or complex issues which require human intervention. Additionally, it will increase job satisfaction, lowering turnover.
How can my business implement omni-channel customer support?
Omni-channel retailers will have a mix of ways customers can interact with them, including physical stores, online retail spaces, mobile applications, emails and social media. Seamlessly tying these together is achievable and can help ease the burdens off your teams whilst boosting customer satisfaction.
- Omni-channel order fulfilment and delivery – using software like ShipStation’s provides businesses with the ability to ship from store, batch orders together and easily deliver products to customers. With ShipStation, you also have functionality for instant customer updates throughout the delivery process, a must-have for today’s consumers.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – a CRM system provides valuable access to all customer data and manages customer accounts in one place across all channels.
- Analytics – capturing, sharing and evaluating data across all your selling channels will provide greater insight into needed optimisation and how to best serve your customer.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – implementing artificial intelligence has a myriad of benefits. From instant communications to giving customers the ability to ‘try before you buy’, AI can give your customers the shopping experience they want, setting you apart from the competition.
Ready to take your business to the next level with omni-channel customer support?
ShipStation allows your business to connect selling channels effortlessly, automatically importing your orders and supports over 100 stores, carts and marketplaces. Contact our team of ecommerce experts today to find out how we can help.