In this day and age, if you aren't able to quickly give your customers the help they need, when they're asking for it, you won't be able to keep their business for long.
If I’m put on hold for an hour with a bank after not receiving a response to my email, I might just hang up and consider switching providers because of the abysmal service.
HubSpot Research found that unified (and omnichannel) communication increases customer satisfaction, front-line employee productivity, and makes it easier for customers to get the help they need -- and prefer – to be helped.
We discuss what it takes to create winning omnichannel support, with expert quotes and a handy infographic along the way.
Components of Omnichannel Support
Understand the Concept of Omnichannel Support
Omnichannel support goes beyond multi-channel support. It focuses on creating a unified experience where customers can seamlessly transition between channels without compromising the continuity of their interaction.
“Omnichannel support gives you more flexibility when solving problems. Sometimes a customer’s problem can’t be solved over social media, but a quick phone call can do the trick," says Clint Fontanella, HubSpot Service Blog Editor and a service team alum.
"By having omni-channel support options, you can quickly transfer the customer to the channel that is most ideal for your team,” Fontanella adds
What does this look like to the customer? If I have a question about a product I want to buy, I might use a live chat service. But if that live chat ends and I have follow up questions, I’d like to be able to continue the conversation through email, for example.
The key lies in adopting a customer-centric approach and aligning all channels to deliver consistent information, assistance, and personalized experiences.
Map the Customer Journey
Start by mapping the customer journey across various touchpoints – including email, phone, chat, social media, and self-service portals. Identify pain points, bottlenecks, and opportunities to create a seamless experience. By visualizing the customer journey, you can pinpoint gaps, align resources, and ensure a consistent approach across all channels.
Adopt the Right Tools
Invest in a robust customer relationship management (CRM) system that integrates all your support channels. A central CRM helps agents access customer information, interaction history, and preferences in real-time. This allows them to respond proactively, anticipate customer needs, and tailor interactions accordingly.
Additionally, consider implementing chatbots and AI-powered tools to automate routine queries, freeing up agents to handle more complex customer issues. “You don’t need to hire more reps to be present on more channels. Take advantage of chatbots, automatic operators, and other tools that can increase the bandwidth of your support team,” Fontanella says.
You can use HubSpot’s Omni-Channel Customer Service tool to provide customer support on live chat, email, Facebook, and more. This software also enables you to switch between channels.
Maintain Consistent Branding and Messaging
Maintain consistent branding and messaging across all support channels to reinforce your brand identity and build trust. Ensure that your website, knowledge base, emails, social media profiles, and chat interfaces reflect your brand's voice, style, and values. Consistency fosters customer recognition and strengthens their connection with your brand.
Empower Agents with Training and Tools
Equip your support agents with the training they need to handle queries across various channels efficiently. Develop guidelines for tone, language, and responsiveness specific to each channel. Investing in ongoing training and upskilling ensures agents are equipped to deliver consistent experiences and resolve customer issues promptly.
Leverage Data and Analytics
Use data and analytics to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points across channels. Analyze customer feedback, customer satisfaction scores, and commonly asked questions to optimize the support experience continually. Data-driven decision-making enables you to proactively identify areas for improvement and tailor your support strategies accordingly.
Break down communication silos and enable smooth channel integration. “Make sure you support channels are integrated with one another. You should be able to seamlessly transfer a customer from social media to your support line and eventually, you’re ticketing system,” Fontanella says. “That work should be done by your company, not the customer. No one wants to hang up the phone just to write an email or vice versa.”
Ensure that support conversations can move seamlessly across different channels at any point, with agents having access to complete interaction history. Customers should not have to repeat information or wait for issue resolution when switching channels. Instead, they should experience a unified conversation that picks up from where they left off.
Monitor and Iterate
Regularly monitor and measure your omnichannel support performance. Keep an eye on key metrics such as response time, first-contact resolutions, and customer satisfaction scores. Analyze customer feedback and engage directly with customers to gather insights for continual improvement. Iterate and optimize your support processes based on these insights, fostering a culture of ongoing enhancement.
In the infographic from Bold360 below, learn how to implement omni-channel customer support to help your parents the way they want to be helped.
Get Started With Delivering Omni-Channel Support
Delivering omnichannel support is not just a customer expectation; it is a strategic imperative for businesses that aim to build long-term relationships, foster loyalty, and stay ahead of the competition. By understanding the concept, mapping customer journeys, empowering agents, leveraging technology, and constantly iterating, businesses can master the art of omnichannel support, delivering exceptional experiences that drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately fuel business growth.
Get started with tools like HubSpot’s Omni-Channel Customer Service.