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Customer Service Industry Trends 2024 

Dig deep into five customer service predictions that are expected to have a lasting and powerful impact far beyond the year. 

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What are the Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service?

As consumer shift from the traditional customer service channels of phone and email towards newer digital channels, organizations are finding that they need to be available in more places, all at once. Live chat, social media, and SMS have all become popular customer service channels, and organizations need to keep up or be left behind. Omnichannel customer service platforms are making this transition easy, as they connect every digital channel together in one place. 

We recently explained what omnichannel customer service is, and with omnichannel becoming an essential tool in customer service, it’s worth a deeper look here. In this article, we’ll explain why omnichannel customer service is now the only way organizations can provide the experience that today’s consumers expect. 

Read on for the top benefits of omnichannel customer service software. 

1. Give customers the choice they demand 

The first benefit of omnichannel we’re looking at is crucial to understanding the modern customer experience. Today’s customers want to reach out using whatever channel is most convenient, and then switch as necessary without a disruption to service. One study found that 78% of consumers use multiple methods of communication to start and complete a transaction. 

In practice, this could look like a customer reaching out on social media by publicly messaging a brand’s official page. These kinds of interactions have been common for years, and customers will reach out to an organization’s social media page if that’s where they’re most active. Depending on the kind of request, an organization may need to move customer support away from public eyes to a private channel, and now the support request has changed channels out of necessity. 

Whether moving a public request to direct messages on the same social platform or to another channel like email, omnichannel allows organizations to maintain continuity and keep a conversation going. Through a unified omnichannel console, agents won’t need to start over by asking a customer’s information. Instead, omnichannel allows agents to pick up exactly where they left off without missing details, and without the agent losing time searching previous records for information. 

To capture these new kinds of channel interactions, in 2021, 48% of organizations diversified the channels they support to reach customers. Without omnichannel in place, however, supporting a variety of channels can lead to siloed customer information and stilted interactions. This brings us to the next of our benefits of omnichannel customer service, the efficiency. 

2. Increase agent efficiency  

While it’s possible to offer a variety of channels without omnichannel customer service software, this causes huge issues for both agents and customers. Agents will need to juggle open windows with a variety of conversations and can easily miss incoming requests. When customers do wish to switch channels, it can be difficult for the agent on the other end to keep track of ongoing conversations, or to ensure that the same agent is also monitoring the new channel. For customers, that means frustration as they start from the beginning with each new channel and each new agent. 

An omnichannel customer service platform makes this process a breeze by connecting every channel into one unified platform. Agent efficiency is improved as they can stay in a single console and receive every incoming request. Customer history is also persistent between channels so that the same agent that begins handling a request on one channel can seamlessly finish the request on another channel. The customer only sees faster, more accurate service. Customers now use an average of nine different channels to communicate with companies, so these processes need to be seamless. 

By connecting every channel together, omnichannel support is also cost-effective, allowing agents to do more with less. While handling multiple channels can traditionally require additional agents to keep an eye on each channel, omnichannel customer service allows a single agent to handle multiple channels concurrently with ease. 

With omnichannel customer service software doing the heavy lifting, organizations can also easily support new channels as they emerge. This allows organizations to be flexible and suit all customer preferences. Availability across a wide variety of platforms can increase customer engagement and generate increased sales as organizations grow their presence online. Improved digital access compared to competitors is also a compelling reason for customers to remain loyal. Greater channel access ultimately improves the customer service experience, which brings us to the next of our benefits of omnichannel customer service. 

3. Improve the customer service experience 

With every channel connected, customer service agents are better equipped to provide the best possible customer service experience. This is good for customers and organizations alike as 80% of consumers say that they “would be more loyal to a brand that showed they really understood me and what I was looking for.” With the data collected through omnichannel, organizations can provide customers the ultimate in personalized customer service. 

For an e-commerce site, personalized service with omnichannel could mean that an agent has access to a customer’s purchase history before they even reach out. Navigation history of your site could allow an agent to understand what a customer is looking for and even send a proactive chat to help guide them. If the customer has a history of purchasing shoes from a clothing brand, an agent could use this knowledge to share a temporary discount code to prompt another sale. 

The powerful of omnichannel support is that each connected channel also brings with it a new wealth of information for agents to draw from. With a CRM connected, personalized customer support can be taken even further, as agents draw from notes and details about client location, background, organization size, and more. If new information needs to be added to the CRM, agents can even make the updates from right inside the agent console. 

Because omnichannel consolidates all channels into a single platform, when a customer reaches out, they aren’t left waiting for an agent response. With all channels monitored at once, agents can respond quickly and provide faster responses. Also speeding up agent responses are the agent tools that we’ll look at in the last of our benefits of omnichannel customer service. 

4. Improve the agent experience 

Customer service is difficult work, and organizations need to invest in agents to retain talent. As turnover rates for agents remain in the 30-45% range, organizations today are beginning to consider the agent experience just as much as the customer experience. Thankfully, omnichannel customer service software supports a variety of features and tools that can help to ease the burden on agents, reducing the repetitive nature of work and giving agents more ways to focus on more fulfilling tasks. 

Introducing automation to omnichannel starts with features like canned messages that can speed the work of agents and reduce the repetitive nature of customer service. Canned messages can be set by a team or individual to reduce typing with standardized messages that quickly resolve common issues. If agents want to make canned messages their own, they can quickly edit individual messages to add personality. An integrated knowledge base is another way that omnichannel can improve the agent experience. Instead of retyping instructions repeatedly, easy access to a knowledge base allows agents to quickly link customers to a more thorough explanation. 

For a fully automated solution that works alongside agents to reduce repetitive requests, organizations can introduce a chatbot to the omnichannel customer service environment. When integrated with omnichannel software, a chatbot can offload as much as 91% of common requests without agent intervention, 24/7. With the chatbot handling the simple requests, support volumes are reduced so that agents can focus on high value and challenging queries that will keep work more rewarding and interesting. With agent assist, bots can even work alongside agents to provide quick answers from the knowledge base, canned messages, or chatbot intents. 

Wrap Up 

Comm100 is a global provider of digital omnichannel customer engagement software for education, government and commercial organizations of all sizes. With Comm100, organizations can provide excellent digital customer experiences through configurable, value-driven live chat, secure messaging, AI powered bots and automation within one integrated platform. Here’s what one of Comm100’s customers, Thompson Rivers University, had to say: 

“Everybody has their preferred way of communicating. Some people want to reach out via live chat, some social media, and others via email. The beauty of Comm100 is that every channel can be connected into one platform so we can connect with and support more students, more efficiently.” 

To learn how Comm100 can benefit your customer service operations, contact Comm100 today for a personalized demo. 

Kate Rogerson

About Kate Rogerson

Kate is the Content Marketing Manager at Comm100. She has extensive experience in content creation for technology companies across the world, including the UK, Australia and Canada. She specializes in B2B messaging, branding and soccer trivia.