Part of any successful digital program is learning and communicating best practices. Here are three digital omnichannel best practices that your agents should follow when engaging with customers whether they are a VIP or a first-time inquirer:
1. Use the entire customer journey to inform interactions
One of the key features of digital omnichannel is that agents can see the entire digital customer journey in front of them. One of the ways agents can make use of this information is personalization. Agents should address customers by name and reference past correspondence as needed. For example, “Hi Sarah! I see you spoke with Jason about this issue on Monday.” This shows consistency and lets the customer know right away that they won’t have to repeat themselves and that you understand, which helps build confidence and loyalty.
Agents can also use the customer journey, CRM, and web activity including shopping cart data to inform upselling and cross-selling initiatives in real-time.
2. Let the customer guide the experience (stay on their preferred channel)
Unless instructed otherwise, agents should always respond to customers on the same channel as the original inbound request. After all, the whole point of digital omnichannel is to make customer interactions a seamless, not aggregate effort. Some situations where it may be appropriate to switch channels are:
Switching from a public platform to private secure messaging. This channel switch might be appropriate if a customer has reached out publicly on social media about
a matter that’s private or that will involve you asking for personal data as a form of identity verification. In this case, your agent may need to switch to a one-on-one private platform, whether that be via direct messaging on the same social platform or switching to SMS, live chat, or email. If this type of switch has to happen, the agent should inform the customer publicly that the switch will take place, then initiate the private chat so the customer doesn’t have to reach out a second time.
Switching from live chat to video chat. Some customers will be happy to oblige in video chat, where others may prefer faceless contact. Ask your customer what they would prefer so they are not caught off guard by an incoming video call. Invite your customer to engage in a video or audio chat as an added value offer, not to uproot or inconvenience them.
Switching from a chatbot to an agent. If a customer asks to switch from a chatbot to an agent, always grant this request whenever there is an agent available. This doesn’t have to involve channel switching, and your agents will already have any data collected by the chatbot about the query at the ready so the conversation can continue without disruption.
If there are no agents available, program the chatbot to let the customer know that they have notified an agent and they will respond as soon as they can. When that happens, ask if the channel they first reached out on still works for them. For example, if a customer is live chatting with a chatbot, they might prefer to hear back from the agent later over email or SMS text.
3. Follow up with key customers
Digital omnichannel empowers agents to follow up on particular customers’ queries on an as-needed basis. Schedule an automated follow-up or reengage with specific customers and VIPs as needed when they come online. For example, if a customer reaches out to your company complaining that their order was damaged in shipping not once but twice, the agent can submit a replacement order and schedule a follow-up in a week to make sure that the customer received their order intact this time. This is where proactive engagement can feel useful, not intrusive!