In the realm of excellent customer service management (CSM), one crucial factor for success lies in providing customers with accessible and relevant channels to reach out to you. There are various approaches to achieving this, with two standout strategies being "multichannel" and "omnichannel." In this blog post, we will delve into both terms, highlighting why the former is often preferable in many customer service contexts. Furthermore, we will explore the untapped potential that lies within modern messaging apps, offering exciting possibilities for customer service enhancement.
What does "multichannel" mean?
Multichannel strategies are all about providing your customers with multiple avenues to access your customer service. For example, imagine your service center is available by phone, email, and chat. This means you have three distinct channels through which customers can reach out to address their concerns. Each channel operates independently, with its own focus and regulation. This sets it apart from omnichannel strategies, which involve different integration approaches for the various channels.
Multichannel vs. omnichannel
Currently, omnichannel services are considered successful due to the sheer number of possible channels available. While multichannel strategies treat each channel as separate entities, omnichannel strategies focus on integrating and aligning all channels in a systematic manner. The main objective is to create comprehensive customer histories that capture information about when and how customers reach out through different channels. This allows for a more detailed analysis of the customer journey.
At first glance, it may seem like omnichannel strategies are the superior choice. However, the complexity of integrating and aligning channels and processes can sometimes lead to a lack of customer orientation. The interlocking and integration of processes can potentially compromise the quality of service provided to customers through each channel. For many companies, particularly in the B2B environment, a selective and specialized multichannel strategy can make a significant difference. The channel mix should be determined based on the preferences of the target audience, rather than the other way around. It is important not to overlook changes in people's media usage behavior when designing service offerings.
Choosing and implementing the right strategy is the path to success in customer service
To truly understand and cater to your customers, it's essential for a company to align itself with their behavior. This means staying updated on the latest trends and developments in the market. Let's take a closer look at some of the current factors shaping customer preferences:
1. Mobile boom: With the number of smartphones set to surpass the global population, it's clear that mobile devices are becoming an integral part of everyone's lives.
2. Generation Messenger: Traditional communication methods like phone calls and emails are being replaced by messaging apps. This is the preferred mode of communication for many, especially the younger generation.
3. Time factor: In today's fast-paced world, everything needs to happen quickly. Customers have become more impatient than ever, expecting instant responses and solutions.
4. Individuality: People now expect personalized products and services tailored to their specific needs and preferences. One-size-fits-all approaches are no longer sufficient.
5. Convenience: Thanks to technological advancements, customers can now accomplish tasks from anywhere, at any time, with just a few clicks. Convenience has become a top priority.
Given these trends, it's important to question whether traditional processes such as service hotlines, contact forms, and even email are still keeping up.
Benefits of messaging in customer service
Considering the aforementioned trends and advancements, it's crucial for companies to address these realities and understand the role that messaging can play in their omnichannel or multichannel strategy:
- By utilizing smartphones, companies can be conveniently accessible to customers, right in their pockets and handbags. This level of proximity allows for a deeper connection with customers.
- Messenger-based communication offers greater efficiency compared to traditional channels. Unlike phone calls where only one customer can be assisted at a time, messenger communication allows for asynchronous conversations with multiple customers simultaneously. This enables faster problem-solving, eliminates queues, and ensures prompt responses.
- The convenience of messaging is also evident in how quickly messages can be composed and accompanied by relevant files. For instance, if a customer receives an excessively high bill, they can quickly take a photo, attach it to a message, and provide a comment. Within 1-2 minutes, their request is submitted, avoiding the frustration of waiting on hold.
- Messaging provides a secure and private one-on-one channel. Unlike public social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, detailed clarifications can be made without any limitations. Moreover, personal data can be exchanged in a privacy-compliant manner, ensuring the protection of sensitive information.
When implementing a multichannel strategy for customer service management, it's important to recognize the "low-risk high-reward" potential of expert Messenger support. This can greatly enhance the customer experience and deliver significant benefits to companies.
Regardless of whether you opt for a multichannel or omnichannel approach, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of your customers' data and needs. For companies considering the development of new services or the expansion of existing ones, it is imperative to give messaging services special attention. These services not only have the potential to inspire your target audience and employees, but they also offer numerous other significant advantages. Additionally, implementing official messaging solutions can prevent the unauthorized use of private messengers (shadow IT), thus minimizing potential risks. Moreover, the increased specialization of the Customer Service Manager can boost productivity and reduce costs per customer case, making it a wise investment.