Multi-Channel Communication: The All-In-One Solution for Communicating with the Same Customer
The Internet simplified communication and, at the same time, overcomplicated it, too. Every business needs to have a social media presence, but there are so many channels to choose from: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the list goes on. Apart from that, we’ve got traditional emails and on-site chats to communicate with each other.
Social media business pages need strong content that viewers will like and share, and also they need to have a messaging system that connects multiple channels into one network.
When you have a client who is talking to you via multiple channels, your customer service representatives may have a hard time reaching them. If a customer messages on Facebook and then continues that conversation on Instagram, your agents only get half the info if they’re looking at one of the messengers.
Ultimately, you just wish you could combine the chats in one and get the entire picture.
Communication Channels Are Always Changing
Think about how much communication between a customer and a service rep has changed in the past 20 years. Before the Internet, we talked to merchants in-person or called them on the phone. Some sent faxes and even wrote letters. But if you wanted a quick response, there weren’t many options.
Then, the Internet came along. In the beginning, all you had was an email address, usually connected to a “contact us” box on the business’s website. On rare occasions, there was an option to chat with a representative.
Then Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, WhatsApp, Instagram, FourSquare, and a bunch of other social media platforms came into play. Nowadays, if your customer is a Millennial or Gen Z, they are probably using all of the above.
Members of the Gen Z are more likely than ever to end a conversation if their call or message isn’t answered right away, according to BusinessWire.
Born after 1997, they are the generation that has been raised on fast Internet. So when a customer service representative struggles to pull up their conversation or find context for an abandoned chat on a different app, his customer is being distracted by something else. In the battle for attention, every second counts.
Omnichannel Support is Vital
It’s not just about having multiple channels; it’s about omnichannel. The idea behind the omnichannel network suggests that every aspect of customer service consolidates in one omnipresent way. From phone conversations to social media chats, everything needs to be available in one place so that customer service reps can understand what their clients need.
No one likes repeating themselves.
According to Small Business UK, in the UK, 75 percent of customers loathe repeating themselves, be it offline or online, and it’s a safe bet that this applies worldwide. Have you ever told someone about a problem, and they just ignored it, or kept asking you to repeat it? Even the most patient person’s fuse shrinks with every repeat.
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How Multi-Channel Communication Helps
Having a multi-channel communication system in place will help relieve pain points that people on both sides of the e-commerce market may experience. From a business owner to a customer, here’s how multi-channel communication benefits everyone.
As a business owner, you have a lot of concerns, and the biggest one is losing profit. There are many reasons why a business may wind up in the red, but the two biggest ones are time-wasting and poor customer experience.
Not having a multichannel communication system can make some customers feel like they’re dealing with bad customer service.
According to Forbes, lousy customer service is responsible for over $75 billion in lost sales.
The client is frustrated; no one listens. The agent spends time piecing together what the customer wants when they could be making another sale. In the end, the customer just gives up. For a small or medium enterprise (SME) having multi-channel communication may make or break their business. While the cost and training is an investment, if your business relies on communication, it’s worth it.
As a customer service agent, you have to deal with stress and pressure from all sides. When the customer feels like they aren’t being heard, you’re to blame. The system you work with may cause a loss in productivity, and you may end up receiving a reprimand.
Working in customer service can be a challenge towards one’s mental health, and a multichannel communication system can help.
Once you don’t have to spend extra time finding a customer’s chat log or playing phone tag with another agent who may have the customer’s conversation, you’ll gain a lot of time. Daily tasks would feel much more rewarding as you’re able to help people and make sales, and soon, you could find yourself moving on up.
Finally, we get to the customer. Today’s customer is someone who is always on the go and may use all kinds of platforms. At home, they may communicate through email, and while they’re out, they may find it easier to use Messenger.
However, they can lose interest quickly if the merchant they talk to don’t understand their needs and takes too long to respond. By interacting with a business that uses an efficient multichannel communication system, the customer doesn’t have to explain themselves over and over again. They can use whatever platform they feel like at the moment and get fast and helpful answers. As a result, the merchant may get a new regular client.
The Bottom Line
Multi-channel communication is beneficial for everyone, and SMEs will need this going forward into the 2020s. Nowadays, most communication tools do have multi-channel options, and businesses that don’t use them are missing out.
If you’re considering a multi-channel tool, you’re on the right way. It saves money for the business owner, streamlines conversations for the agent, and the customer closes the chat with a smile.
So why don’t you look at your customer service communication method? Is it missing multiple channels? Even if your business is tiny, having one is vital for maintaining your profitability and growth. You never know when that business boom will happen, and you always need to be prepared.
Find the multi-channel tool that’s right for you, and soon you’ll be amazed how you lived without it.
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