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What is Omnichannel Customer Support and Why It’s a Must in B2B

Paulina
Content Writer
January 29, 2024

Are your customers tired of getting mixed messages on different channels? Research reveals that 85% of customers look for consistent interactions, no matter how they reach out. Are you meeting these expectations?

Your customers are looking for a smooth, connected experience. So, now's the perfect time to enhance your B2B customer support by adopting an omnichannel support strategy.

What is omnichannel customer support?

Omnichannel customer support is about creating a unified experience across all your company's communication channels. It breaks down siloed conversations, blending phone, email, direct messaging platforms, live chat, and social media. 

But it’s not only about blending all these channels together. It’s about consolidating all customer data and history into a single point of truth. The purpose? To create a seamless and consistent experience for your customers.

Omnichannel support isn't just about chatting on different platforms. It's crafting a smooth journey, wherever you reach out. Picture this: you email, then call, and they catch your drift without a redo. That's the magic of omnichannel. It links up emails, calls, tweets, chats, and face-to-face. The idea? To give you steady help, no matter your contact method. It aims to ease your life and quick-fix your issues. Gone are the days of repeating your story with every switch. Everyone's tuned in, leading to smiles all around and snappier help.

So, when a customer switches from a chat on the web to an email or a phone call, the transition should be smooth. They shouldn’t repeat information; the context should already be there.

The Evolution of Customer Service to Omnichannel Support

Gone are the days of endless waits in line or endless loops of hold music. Now, we're in the age of omnichannel support. No longer limited to calls or in-person talks, customer service spans emails, socials, live chats, and apps. It's all about consistent service across all platforms. Picture shooting a tweet and getting a quick response, or diving into a website chat at midnight. Welcome to omnichannel support, making life easier by ensuring support is always within reach, whether via screen or phone. Businesses realize that varied contact methods are no longer a luxury but a need. This change embraces individual communication preferences, making sure no one's left out.

Omnichannel vs. multichannel customer support

It's easy to get omnichannel and multichannel customer support mixed up, as they both use multiple platforms for interacting with customers. However, these two approaches are quite distinct from each other.

Multichannel support uses various channels like email, phone, and web chat, but they operate in isolation. So, even though your business is reachable in many ways, the information isn't shared between these channels. This often leads to customers having to repeat their issues each time they switch channels.

Omnichannel support, on the other hand, offers a cohesive customer experience. All channels are interconnected and share information smoothly. This way, a customer can start a conversation on social media, switch to email, and finish over the phone without ever needing to repeat their story.

The Role of Technology in Omnichannel Support

In omnichannel support, technology isn't just helpful—it's the backbone. Think of it as the wizard behind the curtain, making everything run smoothly. First, there's the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. This is like the brain, keeping track of every customer's history, preferences, and interactions across all channels. Then, we have the communication channels themselves—email, live chat, social media, phone, and more. The trick is in seamlessly integrating these channels. That way, when you hop from a chat to a phone call, your info follows you, making the experience smooth. Automation, like chatbots, helps handle simple questions fast, freeing up humans for more complex issues. Finally, there's data analytics. It sifts through customer interactions to highlight trends, preferences, and areas that need improvement. Every tool and platform has one goal: to make your experience as a customer feel personal, easy, and connected, no matter how you choose to reach out.

Integrating Various Channels for a Unified Customer Experience

In our fast-paced world, customers connect in many ways - calls, emails, online chats, and social media posts. Businesses need to be there, across every channel. But being there isn't the whole game; the real trick is offering a smooth experience, wherever the chat kicks off or heads to. This seamless integration across channels? That's the heart of unifying customer experiences.

Firstly, ensure smooth info flow across channels. If someone emails then calls, the agent must know the email's content. This demands a clever system for real-time data sharing.

Keeping things consistent is crucial. This includes tone, solutions, or how we follow up. Making every interaction feel like it's part of one conversation builds trust and satisfaction.

Putting this into action can be tough. You need the proper tech, team training, and a strategy focused on customer priorities. But, the rewards are big. Customers appreciate being recognized and valued, resulting in greater loyalty and better feedback.

Bear in mind, blending channels goes beyond mere tech. It's about creating a seamless customer journey, making sure they never feel jolted or adrift. Each interaction should seamlessly blend into the next, like continuous steps on one path, all under your guiding hand.

Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Support for Businesses

Omnichannel customer support isn't just hype; it's a real game-changer for companies. Essentially, going omnichannel lets your customers reach out via email, phone, social media, or live chat, all while enjoying a smooth experience. Why should your business care? Well, for starters, it makes customers happier. Everyone likes options and dislikes repeating their stories. Omnichannel means they pick how they want to talk to you and get the same great service across the board, boosting their trust and loyalty to your brand. It also puts you ahead of the competition. Offering slick support shows you care about customer comfort, drawing in new folks and keeping the current ones happy. Plus, omnichannel support compiles data from every interaction, giving you a deep dive into what your customers want and need. This intel helps tailor your services, taking customer satisfaction up a notch. And it makes your operation run smoother. Linking all support channels lets your team see customer chats in one spot, speeding up replies and ramping up your support game. In short, swinging to an omnichannel strategy lifts up your customer service, sets you apart, gives you essential insights, and tightens up your business operations.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing Omnichannel Support

Delivering top-notch omnichannel support is akin to managing a relay race where every team member must precisely time and execute their handoff. The challenges are palpable, but so are the solutions. First and foremost, aligning your team and technology can seem like herding cats. Each channel, whether it is email, social media, or live chat, requires its unique approach, yet all must contribute to a cohesive customer experience. Addressing this begins with comprehensive training and a tech stack that seamlessly integrates, enabling your team to transition between channels without missing a beat.

Data silos next. They spell trouble for customer support, breaking up the customer experience. Tackle this by bringing in a CRM system. It acts as the sole go-to for information. With it, each customer interaction is noted and within reach, making support smooth and tailored for the customer.

Keeping up with customer expectations? Picture hitting a moving target. The online world changes fast, and customers want quick, smooth support everywhere. To stay ahead, always check your scores, ask for opinions, and be ready to adjust your plan. In the loyalty race, forget slow and steady. It's all about being quick and alert.

Best Practices for Delivering Exceptional Omnichannel Service

Nail omnichannel support by thinking like your customers do. They crave support that's quick, easy, and fluid, no matter the medium—email, phone, socials, or chat. Here's the playbook. Start with consistency. Match the tone, details, and service level everywhere. This cuts confusion and cements trust. Next, it's all about integration. Your systems should be chatty with each other. When customers shift from chat to email, their story follows. No repeats. Speed is crucial. Be swift to reply on every channel. A slow poke on social media is just as bad as a lagging email. Train your squad thoroughly. They've got to glide between channels, offering top-tier help wherever. And always be in evaluation mode. Identify what hits and what misses. Leverage data to keep refining. Follow these steps, and you're not just doing omnichannel; you're acing it.

Real-World Success Stories of Omnichannel Customer Support

Every business, no matter its size, understands the importance of exceptional customer service. Enter omnichannel customer support, a beacon in this realm. It offers customers a fluid experience, be it via phone, social media, or face-to-face interactions. This approach radically changes the game. We'll explore some concrete examples to illustrate this point.

Your Go-To Bank: This worldwide bank transformed its customer care by offering omnichannel support. Whether through their app, website, or in-person visits, customers received uniform, top-notch assistance. This improvement led to higher customer satisfaction and more new accounts, thanks to their renowned service.

Retailer Revolution: Imagine a scenario where you tweet at your favorite store about a product issue, and they reply immediately. Next, when you call customer support, they already know your issue and preferences without you repeating a word. This isn't a dream. A leading retail brand did just that, tying together social media interactions with their call center software. The result? Surge in customer loyalty and reduced frustration.

Traveling can sometimes be a hassle, but a well-known airline has made it easier with omnichannel support. Passengers can now adjust their flights, select seats, and report issues through various platforms, including the airline's app, website, or SMS. This seamless experience has made travelers feel appreciated, resulting in increased satisfaction and repeat business.

In these cases, brands really upped their support for customers. They got that in our quick-moving world, what really matters is making things easy, keeping them consistent, and showing real care. Having support available across all channels isn't just a tactic; it's about being committed to top-notch service at every point of interaction with customers. Taking this approach could be the smartest decision a business can make.

4 reasons you should implement omnichannel customer support

Omnichannel support is what today's customers expect from you, but this equally benefits you as a business. If your customers are satisfied, they will likely become loyal to your company, leading to higher revenue streams.

We all know how expensive customer acquisition costs can be, right? Omnichannel support gives you the best chance to retain customers. When executed effectively, it can be a decisive factor in why customers prefer your business over competitors.

1. Omnichannel support brings you closer to personalization

Omnichannel support seamlessly merges standard service with personalized experiences, truly living up to the idea that 'the customer is king.' Your aim is not just to meet but to exceed customer expectations in every interaction, particularly in customer service.

In today’s market, B2B customers crave the flexibility, convenience, and personalization they're familiar with in B2C transactions. Omnichannel support meets and enhances these expectations, offering deeper insights into customer preferences and behaviors. This enables you to create tailored interactions and solutions, strengthening customer trust and loyalty in a competitive business environment.

2. You can be ahead of the curve

Not everybody is doing omnichannel support. Whether it’s the resources that are holding them back or the lack of management buy-in, just 24% of businesses are investing successfully in omnichannel personalization. If you go ahead with this strategy, you can make strides and get ahead. Seamless customer service is one of the factors that customers look into before choosing a vendor.

By implementing this approach, you're keeping up with the growing customer expectations for seamless experiences and raising the bar in customer engagement. This proactive step in adopting omnichannel support can distinguish your business as a leader in customer-centricity, appealing to a market that values efficient and interconnected service.

3. Access to data-driven insights

You’ll find that omnichannel support systems collect a wealth of data from various touchpoints. When you analyze this data, it can offer invaluable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points.

As a B2B company, you can use these insights to refine your product offerings, customize your services, and make informed business decisions. For example, understanding your clients' most preferred communication channels and the common issues they face allows you to allocate your resources more effectively.

4. Leverage underutilized channels

This is a common occurrence in B2B customer service: companies often limit themselves to one or two channels for providing support, and that's it.

For example, while email is still a popular support channel, what if your customers are primarily using Slack?

With omnichannel support, you can tap into channels that your competitors might be neglecting. This approach achieves two key objectives: it ensures you aren’t wasting any potential touchpoints and maximizes your engagement opportunities.

Using Thena.ai for Omnichannel Customer Support

FeatureDescriptionThena.ai Benefit
Centralized Request ManagementManage customer inquiries from various channels (email, web chat, social media) within a unified platform in Slack.- Streamline workflows and eliminate the need to switch between multiple platforms. - Gain a holistic view of all customer interactions.
AI-powered Request RoutingLeverage Thena.ai's AI to automatically route inquiries to the most qualified support agent based on urgency, topic, and agent expertise.- Improve resolution times by matching customers with the right agent. - Reduce workload imbalance among support teams.
Real-time CollaborationCollaborate with colleagues directly within Slack threads on complex customer issues.- Facilitate faster problem-solving through internal discussions and knowledge sharing. - Improve team communication and accountability.
Contextual AwarenessThena.ai surfaces relevant customer information and past interactions within Slack, providing context for faster resolution.- Empower support agents to deliver personalized and efficient service. - Reduce the need for repetitive questioning and back-and-forth communication.
Automated WorkflowsSet up automated workflows to trigger specific actions based on pre-defined criteria (e.g., sending automated welcome messages, escalating high-priority tickets).- Reduce manual workload and ensure consistent service delivery. - Free up agent time to focus on more complex customer issues.
Sentiment AnalysisUtilize Thena.ai's sentiment analysis capabilities to identify customer frustrations and prioritize critical issues.- Proactively address negative customer sentiment and improve satisfaction. - Allocate resources effectively to handle urgent customer concerns.
CSAT SurveysSend automated CSAT surveys within Slack after each interaction to capture real-time customer feedback.- Gain valuable insights into customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. - Continuously monitor and improve the quality of customer support.
Omnichannel IntegrationsIntegrate Thena.ai with existing ticketing systems (Zendesk, Freshdesk) and knowledge bases to provide a seamless customer experience.- Consolidate customer data and streamline support processes across different channels. - Empower agents with easy access to relevant resources for faster resolutions.
Pre-built Templates & Knowledge Base IntegrationUtilize Thena.ai's library of pre-built response templates and integrate with your knowledge base for faster and more consistent responses.- Reduce agent training time and ensure consistent messaging across the team. - Empower agents to quickly access and share relevant knowledge base articles with customers.
Proactive Outreach & Self-ServiceLeverage Thena.ai to trigger proactive outreach based on customer behavior or identify opportunities for self-service through targeted knowledge base suggestions.- Reduce reactive support volume by addressing potential issues before they arise. - Empower customers to find solutions independently, improving self-sufficiency.
Internal Knowledge Sharing & GamificationEncourage knowledge sharing within the team by enabling agents to capture and share best practices directly within Slack. Implement gamification elements to incentivize knowledge sharing and continuous improvement.- Foster a culture of learning and collaboration within the support team. - Improve overall team knowledge and expertise, leading to better customer service.
Performance Analytics & ReportingGenerate comprehensive reports within Thena.ai to track key metrics like resolution times, CSAT scores, and agent performance.- Gain data-driven insights into the effectiveness of your support operations. - Identify areas for improvement and make strategic decisions to optimize customer support.

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The bottom line

In the B2B setting, where every conversation counts, omnichannel support is a relationship builder. It lets you show up for your customers and demonstrate that you truly care. After all, you want your customers to enjoy and succeed in using your products and services.

If you’re a B2B business that uses Slack for both internal and customer-focused communications via Slack Connect channels, you might want to explore Thena.

Thena offers a platform for managing customer engagement and support directly through Slack. It provides tools for omni-channel customer support, including request management, marketing automation, and integration with various ticketing systems and CRM tools.

The platform aims to streamline customer communication and support processes, particularly for B2B SaaS companies, by offering features like AI-powered request routing, analytics for customer insights, and integrations with services like Zendesk, Intercom, HubSpot, Salesforce, and Freshdesk.

Ready to deliver omnichannel engagement from Slack? Try Thena at no cost!

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