A customer calls your customer service line. While on hold, he fires off an email and opens up a support ticket through your website. Before a customer support rep can get back to him, he’s tweeting at you, or posting on your Facebook wall, or both. Each one of these interactions shows up in your system as a separate ticket, even though they’re all from the same customer and related to the same issue. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Duplicated support requests like these happen all the time, and are a major cause of wasted resources for customer support (CS) teams, who often have no way to know that all these support tickets are related unless they manually flag them. That can be a time-consuming process, but it’s better than having your reps chasing after open tickets that have already been solved elsewhere.
Chatbots can be an important part of your strategy for curbing this sort of customer behavior. A good chatbot will eliminate the downtime that results in a customer reaching out across multiple channels. But just adding a chatbot to your strategy isn’t enough, and can give customers yet another way to add repeated support requests to your system. What’s needed is a holistic, omnichannel view of your customers powered by artificial intelligence to cut down on the amount of time your team spends manually connecting the dots between different communications from the same customers. This will significantly streamline your support strategy, make your CS team more efficient, and unlock some incredible data-driven insights into your audience.
Consolidating your communications channels onto a single platform makes communication easier for everyone. Instead of monitoring separate inboxes and notification centers, they’ll be able to read and respond to customer comments through one dashboard. This has obvious benefits for your CS team, and to the CS experience as a whole. If a customer emails your support team with a question and then follows up with a call, your team will easily be able to reference his or her previous email instead of having the customer re-explain the issue. You’ll be able to track their customer support journey across whatever channels they choose and whichever reps they speak with, creating a seamless experience.
A unified communications strategy also opens up a number of omnichannel marketing opportunities that might otherwise be too difficult to implement. For example, you could augment your email drip campaign with targeted text and/or social messages to build a cohesive strategy across several channels. As you gain insight into customer behavior through the data you collect, you’ll be able to adjust your marketing strategies to focus on the channels with the best ROI. According to data from the Harvard Business Review, omnichannel customers spend 4% more in-store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. And Google reports that up to 85% of online purchases start on one device and finish on another, which underscores the importance of an omnichannel strategy that can meet your customer where they are.
Uniting your communications into one cohesive strategy will let you start gathering data to create a more robust view of your audience. You’ll not only develop an understanding about how to best communicate with your audience, you’ll be able to perform predictive analyses to help with everything from customized marketing offers to inventory management. Having all of your communications channels connected in one place means that you can start creating robust, 360-degree views of your individual audience members, and strategizing how to target them in new and innovative ways.
And the best part? Implementing an omnichannel communications strategy doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, if you’re already using a quality chatbot service there’s a good chance that your omnichannel infrastructure is already in place. And if not – then it’s probably time to find yourself a new chatbot.