The use of digital communication in our everyday lives has never been more prevalent.
As a result, businesses across all industries are adopting the use of multiple channels to connect with their customers.
This is where the emergence of omnichannel messaging comes into play.
With this approach, all messaging apps are connected to enable smooth and consistent interactions throughout the customer journey.
You may be wondering what exactly is meant by omnichannel - is it worth implementing? How can it be used to benefit your brand?
Well, look no further. We’ve got the answers you need. In this article we’ll cover:
- The definition of omnichannel communication
- The distinction between omnichannel and multichannel strategies
- The benefits of omnichannel messaging
- The everyday use cases for omnichannel messaging
Let’s dive in.
What is omnichannel messaging?
The key aim of an omnichannel strategy is to provide a seamless, consistent and unified customer experience at every touchpoint.
This involves the integration of all your digital contact channels into one connected platform.
That way, a customer can start a conversation on one channel and then effortlessly continue that same conversation on a different channel, at any time.
Agents will have access to the entire interaction history, whatever touchpoints were used. This provides them with the full context of every customer journey.
In relation to messaging, omnichannel means delivering seamless and continuing customer conversations throughout all of your messaging platforms.
Omnichannel vs multichannel
When defining what is meant by omnichannel, it’s important to touch upon what differentiates omnichannel from a multichannel approach.
The distinction between these terms can understandably be a point of confusion.
So, to put it simply, if a business is multichannel this means that it uses more than one digital communication channel to market and interact with its customers.
But these multiple channels are not linked with one another. They’re individual entities, often managed by separate teams.
With a multichannel strategy, customer support and sales teams are not unified in how they converse with customers.
This lack of unity between teams and channels leads to customers receiving inconsistent brand experiences and disjointed interactions.
This is the key difference between multichannel and omnichannel. An omnichannel strategy allows all teams to access all customer interactions, from all touchpoints, in a single hub.
To exemplify, imagine a customer is engaged in back-and-forth text messaging with a contact center agent.
It transpires that the interaction needs to be transferred to a live chat interaction to help resolve the customer’s issue.
With an omnichannel customer platform like Talkative, these two channels are linked. Therefore, the escalation to live chat is effortless and the customer doesn’t have to repeat the details that were covered in the SMS messages.
These smooth and contextualized customer interactions, blended together across multiple channels, are the hallmark of the omnichannel experience.
Benefits of omnichannel messaging
In recent years, there’s been a significant rise in the use of mobile devices and messaging apps.
The increasing popularity of messaging channels has permanently altered how customers engage and connect with businesses.
This means that contact centers need to change too.
Your customers want to be able to contact your business and contact center in ways that are convenient and effortless for them.
Ideally, through all of their favorite messaging platforms.
But if you’re still not convinced that omnichannel messaging isn't all it’s cracked up to be, take a look at the following key benefits it brings for both your customers and your business.
1. Improved customer experiences
As we’ve touched upon above, one of the best things about an omnichannel messaging strategy is that it improves the digital customer experience.
This is because it turns communicating with your brand into an easy, convenient and unified journey.
With an omnichannel strategy, customers can use any of their preferred messaging apps to reach out to you at whatever time is best for them.
They can switch between different apps seamlessly, without the frustrations of any roadblocks or repetition.
This greatly enhances the customer experience - and enhancing the customer experience is a critical goal. This is because 80% of consumers consider the experience that a business provides to be as important as its products and services.
On top of that, 86% are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
So, by providing better experiences, you’ll improve customer satisfaction rates.
You’ll also see an improvement in customer retention. After all, happier customers are more likely to become repeat customers who foster brand loyalty.
In fact, businesses using omnichannel engagement retain on average 89% of their customers. This is in comparison to a 33% customer retention rate for those not effectively utilizing omnichannel messaging.
Ultimately, an omnichannel messaging platform is essential if you want to reap the rewards of providing an optimized customer experience.
2. Personalized engagement
Omnichannel solutions make it far easier for your business and contact center to provide personalization.
This is significant because it’s become a high priority for consumers.
And, 66% expect you to tailor conversations to their unique needs and expectations too.
So how can omnichannel messaging help you cater to these demands?
Well, first of all, messaging apps enable one-to-one interactions with customers via the platform that best suits their individual situation at that time.
Secondly, omnichannel technology allows agents to access customer data - including all of their previous interactions and their past purchases.
This information can be utilized to send tailored messages shaped by the customer’s preferences, areas of interest, and the history of their relationship with your brand.
With omnichannel messaging comes more opportunity to send this personalized content via one-to-one communication.
Digital communication has changed the way that people connect with everyone in their lives, and this extends to how they engage with businesses.
Customers want the same convenience when contacting your brand that they have when they’re messaging friends or family.
Messaging apps allow for this ease and convenience. These apps are already at the tips of your customers' fingers, traveling with them on their mobile devices.
With omnichannel messaging platforms, a customer no longer needs to dedicate a chunk of their day to waiting around in hold queues.
Instead, they can effortlessly start a conversation with a single message and then get on with their day.
The implementation of omnichannel messaging doesn’t just benefit your customer- it also makes customer engagement smoother and easier for your agents.
This is because it allows agents to handle all of your customer interactions, from all channels, in one place.
This access to real-time and historical data allows for more efficient customer service.
It also increases the productivity of your customer support team, as they can handle multiple cases at once across different platforms.
This greater operational efficiency will increase revenue and boost customer satisfaction rates.
It’s important that you strive to improve your response times as 75% of customers consider a fast reply to be the most important attribute of the customer experience.
Not only that, according to a study by Lead Connect, 78% of customers buy from the company that responds to their inquiry first.
With omnichannel, the volume of incoming messages is distributed across multiple communication channels.
This results in faster response times across the board by preventing individual channels from being bombarded and overwhelmed with customer interactions.
Omnichannel messaging use cases
It’s clear that an omnichannel approach to messaging comes with many benefits for both businesses and customers alike.
But how is it actually useful in everyday business situations? In this section, we’ll explore how you can utilize omnichannel messaging in the following use cases:
- Lead generation
- Customer support
Lead generation is the process of cultivating potential customers for your business through various channels.
The end goal is to transform consumer interest in your product into a sale or successful conversion.
In relation to omnichannel messaging, this can be achieved through sending enticing offers and discounts to potential leads via their favorite channels.
This is a particularly effective strategy as 61% customers believe that surprise offers or gifts are the best way to engage them.
With any attempt to capture leads in this way, you should make full use of the popular messaging channels.
For example, research has found that omnichannel strategies involving SMS are 47.7% more likely to convert a lead into a sale.
What’s more, all these channels will be connected to one inbox so that your agents can handle all customer interactions and lead opportunities from a single dashboard!
Omnichannel messaging is ideal for sales because it eliminates the barriers that used to exist between channels.
All communications with customers are woven together and data is shared between them.
Consequently, your agents can conduct the entire sales process on the customer’s terms, allowing them to use any and all of their preferred platforms.
It also empowers your sales agents to view the context of the entire customer journey, which can be extremely helpful in increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
Let’s demonstrate with an example:
- A customer sends a product inquiry message via your business’ Facebook page
- A sales rep views the message and immediately accesses any previous interactions that have occurred with this customer across the sales, marketing, and customer support teams
- The sales rep uses this knowledge of the customer’s history with your brand to inform the interaction and provide personalized responses and recommendations
- After some back-and-forth, the customer decides to leave the interaction for now to consider their options
- Later on, the customer decides they need further product information, so they contact your sales team again but via Whatsapp
- The sales agent who answers the Whatsapp message can effortlessly pick up where the Facebook messenger conversation was left off by the other agent earlier on
- The customer gets the further information they needed and decides to go ahead with the purchase
As you can see, the omnichannel approach helps make the entire sales process a more consistent, convenient and seamless experience for both agent and customer.
As we’ve explored above, omnichannel messaging considerably enhances the customer experience.
And this is particularly relevant in the area of customer support.
When your customer has an issue or problem, omnichannel messaging allows them to reach out and request assistance at any time through the platform that is best for them.
It also eliminates the need for customers to phone a support line, wait on hold, and then repeat themselves to multiple agents.
The elimination of this often frustrating process decreases the chances of unhappy and rude customers.
It’ll also improve your business’ public image and reputation - no brand wants to be known for poor customer service.
With omnichannel messaging, you can provide exceptional, efficient, and personalized experiences through the channels that are most convenient for your customers.
Its application also optimizes the sales, lead generation, and customer support process.
It’s important to remember that omnichannel doesn’t have to be overly complicated to implement or utilize too.
You just need the right platform .
And that's where Talkative comes in.
Our platform empowers brands to create an omnichannel experience that leads to more personable and profitable interactions with high-value customers.
This is achieved by giving your team a suite of digital contact channels that have been designed with the human touch in mind.
From enhanced live chat to video, cobrowse and more, Talkative helps you connect and convert more customers on their channel of choice.
Want to learn more? Book your Talkative demo today, and discover how to offer omnichannel messaging the right way.