As consumers shop through more channels than ever, retailers have been forced to evolve and align their business around a shopping journey that is seamless, fast, and hassle-free. Yet it’s no small job to help consumers transition between mobile devices, brick and mortar stores, the web, and back again. That’s why having the right omnichannel customer service program in place is invaluable.

Here are three reasons why you need an omnichannel customer service program:

1. Consumers are frustrated
Most brands haven’t integrated their communication across support channels, which leads to a disjointed experience for the customer. As a result, customers become frustrated with the level of service they’re receiving from retailers. In fact, 87 percent of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless customer service experience.

2. Consumers have high expectations
Consumers have ever-rising expectations, and managing those expectations seems like a daunting challenge for most retailers—and rightfully so. Things get complex fast when you consider what it might take to integrate your various business systems (CRM, OMS, ERP, etc.), and align staff and processes (from IT and marketing to the warehouses and stores). But this all happens behind the scenes, and consumers don’t care.

In fact, most consumers don’t know what the term “omnichannel” means. They expect (read: demand) to have the same hassle-free experience no matter how they engage with your brand, along any part of their journey. And when they don’t, they’ll let you know.

3. Consumers are knowledgeable
Consumers are often more knowledgeable about a brand’s products than the store associates whose job it is to sell them. Consider that 81 percent of shoppers said they do research online before making a purchase in-store. The research doesn’t stop once consumers are in-store, however. A whopping 90 percent of consumers said they use their phones while shopping in-store, performing such tasks as price comparisons, looking up product information, and checking reviews.

So while the vast majority of transactions still occur in-store, the way consumers are arriving at those purchases has changed. And perhaps more significantly, brick-and-mortar sales continue to slide while e-commerce sales—mobile in particular—are surging.

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