Your potential customers want to buy quickly and comfortably through an integrated experience. They sign in from different devices and communicate through all available means. They are real-time users looking for a rewarding shopping experience, and they expect the best service.
The new consumer profile in the digital age
Customers used to go to a physical store to see products, check prices and make purchases. Today, they shop digitally through different channels. This means that customers can check your product’s features on social media, request prices via email, and purchase through your webchat. In fact, according to a Zendesk study, 67% of online shoppers have made purchases in the past six months that have involved multiple channels.
This new way of shopping has led companies to offer multiple contact channels as a means for survival in today’s market. It’s extremely important to respond to your customers’ needs through different channels, but it’s useless if you don’t have a strategy to coordinate and organize those interactions.
63% of customers want to be able to switch smoothly from channel to channel. Today having an Omnichannel Customer Service strategy which integrates all communication channels of a company has become a must in order to make interactions easier for customers. The goal is to provide a consistent service so that the user doesn’t notice differences, overlapping or errors between the channels.
In a constantly growing digital landscape, with more and more apps, platforms and channels to interact on, it becomes essential for companies to be where their customers are. And it is not just about being there: it is also about adapting the experience to each channel while, at the same time, providing an integral overall customer experience.
A report by Aberdeen Group revealed that companies with sustained omnichannel customer engagement keep an average of 89% of their existing customers, while those with poor omnichannel customer engagement only retain an average of 33%. A great tool to achieve such high customer retention are chatbots, since they can provide a fast yet personalized omnichannel experience.
Using chatbots to lead an omnichannel strategy
Customers want an integrated shopping experience. They expect you to meet their needs and demands even when they use different channels to communicate. You might understand the value of being present in multiple channels but not have the resources to be able to properly support your customers in each one of these. And this is where an omnichannel chatbot comes into play.
An omnichannel chatbot can be successfully implemented in multiple channels like your website, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and wherever users interact but can still be managed from a single platform. Some chatbots even offer integrations with voice and live channels, so that clients can call Customer Service or contact a human agent at any time during the conversation.
But working seamlessly across all channels is just the first step. Aside from that, omnichannel customer service also implies considering customers as individuals, analyzing their records, understanding how they interact and knowing their interests and preferences. Once again, chatbots come in handy since they are made to customize each user’s experience.
First of all, this technology learns from all customer interactions and store information from each user. The data collected is centralized in a single database allowing the company to provide comprehensive and consistent service through all channels.This way, you know which channel the customer has used to contact the company in the past, what type of interaction it was and which products or services they purchased.
Then, once the data is collected, chatbots engage in personalized conversations by understanding each customer’s intention behind their question, they access real-time customer data, and adapt the messages to each individual’s situation.
This type of personalisation can have a strong business impact. A study by Harte Hanks Quarterly, customer-centric chatbots can provide a 300% improvement in customer lifetime value. As an example, Movistar, one of Latin America’s biggest telcos, improved their customer retention by 80% after implementing an AI chatbot, while reducing Customer Service costs by 30%.
Advantages of an omnichannel chatbot
As you can see chatbots can help businesses’ strategies in a wealth of ways. Some of the main advantages of an omnichannel experience with a chatbot include:
Customer Service for all users
Some customers will prefer to communicate with your company through online chat or email. Others will choose self-service alternatives like forums and FAQs. And there are those who still prefer social media or even being contacted by phone. These different profiles require a service that adapts to their needs and is always ready to assist them through their preferred channel. A chatbot solution allows you to integrate them all: you can add it to each digital channel while still integrate it with your Customer Service phone line.
Time is a key factor for ensuring a positive user experience with your brand. An omnichannel chatbot has a strong impact on immediate responses. It can provide solutions for the user in just a few seconds. In fact, if your chatbot is powered by Artificial Intelligence, it can reply in a human-like way to make it easier for your customers to interact. Therefore, it’s an excellent feature to increase sales: the faster you provide information, the greater the likelihood the customer will make a purchase.
In fact, according to Inside Sales, if you wait 5 minutes to respond after a lead initially makes contact, there’s 10x reduction in your odds of getting in touch with that lead. After 10 minutes, this figure plummets to a 400% decrease in your odds of retaining that customer. Given these stats, it becomes clear that fast responses should be a priority for companies in their customer service strategies.
If the service meets your customers’ expectations, they will be more satisfied with your company — and satisfied consumers buy more. According to a report by Harvard Business Review, a 5% increase in customer retention may mean an increase of up to 95% in a company’s annual earnings. On top of chat, chatbots all alone can increase online sales by 25%. The flexibility offered by an omnichannel experience can be a great ally for your company’s growth.
Storing your customers’ data in a single place helps with predictive analysis, allowing you to make more focused and assertive strategic decisions. Moreover, it’s a great source of information about your current customers and your potential buyers. Having this information at hand will help you develop very efficient Marketing and Sales initiatives.
Consumer behavior is constantly evolving. Adapting and establishing new ways to connect with them is essential. Remember that an omnichannel strategy focuses on your customer’s current needs, so you must be available at all times and through all channels.
With Omnichannel Customer Service, you will encourage successful user experiences, exceed your customers’ expectations and improve your brand’s reputation, resulting in amazing outcomes for your company.
A version of this post originally appeared here.