January 31, 2019
Communication is the key to understanding what customers need along with augmenting customer support. Businesses run on the premise of increasing customer engagement, so why not meet them halfway and be present on their most used platforms? Customer communication channels are the most vital piece of information you can get your hands on when thinking about how to sell and market your goods and services.
This current culture of connectivity, consumerism, and commercialism melds well with the currently available technologies. From different devices to multiple ways to communicate, the world is saturated with options.
Some of these flexible options for communication are as follows:
It is known for enabling quick responses and high percentage rates of generating quality leads compared to its other messaging counterparts. Live chat comes in the form of bots and web chat. Bots are programmed with automated replies while live web chat is human-powered and answers real-time queries.
For years, voice support has been the main communication channel used by businesses for customer support. Not only is it limited to improving internal communications and customer support, but it also contributes to boosting productivity. Voice support also has three channels, and these are traditional phone calls, web calls, and callbacks, all of which are instrumental in escalating and resolving complex customer concerns.
SMS is very effective for time-sensitive and urgent messages. Considering that most individuals carry their mobile phones with them, SMS can also be used to monitor existing management systems for business-to-customer relationships and review the past purchasing behavior of customers.
Although it may be bested by its handier counterparts, email is still widely used among businesses for both B2C and B2B communications. It proves useful in enhancing marketing campaigns, generating leads, and rewarding customers.
It is one of the less intrusive communication channels due to its asynchronous nature and convenience for both you and your customers. Aside from this, it is a versatile tool that not only allows you to communicate but also bear the latest news and information about your company’s products and services.
All these various customer contact channels are assets you ought to utilize in your marketing and customer satisfaction plan. This is because when you are available on the platform that your target market uses, it becomes more convenient for you to generate leads and convert them into avid end-users of your product and service.
With possible leads and avid end-users around the world, channels designed to communicate with customers have to be diverse for it to reach even remote places around the globe.
Imagine the amount of workload that will be saved through these channels for communication. The mere fact that you are reaching out makes you more attractive to users around the globe. You would be building an international audience for your brand.
Now, picture this scenario: A sales agent sits on his workstation, surrounded by his Smartphone, Tablet, and Laptop. He is using two different messaging applications and three productivity tools. These devices are intended for calling clients and receiving calls from them, delivering emails, as well as scheduling appointments.
A few minutes earlier, the sales agent was on a call, handling a few client specifics that were recently requested to be sent via email. An hour later, the agent was engaged in a chat that soon turned into a voice call. He also received a phone call for his schedule of meetings and appointments. Thanks to the capability of his devices, he successfully interacted with the customer using multi-channel communication channels while juggling his administrative tasks in the office. Each of his tasks was accomplished even without the need to exert too much energy and expend too many resources.
Customer concerns and feedback raised via a website’s live chat feature can be relayed so that an agent on voice support can handle it, depending on the complexity of the customer’s dilemma.
Employing multi-channel communications, whether in the form of email, voice support, or SMS extends the breadth of what a business can deliver to customers.
Communication channels with customers have never been this easy. It is quite clear that there are specific demands that different end-users (whether business owners or customers) look for in a communication channel or device. Not to mention, accessibility and convenience are of higher importance to customers nowadays.
By giving customers the convenience of engagement via email, SMS, IM, and voice calls, businesses can project an image of higher reliability and consistency. This will allow businesses, whose core revenue source is communications, to maximize profit through constant interactions. It is a relationship that complements each other: The customer demands convenience while the business gets more profit.
Multi-channel customer communication platforms are one of today’s most ideal ways to market, interact with customers, and keep the business thriving. Having all these options at the fingertips of end-users, subscribers, and patrons allows businesses to develop into a more customer-centric brand that their audience can rely on.
Also, interactions can be delivered based on what end-users want, how they want it, and when they want to access it. It is very flexible and versatile. The availability of the product and services are all just a single text, click, or private message away.
A simple SMS campaign can reach a broader audience in a matter of seconds. Subsequently, sustaining the obtained engagement from customers and potential leads can be achieved through directing them to the business’ website or sending more detailed information about the product being offered through a promotional email. Also, SMS allows brands to deliver quick, accessible service for customers on-the-go. With one tap on the ‘SEND’ button, a text would answer their concerns which can then be escalated to a voice call.
When an email is sent, it lets business owners stay connected with customers and generate leads by sending exclusive information about the latest deals, discounts, and updates on select products. In doing so, they make their customers feel valued due to the exclusive access to information that only a membership or subscription to their services would provide.
Live Chat makes it easier for customers to make quick inquiries on products and offers that interest them. Aside from quick replies, what makes this channel a must in your website is the real-time replies and high productivity it provides. An agent could handle up to five chat heads and answer inquiries in less than two minutes for minor concerns.
Lastly, voice calls are the perfect mode of communication for when there are issues and concerns from customers that need more in-depth assessment for them to be resolved. They may take longer, but this channel thoroughly resolves customer concerns.
Each communication platform’s features correspond to a particular demand and ease old-age customer support service dilemmas such as being put on hold and experiencing low open rates. The transaction becomes more convenient, more in-tuned to the customer’s wants and needs.
The bottom line is, the more capable a business is in engaging customers, the more likely their target audience will be willing to stay and recommend the products and services being offered to them. Aside from delivering better customer engagement and convenience, the business gets to offer multiple ways for buyers and leads to reach out to them. Ultimately, there comes bigger chances of reaching out to an international market.
Customer-Centric on a Budget?
Not all companies have the budget to develop their own communications software in a snap; nor do all startups have the option to hire additional customer support staff just to make their business fully communications-ready.
Omni-channel customer communications are more flexible and less costly.
A great example of cost-effective multi-channel communication is exhibited when you hire third-party providers to handle these value-added services. It should be sufficient to cover the manpower needed to finish all the required tasks and maximize existing resources. Also, the outsourced extra workforce typically works independently. In other words, you and your in-house staff have more time to focus on core administrative tasks.
A friendly tip: Try searching for workload-based operations. It has been proven to have no monthly charges, no staffing issues, and minimal training or management requirement. If planned and executed carefully, it can respond to what the main communication demands. Best of all, the service becomes attainable and has affordable rates with minimal risks to consider.
If full coverage is not feasible, having at least one or two additional ways to communicate is also advisable. It would just be a matter of knowing the preferences of the business’s current target market. Facebook, Instagram, and Viber are some of the channels and apps that people of all ages use to connect. You may also want to set up a live chat widget on your website or add an email address that connects or redirects to one of your channels.
Choosing a communication channel for a brand’s overall operations and delivery of customer service is a crucial factor in attaining success. We’ve already done you a favor by enumerating some of the possible channels you would want to add for your omnichannel needs.
Considering what options are most convenient and beneficial for your brand is the key to success. Pair that with the knowledge of what communication channel combinations will work best with your brand’s specific type of audience and services would skyrocket your website from humble beginnings to a strong and reputable image.
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