How Omnichannel Messaging Can Solve Customer Engagement Issues
Nowadays, consumers are very tech-savvy and knowledgeable about how companies operate and what they have to offer. Unfortunately, many brands don’t utilize enough high-tech tools and solutions to encourage better customer engagement. When that happens, it can lead to dissatisfaction and resentment, sending customers running to your competitors.
Thankfully there are solutions providers, like Mitto, who aim to make it easy for businesses of all shapes and sizes to improve their engagement strategies with omnichannel messaging. While the technology is easy to set up, it’s important to have a full understanding of its capabilities to maxmize your ROI.
With that in mind, here’s a breakdown of how your brand can use omnichannel platforms to drive customer engagement to new heights. Whether you’re a new business or an established brand, these tools can help you grow and expand to the next level.
The Challenges of Managing Customer Engagement
Before understanding how omnichannel technology can drive engagement, you have to know where and how brands are falling behind. Here are four primary challenges that businesses, both large and small, can encounter along the way toward building customer engagement and loyalty.
Long wait times for responses are a client turn-off. Did you know that the average response time between businesses and customers is over 12 hours? Unfortunately, most customers expect a response within four hours, so the disconnect between expectation and reality is staggering.
Further complicating matters is that the expectation for response times varies between different platforms. For example, 12 hours to receive an email might be acceptable, but not for an instant message or direct message on social media. Typically, customers want a response as soon as possible, ideally within 30 minutes or less.
Responses also aren’t limited to DMs. If a customer leaves a bad review, you should respond to it as quickly as possible to show that you’re taking a proactive approach to negative experiences. Otherwise, it’s just the customer’s review that matters.
Another issue is a lack of communication channels. These days, consumers are more willing to interact with brands on a variety of channels and platforms. Each option has its pros and cons, and a customer may switch back and forth regularly. Someone may send a DM through social media, then follow up with a text or an instant message through the website.
If a company only has one or two communication channels open (i.e., just email and phone calls), it leaves a lot of customer engagement on the table. Many younger individuals prefer not to call a business unless they have to, meaning they’ll exhaust other methods before dialing the phone. In that time frame, a customer could engage with your team multiple times and reinforce their desire to do business with your brand.
Beware of inconsistent messaging. There always seems to be a disconnect between marketing and sales teams. Often, the marketing department makes big promises, and the sales team scales back those promises — or outright denies them. This lack of coordination can be a huge problem for new customers since their expectations don’t match reality.
Inconsistent messaging can also mean different customer service reps may be interacting with the same person across various channels. A lack of internal communication can lead to misunderstandings or redundancies, making the entire company look disorganized and unprofessional.
No matter what, customers will always have questions and concerns about your business — and that’s why lack of customer support can break a business. If you don’t have the infrastructure or tools necessary to address those concerns, your audience will feel neglected and dissatisfied. While smaller brands may not be able to employ dedicated support representatives, they should still have tools to communicate with customers when the need arises.
How Omnichannel Messaging Improves Customer Engagement
Although the challenges mentioned above can be significant and widespread, the right omnichannel software can alleviate them almost immediately. Here are the ways that this technology can enhance your brand’s ability to communicate and engage with your audience.
The best way to ensure rapid response times is to use computers and automated systems to send replies immediately. You can leverage chatbots to answer basic questions or filter a customer’s query into different categories. Complaints may go to the support team, while product inquiries are directed to sales reps.
That said, automated systems must be used in tandem with actual employees who can communicate with a customer in real time. Otherwise, customers can “see through” the automation, turning it into more of an annoyance than a help.
Consider all-in-one dashboards for consistent messaging. If a customer service rep has to switch back and forth between programs and devices, it’s easy for messages to fall through the cracks. However, with a comprehensive dashboard, it’s much easier to manage customer interactions across different channels, and the same rep can see messages come in via text and email and respond to both simultaneously.
Managing multiple channels is even made easier because of the fact that younger generations don’t like to call — so a single representative can field queries and messages from multiple customers all at once.
Omnichannel communication is beneficial and more convenient for consumers because they have many options for reaching out to a business. On the back end, reps can interact with customers more quickly and efficiently. Overall, omnichannel software adds speed and convenience to both sides of the equation, leading to better satisfaction and long-term loyalty.
When using automation and omnichannel communication, even small businesses can handle large volumes of customer interactions with better operational efficiency. This efficiency leads to faster growth and scalability. Before, a brand might struggle to expand its operations because of labor costs and a lack of cohesive systems. Today, the same company can add new offices and storefronts without needing tons of new employees.
An omnichannel e-commerce system can allow digital storefronts to add more items and expand into new markets without needing more inventory or shipping infrastructure.
What Are the Types of Omnichannel Communication?
While technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting when interacting with customers, you still need to develop a comprehensive communication strategy across different channels. Here’s a quick overview of each option available and how it can fit into a larger omnichannel network.
Emails are often viewed as antiquated, but they’re still highly valuable for brand interactions. Typically, emails are ideal for marketing messages, but they can also work well for reminder notifications and help-desk tickets. Also, most product queries will come in via email, so your sales team has to be able to filter and respond to those messages quickly. As a rule, email doesn’t work as well for complaints or emergencies because it’s often slower than other channels.
Although many people prefer not to talk over the phone, this channel can be the most helpful, particularly if a customer has lots of questions and needs immediate answers. A high-quality omnichannel system will allow you to utilize navigation menus so customers can filter their calls accordingly. Representatives should also have a script based on the type of call they’re receiving, whether it be a complaint versus a product inquiry.
More consumers are comfortable with texting a business, so SMS campaigns can be highly useful for marketing and notifications. For example, you can send messages when an order ships or if there are updates to a product’s status. Texts can also work well for questions and concerns.
Chatbots have come a long way in recent years, and they can filter customer interactions far faster than a phone navigation menu (with less stress, too). Even when a rep does join the chat, they can respond to multiple customers simultaneously. Automated chat features are now widely available, and they can help your business seem bigger and more professional without tons of expensive infrastructure on the back end.
All social media platforms have a direct message feature, and businesses can even utilize automated responses. It’s important to incorporate social media accounts with omnichannel software as customers expect to be able to message a brand via these channels. Using a quality omnichannel messaging platform, such as Mitto Conversations, allows you to effortlessly manage multiple customer conversations across all social media channels in one easy-to-use dashboard.
How Platforms Like Mitto Help Brands Deliver Better Customer Service With Omnichannel Software
Mitto is one of the all-in-one solutions on the market that delivers an excellent omnichannel experience for your customers. Engagement is much easier when you’re able to manage communication across different channels with a single program. Explore how platforms like Mitto can elevate your business and drive better interactions.