Businesses today operate in a multichannel world, which means their operational strategies must mirror this trend. Whether companies are consumer-facing or provide services to other businesses, technology is changing the way customers interact with a product or service and, as a result, their expectations of customer support. This means clients across all industries are not only meeting the technological demands of customers that often change devices and platforms, these organizations are also becoming rapidly more dependent on software companies and other service providers that possess multichannel capabilities.
This may explain why, according to Econsultancy, 80 percent of business suppliers realize that having a multichannel strategy in place is integral to their company's long-term success. Additionally, three out of four business to business (B2B) organizations potentially waste up to half of their investment on ineffective customer experience strategies that fail to embrace multichannel behaviors.
Further, Multichannel Merchant cited data from Gartner that found B2B companies with effective e-commerce personalization will outsell competitors without these strategies by 30 percent before 2018. To tap into this growing trend and outpace competition, B2B organizations need to ensure their offering itself is rooted in multichannel behaviors. However, without customer support processes and technologies to match, these strategies may be futile.
Additionally, as that customer moves from one channel to the next, every part of the conversation and progress on that particular ticket should be trackable and easily accessible. For example, if a customer initiates a ticket through live chat, there is a good chance more in-depth conversation via phone will be necessary at a later time. This is certainly the case with B2B, where tickets are often more complex and require deeper analysis and investigations to find a solution. At each touch point throughout ticket resolution, customer service associates should be fully informed, and clients should have the option to communicate through whichever channel is most helpful or convenient at any specific time.
"The value of multichannel service lies in the improved experience clients can provide to their own customers."
Understanding multichannel customer support
At its core, multichannel service means customers are able to route issues and contact support teams through various channels including live chat, email, phone and self-help options. More importantly, however, is the seamlessness of each contact experience. When a client calls a service provider regarding an issue, support teams should already understand that individual's needs, history and product.
B2B customer service software enables these types of seamless customer service actions by providing tools that allow support staff to access information, track and update tickets and coordinate with other team members at any time throughout the resolution process. In B2B, collaboration is key to solving any client issue fully and efficiently, and customer support software that features collaborative capabilities is the backbone of any multichannel service strategy.
Reaping the rewards
Ultimately, the value of multichannel service lies in the improved experience clients can provide to their own customers, as well as the improved long-term business relationships for service providers. There are a number of benefits organizations will experience by implementing a multichannel customer service strategy, which include:
- Improved client satisfaction.
- Cost reductions due to better collaboration and improved efficiency.
- Increased revenue from heightened client retention and lower customer service costs.
- Easier ticket management.
As technology continues to shape business strategies in the B2B world, organizations must provide multichannel customer experiences to their clients. By investing in collaborative customer support software that features multichannel capabilities, organizations can be better equipped to grow client satisfaction and reap the long-term rewards.