Omni-channel strategy has been a buzzword in retail for the last couple of years. However, retailers have had to constantly reinvent the wheel to stay relevant to the new age customers and connecting with customers on live channels. Such is the popularity of live channels that they have even surpassed traditional means like email and webform, writes Shwetha Satyanarayan
A decade ago, providing a fully-integrated shopping experience that started with a brick-and-mortar store and ended with a mobile or vice-versa would have been too far-fetched for any retailer to imagine. However, omni-channel retailing is the norm now with a majority of shoppers hitting multiple touchpoints before making a purchase.
In fact, according to a Zendesk study, those companies using an integrated omni-channel solution outperform those who stick to a limited number of channels. Their customers spend less time waiting for responses, resolve their issues faster, and are less likely to require any follow-ups.
Further, the study even said that compared to companies that did not integrate across channels, companies that took an omni-channel approach have 31 per cent lower first-resolution times and customers have 39 per cent lower wait times.
However, a recent Benchmark study conducted by Zendesk has suggested that traditional omni-channel strategies like email and webform are now being replaced by live channels, which are adopted in fastest ways.
According to the study, “Live channels, such as Facebook, are growing most quickly, outpacing the growth of traditional email and webform. For integrated omni-channel companies, live channels are on track to surpass email and webform.”
Also, it goes on to say that live channels outpace other forms. “Live channels aren’t just among the fastest-growing - they also perform better across key operational metrics. Tickets handled through phone and chat support see higher CSAT, fewer re-opens, and faster first resolution times,” the study has found out.
Explaining that omni-channel approach was a way for companies to meet customers on channels they’re already using in their daily lives, and it means leaning heavily on live channels, which perform better across key metrics, KT Prasad, Country Sales Director, Zendesk India, said, “Companies have been increasingly adopting omni-channel customer support in recent years in India. Based on the data, the benefits of an integrated omni-channel approach are clear. It gives companies a single view of the customer, allowing them to improve operations by ensuring they can refer back to a complete record of past interactions.”
Why live channels are gaining popularity
Retailers have understood that customer expectations have never been higher, and by taking an omni-channel approach,they are aiming to meet customers where they already are. This means retailers need to have a support solution that’s fully integrated across channels and provides a personalized experience no matter where the customersareand which device they’re using.
Interestingly, the study highlights that the live-channel approach is not only in line with changing customer expectations, but it also brings a tangible return on investment in terms of improved efficiency and an all-around better experience for customers.