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Follow Your Customer Journeys with an Omnichannel Strategy

Post Author: HCLTech |

Did you know that businesses with a strong omnichannel strategy retain their customers at an 89% clip? You might be thinking, “Is 89% even considered a good retention rate?” We’re glad you asked. For businesses that do not employ a robust omnichannel strategy, the retention rate plummets to 33%! That’s a whopping big difference.

Here’s the thing – and there’s really no getting around this universal truth: acquiring a new customer is vastly more expensive than simply retaining the ones you already have. It’s tough to quantify just how much costlier acquisition is versus retention because it varies so much from industry to industry. But there’s simply no denying that your business is better served keeping the customers it has, and the stats from the first paragraph above clearly show that an effective omnichannel strategy is a critical factor in making that happen.

And on that note… welcome back to our three-part series exploring different Microsoft technology solutions that deliver the type of world-class customer service today’s consumer demands!

The Importance of a Well-executed Omnichannel Strategy

Let’s consider who has responsibility for customer service delivery in your business:

  • Is it the front-line employees who answer the phones and respond to emails and chats?
  • Is it the leadership team responsible for hiring, training, and managing the front-line staff?
  • Is it the IT team who ensures the front-line employees have the software and hardware they need to perform their jobs effectively?

Hopefully, you said all of the above. If not, you must – to be blunt – change the way you’re thinking about it, because customer service is indeed a team sport. As the lifeblood of your business and the cornerstone to customer retention, customer service is everyone’s job.

So, first things first: get everyone in your organization to recognize that a positive customer experience drives not only current revenue but future growth and is the key to brand loyalty. With that baseline in place, you can then turn your thoughts to how your customers are interacting with your business. And this, too, requires attention and plenty of buy-in from all levels of the organization.

Your customers may be reaching out to you via email, phone, social media channels, chatbots, or SMS. In fact, according to the recent Microsoft Global State of Customer Service, a majority of customers continue to use 3 to 5 channels to get their issues resolved. Telephony remains the most commonly preferred channel to contact a business, but email, self-service, and chat follow closely behind.

Interestingly, while email continues to be the second-most preferred method, it has shown a recent steady decline, with self-service (53%) and chat (48%) growing in popularity. This increase in self-service is likely based on the emergence of newer technology – like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning – that is making self-service even easier to use by both the customer and the service agent.

It is surely not by coincidence that 86% of respondents to the Microsoft Customer Service survey expect a self-service option to be available to them, or that a startling two-thirds at least try self-service prior to contacting a live agent. The rise of chat may be that many small- to medium-sized businesses have caught up to their enterprise neighbors with live chat implementations. Other factors may include the ease of use, convenience, and the ability to communicate in real-time.

So, it’s pretty clear that an effective omnichannel communication strategy is critical. The obvious next question is how do we implement it in my organization? Once again, we’re glad you asked!

The best technology solution available is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service in tandem with the customizable and high-productivity Omnichannel for Customer Service app. This omnichannel solution will:

  • Unify customer data in a single view for a wholistic approach.
  • Streamline and automate self-service and self-help options.
  • Enhance productivity, efficiency, and speed to resolution.
  • Enable proactive communication with customers.
  • Improve, easily measure, and report on customer service KPIs.

Through it all, it is essential to remember a few things:

  • Multichannel is not the same as omnichannel. Generally speaking, multichannel refers to the different channels available; omnichannel refers to the seamless integration of those channels. In other words, with a multichannel strategy, you’re offering multiple ways to connect with customers but likely don’t have insight into the data collected, whereas an omnichannel strategy utilizes a unified, wholistic approach that enhances the customer experience and provides your customer service team valuable insight across all areas of interaction for the big picture.
  • It’s critical for businesses to recognize that understanding customer behaviors and expectations plays a key role in creating a positive experience for them. By offering a true omnichannel customer experience, your business can meet your customers wherever they are across all channels.

Together, Dynamics 365 Customer Service and the Omnichannel for Customer Service app level the playing field by helping businesses deliver exceptional customer service that reduces costs, drives revenues, enhances productivity, and increases both customer satisfaction and loyalty. Believe it or not, it really is that simple.

Of course, HCL-PowerObjects can help, so don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Service experts. We are, after all, Microsoft’s Customer Service Global Partner of the Year for two years running (another shameless plug – apologies).

In part three of this series, we will focus on taking your customer service approach to another level using hyper-automation with Power Platform. Talk soon!

By Joe D365
Joe D365 is a Microsoft Dynamics 365 superhero who runs on pure Dynamics adrenaline. As the face of PowerObjects, Joe D365’s mission is to reveal innovative ways to use Dynamics 365 and bring the application to more businesses and organizations around the world.

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