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The days when you could run your business confidently with a multi-channel phone number, an advanced Interactive Voice Response (IVR) menu, and a call queue with average waiting time announcements are becoming a thing of the past. Considering generational characteristics of your customers, operational cost reduction methods, and overall business digitalization, we will explore why customer communications are heading towards fewer phone calls and more emojis.
Before we start, let’s clarify the difference between multichannel and omnichannel communications.
Multichannel communications are about giving your customers an opportunity to reach you via multiple channels - phone, SMS, social media, email, website chat, etc. There is a flaw in this, however, because when a customer reaches out with the same inquiry in two different channels, for example, with an email followed by a WhatsApp message, these will be regarded as two separate cases. As a result, the client will have to repeat their initial question which might negatively impact customer experience.
Focusing on the particular, timely needs of your customers is a proven way to increase your client’s LTV (lifetime value). A seamless customer journey is impossible when the conversation between the business provider and the client features informational gaps in multichannel communications.
When a contact center transitions from multichannel to omnichannel communications, the lack of inquiry coordination is solved by tracking every customer in a unified channel system. Supervisors and contact center administrators can access the complete Customer Journey Map, or CJM, from the earliest customer request to their question resolved, even if different communication methods were employed throughout this process.
Conveniently, the choice of communication channels is now left up to the customer - they can call you in the morning, text via their favorite messenger while commuting, and reach out from their authorized account in your system in the evening. These three inquiries may be handled by three different contact center agents, but all communications including case history and progress, files, screenshots, voice, and text will be regarded as a single sequence of information about a specific customer. The client will not have to repeat their inquiry to every new agent, which leads to a better customer experience and increased loyalty, with the possibility of gaining a brand ambassador for your business in the long run.
This form of seamless digital communication support is not just an industry trend. It is a necessity for adapting to generational change - for generation Z in particular.
Generation Z, or Zoomers, are people born from 1995 to 2012, with the late Zs born in the 21st century. They are no longer kids but financially capable consumers set to become the most active client cohorts over the next ten years. Therefore, businesses have to follow along with their preferred consumption habits.
Generation Z are true digital natives, exposed to mobile phones from their earliest years. For example, Facebook, one of the first global social networks, became widely used in 2006, when the first Zoomers were just 11 years old. As various other networks emerged, the use of social platforms has always been ubiquitous to the way the generation communicates.
As expressive text communication became the dominating norm, the current digital lifestyle leaves less room for voice messaging. In 2011, the total volume of phone calls from landlines in the UK dropped 10% for the first time. A simple cohort analysis showed that the segment associated with the traffic drop was aged 16 - 24. According to the UK's communications regulator Ofcom, 96% of this age group is using some form of text-based application on a daily basis to communicate with friends and family.
The past ten years have only enhanced this trend for digital communications. A 2017 survey showed that about 73% of young adults in America and the UK prefer text messages as the tool of choice for correspondence. Now imagine building an outbound call campaign geared towards a younger audience. What percentage of Zoomers are likely to be open to receiving a phone proposition?
This may leave you with a lot to think about in terms of customer acquisition, marketing, and sales. But it is particularly important to think of these concepts in terms of employing omnichannel client service.
Omnichannel client service allows your customers to have an exceptional experience in communicating with your business representatives - at their preferred time and over their preferred channel, following the chronological order of inquiries with a single or multiple requests, which are all seamlessly united. A high level of customer service in digital communication channels is already becoming a common courtesy. Not blindly guided by trends, this is an expectation primed by the characteristics of an entire generation.
Here at Voiso, we are closely following the evolution of communications. We value our customer referral rate of 92%, and that’s why we are carefully preparing for the launch of our own omnichannel solution within the Voiso ecosystem. It will be available to our customers in the third-fourth quarter of 2021.
Among the features of our omnichannel product is the ability to track customer journeys among different communication channels, powerful analytics and reporting, integrations with WhatsApp, SMS, and webchat, customer surveys, intelligent routing, and many other functionalities.