When omnichannel first came to market, it was the multinational professional services network PwC that told it like it was. They declared: “By 2020, the demand for an omnichannel customer experience will be amplified by the need for nearly perfect execution.” Not great, not superior, but perfect. It has to be this way, because the stakes are high. The Aberdeen Group Inc reported that companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies (those with a great provider) retain an average of 89% of their customers. In sharp comparison to a 33% retention for companies with weaker ones. It’s not just omnichannel you need to bear in mind, it’s the holistic solution.
Here are some things to look out for. Keep these in mind when shopping around for your omnichannel solution provider:
1. A provider that is ready for the future
Gartner recently reported that by the year 2020, customers will manage 85% of communication with an enterprise company without interacting with a human at all. If your omnichannel solution isn’t bot-ready, that’s a huge segment of the market that you are missing out on compared to your competitors. And it’s not just bots you need to keep up with. The speed at which consumers adopt new channels increasing. You’ll need a provider that is ready to quickly integrate business to consumer channels. This includes iMessage, WhatsApp, RCS and any others still in the works of most likely a teenager’s bedroom somewhere. You should have access as soon as they become available, or you’ll risk being left behind.
2. A provider who can seamlessly integrate
You’ll need a provider who is not only able to offer you new channels, but one that is able to offer them as a seamless integration. Moreover, this shouldn’t cost the earth in development time and hassle.
3. A provider who is nimble on their feet
It’s not just the number of new channels, but the number of new features that comes out every day on these channels. A good provider gives you the ability to take advantage of these new features, with custom body options and an agile development process.
4. A provider that has the right look and feel for you!
To offer a truly on-brand and seamless experience, you’ll need a provider with a sleek user interface and the ability to customise features such as web chat to fit your brand. With 87% of consumers of the opinion that brands need to put more effort into providing a more consistent experience (Kampyle), perception is everything for your customers. This is more important than you think when presenting the face of your company. You will want to be seen as a modern, versatile business, not one stuck in the past.
5. A provider that offers easy and useful data and reporting
We’ve discussed how re-targeting from your omnichannel solution can be the key to offering more optimised interactions and campaigns. To get there, you need dependable reporting that you can gain real insights from, and ideally, this should be built into the solution that your provider offers. It should also offer as much information as possible to your agents in a centralised customer profile, to empower their interactions making them more effective for your business and relevant to the consumer.
6. A provider that can grow with you
It’s important that you pick a provider that can scale with your requirements. Do they have global reach? Are they built on scalable web technology? These are vital questions to ask yourself in the buying process.
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