Multichannel Customer Support: What it Is and How to Provide It

February 14, 2024

 

When you decide between a few companies do to business with, it normally goes something like this:

  1. You think of something you need.
  2. You search Google for different options.
  3. Based on your needs, you narrow it down to a few candidates.

 

From there, you’ll check out reviews. And one horror story might catch your eye: “The product is pretty solid, but support is impossible to reach, and unhelpful once you do.” Whenever customers see a review like that, they think, “NEXT” and move on.

 

Multichannel-Customer-Support-What-it-Is-and-How-to-Provide-It-001

 

Some customers feel exhausted when they deal with customer support. The last thing you want to be is a source of frustration for your customers. They’ll just be looking for a way out the whole time. In this day and age, you need more than just a standard phone line or email address; you need to provide multichannel support.

 

What is multichannel support?

 

Multichannel support refers to the practice of interacting with customers through various marketing channels to answer their queries, resolve their issues, and meet their needs. It’s a software-enabled process that aims to deliver a seamless experience that’s adapted to the marketing channels you already build relationships with customers on. Channels could include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Live chat
  • Phone calls
  • SMS
  • Any marketing channel you use to connect with customers

 

Today, 51% of companies use eight or more channels. The reason? Connecting with your customers on the platforms they’re using reduces friction in the customer experience and makes them more likely to stick around. Done correctly, it also makes it easier for your support team to handle queries.

 

Challenges of multichannel support

 

Though there are plenty of benefits that come with a well-executed multichannel support strategy, it isn’t without its challenges.

 

  • All marketing channels have different interfaces, making it difficult to create a streamlined customer support strategy for your team or customers.
  • Overextending your reach in terms of where customers can access support creates confusion on where they can go when they need help with something.
  • Tracking and managing customer interactions across multiple channels is time consuming and, at times, straight up overwhelming.
  • Newer platforms without established processes are harder to implement a support strategy on.

 

Implementing your multichannel customer support strategy

 

1. Choose the right channels.

 

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This isn’t the same as creating an effective online marketing strategy. You can’t just diversify and see what sticks. You have to use a few solid platforms and keep things organized if you want to create an excellent customer experience.

 

Online chat support is a good place to start, but it can seem disingenuous at times. It’s great for lead gen and solving smaller problems, but it doesn’t do much good for complex issues that require (a) a human agent or (b) a verbal explanation of the issue at hand.

 

Take note of your most popular marketing channels and how your customers prefer to communicate. This could be social media, WhatsApp, or an online customer service portal on your website or in your app.

 

2. Integrate all your channels.

 

Having multiple channels is great, but if they aren’t integrated, you aren’t truly delivering multichannel support. It’ll just create issues internally and cause confusion among your customers. Integration keeps everything connected.

 

3. Train your team members.

 

Your team needs to be familiar with the channels you’re using and be able to provide a consistent experience across them. This is made easier with the help of help desk software, but ultimately comes down to your ability to implement systems that ensure quality customer interactions.

 

Final thoughts

 

Multichannel support is an absolute necessity if you want to win the CX game in 2024. With the right approach, your business can leverage a few powerful channels and provide superior support to your customers, which is the best differentiation strategy out there.

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