The future is now: Creating an omnichannel customer experience with conversation AI
Updated: Jan 13
An increasing number of companies want to improve the customer experience (CX) and stand out from the competition in a world where interacting with businesses through digital channels is becoming increasingly popular. Read on for a discussion of how companies can use conversational AI to create an omnichannel customer experience, and the benefits this brings everyone.
Today’s consumers are increasingly demanding a better customer experience. Omnichannel customer service solutions can help companies provide a seamless experience across all channels. Standalone text and voice tools existed before; however, emergent technology like conversational artificial intelligence (AI) supports omnichannel virtual assistants that seamlessly merge these two functionalities.
What Is Conversational AI?
Conversational AI refers to the technology behind chatbots and virtual assistants. These technology tools utilize machine learning, natural language processing (NLP), previous data, and dialogue management to analyze and predict human interactions. This allows businesses to automate customer support and create engaging experiences while adapting to customers’ unique needs.
What Is an Omnichannel Experience?
An omnichannel experience provides a consistent, seamless integrated media approach to enhance the multichannel approach used to interact with customers. When used effectively, the customer can move freely between channels without having to repeat their queries and regardless of how they initially reached out. Businesses must align marketing, sales, and support functions to ensure a successful omnichannel customer experience launch.
Omnichannel Experience With Conversational AI Is the Future
The consistency and seamless nature of omnichannel customer service provides consumers with a better customer experience, which is a factor that will give retailers a competitive edge in the future.
By 2028, the global e-commerce market will reach somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million dollars (https://reports.valuates.com/market-reports/QYRE-Auto-6K6319/global-e-commerce, 2022). The e-commerce industry will become increasingly competitive as online shopping continues to grow over the next few years. Therefore, companies must deliver a unique customer experience aimed at growing retention.
The harder you make it for customers to do business with you, the less likely they will remain loyal to your brand. For example, 87% of customers stated that they are more likely to go to a competitor after a high-effort experience (gartner.com, 2019).
Conversational AI can create an omnichannel customer experience by automating customer support across voice, text, and social media while developing engaging experiences similar to human interactions. In a Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report, approximately 66% of customers admitted that AI improves their lives and saves them time while improving their customer service experience (zendesk.com, 2022).
Benefits an Omnichannel Experience Brings Customers
Customer service is the number one use of AI in business, with omnichannel customer service being the most common application. The expansion and evolution of conversational AI have allowed companies to provide several benefits to customers, such as the following.
Conversational AI Reduces Repetition
Clients don't want to rehash their problem if they have already supplied the information once. Customers who have to repeat themselves feel unimportant and like they wasted time. AI has the capacity to remember customers and keep track of past interactions with a brand. That data will be readily available to associates each time customers seek support.
The most advanced conversational AI can understand surface-level intent and customers’ contact reasons, motivations, and sentiments. This high level of understanding helps customers receive the service they need quickly and efficiently. If a hand-off does happen, your conversational AI tool can quickly move customers to a live agent by integrating with your help desk.
Conversational AI Makes Customer Service Readily Available
Today's consumers want to be able to choose when and how they shop, so it should be no surprise that they want to pick when and how they contact customer service and have their concerns quickly resolved when they do. In addition, most consumers want an omnichannel experience. Having this gives them a sense of control, improving their satisfaction.
Conversational AI Improves Human Interactions
Instead of replacing people with technology, companies should use conversational AI to improve human interactions.
High-effort experiences require the customer to expend time, energy, or emotion to resolve their issue. Conversational AI can take on repetitive tasks, so that live customer service representatives can focus on tasks that require a human touch.
Some of the ways conversational AI can help improve human interactions include
Automating Routine Inquiries: Automating routine tasks frees up customer service representatives to focus on more challenging tasks.
Improving First Call Resolution: By understanding the customer's inquiry and providing relevant information, conversational AI can help to improve first-call resolution rates.
Implementing an Omnichannel Customer Service Experience
Remember that an omnichannel solution does not require using every physical and digital channel. Surveying your customer preferences is an excellent way to determine where to focus your efforts.
What Channels Form an Omnichannel Customer Strategy?
You can use many channels to reach your customers, but not all of them will be relevant to your business or customer base. A few popular omnichannel channels include
E-Commerce: The birth of e-commerce was the first time technology truly shook the physical world. Make it more effective by integrating it properly with other channels, such as allowing an immediate live chat service accessible straight from the website.
Retail Store: Customers value the opportunity to see items in person, which means retail outlets still have a role in today's market—but businesses must integrate them into the customer journey as an entire unit.
Mobile: Customers who use mobile devices are accustomed to communicating with businesses through text, voice, social media, and instant messaging channels. They're also used to having easy access to information at their fingertips. So, omnichannel support is vital for businesses that want to offer mobile services.
How To Differentiate Your Omnichannel Experience
An omnichannel strategy can make it easier for customers to reach a brand easily and resolve their concerns quickly, no matter the time or day. However, with omnichannel integration, the omnichannel customer experience is only as good as the weakest link in the chain.
So, solutions should not only be convenient but also differentiated. A company's omnichannel strategy should reflect the company's brand identity. The goal is to implement solutions that make each touchpoint an extension of the brand that reinforces the customer's relationship with the company.
CX: Is a single platform that provides a complete view of the customer's journey, including all digital engagement channels like chatbots, virtual assistants, websites, social media, and mobile apps.
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS): It’s an omnichannel contact center solution that ties all customer interactions across channels into a single view. UCaaS solutions offer omnichannel routing, AI-powered chatbots, and reporting.
An omnichannel strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution; however, creating an omnichannel customer experience with Conversational AI is the future of customer service. Therefore, understanding how to implement a strategy is essential to differentiating and succeeding.
An omnichannel strategy should address the customer's needs and preferences. You must understand what they want and how they want to communicate with your business. At Onvego, we are experts in critical voice solutions like conversational AI and omnichannel customer experience applicable to various market segments. Therefore, we can help you create a strategy tailored to your customer base.
Our UCaaS strategies allow businesses to automate repetitive tasks, freeing resources to provide a personalized experience and save on operational costs. We also offer an omnichannel platform that provides a complete view of the customer's journey. So, if you're looking to create an omnichannel customer experience with conversational AI, our platform can help.
Continuing exploring our website to learn more, for instance, how can Voice AI help during holiday peaks.