The line which differentiates the digital and physical worlds is getting more blurred. This is allowing businesses to reach customers no matter where they are during the entire customer journey. An omnichannel approach to sales and customer service is key to making this happen. And more businesses are implementing this approach.
Zendesk’s report, “Five Biggest Gaps in Customer Service” points out fast-growing small businesses are using omnichannel for their customer service. They choose this approach because they can seamlessly connect and communicate with consumers across multiple channels. And customers now expect businesses to be available in multiple channels, regardless of company size.
Ted Smith, head of market insights at Zendesk, explained how customers expect no less in the press release. Smith says, “Customers don’t think about a company’s size when they’re interacting with support. They expect to be able to reach out on the channel of their choice, and to get their issues resolved efficiently.”
What are the Big Gaps in Customer Service?
As the title of the report states, there is a gap in customer service. This gap exists between what small businesses say they are doing and what they are delivering regarding the customer experience.
The report says more than half of business leaders still rely on a shared email box to manage tickets. While email is great, it lacks the capability to provide the tools for real-time communication. This makes it much harder to know what team members are doing at all times.
Additionally, fewer than one-third of businesses are taking an omnichannel approach to customer service. And close to 30% say their approach to customer service hasn’t changed in the past five years.
When it comes to self-service, it is just as bad. With 81% of consumers now looking to interact online to find answers without an actual person, self-service is critically important. But only 9% of small businesses are letting customers find answers for themselves. This is despite more than 50% of leaders say it is important to provide self-service.
It goes without saying self-service solutions save businesses a considerable amount of resources. With the right solution in place, support agents can be used more efficiently to answer complex requests from customers.
How Fast-Growing Businesses are Thriving
First, these businesses are more likely to take an omnichannel approach to address their customer service needs. But they also handle their tickets more efficiently.
This includes resolving tickets faster (40%); being more likely to offer 3+ contact methods for customers (41%); handling 63% more tickets through live channels like chat and phone, and engaging with 3.3 times as many customers via customer service.
What is Omnichannel Customer Service?
An omnichannel customer service strategy integrates multiple contact methods for both the consumer and customer service teams.
The goal is to create a seamless experience between customers, agents, and administrators within a single platform. This allows decision-makers to act without switching tools quickly and effectively, thus providing a great customer experience.
What are the Takeaways?
The report concludes, for the most part, small businesses are struggling and they aren’t set up to meet their customer service objectives.
However, it goes on to say they don’t have to break the bank to start providing good customer service.
Digital solutions are readily available for small businesses at affordable price points. What is more, these tools can be implemented and deployed easily for teams of all sizes.
What Does the Data Say?
The data comes from more than 6,891 small businesses using Zendesk in 104 countries along with a survey of 600 customer service leaders.