Why Omnichannel Commerce? Because customers have expectations that they may not even realize.

Let’s say they spend just twenty minutes visiting your business in one of your stores. They know they expect those 20 minutes to go smoothly, but what they may not realize is that they expect your business to be available on your web site the other 23 hours and 40 minutes of the day. And they expect the same purchase and payment details to be available in either place.

That’s the goal with a truly omnichannel strategy. What it essentially boils down to is seamless customer service available on any medium. If your business can’t offer that in 2018, a competitor probably will. And that’s just as true for B2B businesses as B2C.

Bad service hurts the bottom line

According to a piece by Chris Wen at GetCRM, customer service is actually a bigger factor for consumers than even cost. As he puts it, “you can’t price your way out of bad customer experience.” A 2011 survey found that 26% of existing customers leave a business because of cost, while the other 74% leave due to bad service. And in most cases, those customers never come back. That same survey found that 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor service experience. And with the empowerment of consumers through digital reviews and social media, a bad experience can have a far-reaching ripple effect.

What is Omnichannel?

So what makes up an omnichannel customer service and sales strategy? First, you have to make sure your business is accessible on the platforms your customers and clients are using. Increasingly, consumers expect customer service through social media. If that interaction then moves over to email, and finally to a phone call, the customer needs to be able to pick up right where they left off with each interaction.

The same goes for sales. Let’s say I start a purchase through a dedicated app but have a question I need clarification on over the phone. I get the clarification, then want to finish the transaction with the agent while I am on the phone. At each point, I need to start each step where I finished the last one, and the same goes for interactions that begin or end in a physical retail environment.

That’s the kind of service that customers expect, and it requires a fully integrated platform for consumer, purchase and payment data to deliver on your omnichannel strategy. Salesforce is a popular option for delivering that omnichannel platform, due to its many integration options, as well as add-on applications from the Salesforce AppExchange such as Chargent.

It Comes Down to Sharing

Whether in customer service, sales or marketing, omnichannel requires the seamless sharing of information within your business. At every point of interaction with a consumer, whomever is representing your business needs access to as much information as possible, be that sales history or past communications and feedback.The right hand always needs to know what the left has been up to, so none of your systems can keep data to themselves. If you can collect and share the right information inside your business, you can provide a fully integrated, omnichannel approach.

Let the Chargent Terminal equip you for success.