Velaro PlatformsWhen today’s customers require support, they don’t think in terms of channels. They reach out to your company through whatever means is most convenient or comfortable for them – social, email, chat, phone – and expect that no matter their choice, they will receive swift attention.

However, there can be challenges standing between meeting omnichannel customer service expectations and operational realities. To ensure you are providing consistently exceptional customer service across all channels, consider these rules of the road.

Only advertise what you can deliver.

Given the ubiquity of smartphones, the demand for live, instantaneous support is on the rise. And while it would be great to be able to offer customer service across social, chat, phone and everywhere in between, first it is critical that your customer service department is prepared to keep up.

If your presence in an emerging channel isn’t fully baked yet, hold off on advertising its availability. Customers are not looking to reach out via social media only to be told to call your call center. Instead, think about how you can branch out into new channels by leveraging existing resources like adding live chat capabilities to your social media platform and cross-training your agents.

Be consistent across platforms.

The best way to ensure a consistent user experience is to equip agents across all channels with rich customer records and up-to-the-minute intelligence. To accomplish this, many companies choose to integrate their live chat and other platforms into their customer relationship management (CRM) system. This allows agents to append live chat transcripts, metadata and survey results onto a user record, so if a customer gets transferred to another channel or is later engaged, the next agent can quickly grasp the context of the last interaction, saving the customer time – and frustration.

Help customers help themselves.

One channel that is sometimes overlooked in the customer service mix is a self-service option, in the form of a searchable FAQ or knowledgebase. The beauty of creating a repository like this that it empowers customers to find answers on their own, gives agents a place to direct customers for further information, and means canned messages with particular triggers can offer richer, more informative messages that include references to FAQs. All of which contribute to more efficient service delivery and happier customers.

Creating and maintaining a knowledgebase does require a concerted effort, but by integrating it into your customer service operations, the investment can pay off daily in both time and costs saved.

Ready to fold live chat into your omnichannel customer service department? Learn how Magellan GPS halved customer support operating expenses by doing just that – read the case study.