What it means to create a holistic customer experience with omnichannel communications.
The term “omnichannel communications” has perforated marketing and customer service efforts in recent years, but the idea is over a decade old. Coined in 2010 as a means to make shopping and retail more accessible, omnichannel experiences have extended to telecommunications, healthcare, finance, utilities, and several other industries. Today, omnichannel communications can be defined as “seamlessly integrated channels that caters to customers’ preferences and actively steers them toward the most efficient resolution.” And despite the assumption, omnichannel communications is different from multichannel communications. When you successfully deploy an omnichannel communications strategy, your customer has a seamless experience in making a purchasing decision or reaching resolution, all through their preferred contact channels.
The Shift to Omnichannel Communications
As purchasing decisions and company interactions shifted from in-person to phone to email to chat and beyond, organizations needed to keep the lines of communications open on all fronts. Omnichannel experiences spiked with the popularity of smartphones in 2013, but the process was nowhere near perfect. For instance, retailers introduced in-store pickup, but it didn’t match their inventory, leaving many customers without their product. And when omnichannel experiences became more popular, organizations had to contend with internal silos, outdated infrastructure, and lack of resources. By 2018, omnichannel experiences are no longer considered an experiment, but a “must” to meet the expectations of customers.
Today, software and solutions are built to integrate within an omnichannel strategy and streamline communications. According to a McKinsey and Company study, more than one-third of Americans have made omnichannel features part of their regular shopping routine since the pandemic, and nearly two-thirds of those individuals plan to continue. Additionally, research has shown that Gen Z consumers don’t think in terms of traditional channel boundaries and increasingly evaluate brands on the seamlessness of their experience.
Omnichannel experiences aren’t just a customer demand, but an effective method to streamline communications and create a seamless experience for your teams too. Here are just a few ways your omnichannel communications provider can benefit your internal and external operations.
- Reduce troubleshooting, missed appointments, and other time-wasters
- Self-service capabilities that can be easily adopted and deployed in-house
- Improve campaign performance and engagement
Improve Brand Loyalty
- Prevent over communication and contact preference errors
- Understand how to reach customers at the right time, with the right message, through the right channel
- Create personalized customer interactions
- Identify barriers between customer care teams and customers
- Gather team member performance and provide additional support when needed
- Create standardization among departments
- Ensure all messages are on brand and follow approved guidelines
- Customize templates for different devices, browsers and clients
- Create communications that look, sound, and feel like your brand
Make Data-Driven Decisions
- Gain deeper insight into the customer experience
- Gather real-time metrics and customer feedback
- Predict shifting customer behaviors and patterns
Case Study: Investing in Omnichannel
The power of omnichannel experiences can be showcased in our case study with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS), the largest independent oncology and hematology practice in the United States. Due to FCS’s siloed and non-integrated patient communication system, the practice experienced poor clinical staff workflow and patient retention.
SkyCreek implemented an effective omnichannel solution that would provide higher quality customer service at a lower cost and allow FCS to expand its service offerings. The omnichannel experiences targeted three main objectives for FCS:
- Appointment reminders
- SkyCreek improved the appointment reminders system with better messaging, reminders about upcoming appointments, and the option to confirm appointments. The program also enabled patients to easily reschedule if needed, reducing the burden on FCS staff.
- Patient-tracking dashboard
- SkyCreek supported the management and implementation of patient follow-up calls. The tool enabled FCS clinical staff to be better prepared for daily patient care by knowing the accurate number of confirmed appointments.
- SkyCreek developed an emergency-notification module with seven predefined emergency-notification types. The module enabled FCS to update and inform 1,000 patients at a moment’s notice when a major insurance provider made changes to patient coverage.
When comparing with our omnichannel checklist above, SkyCreek delivered for FCS in all the ways a modern omnichannel tool should perform:
- Improved clinic productivity at lowered costs
- Average patient notification cost was six cents
- Average cost per calling day was $2.31 per clinic and $1.08 per doctor
- Improved patient confirmation rates by 20%
- 95.7% of patients successfully provided appointment reminders, with 66.6% verifying appointment information
Healthcare companies like FCS, as well as telecommunications, utilities, and finance companies need omnichannel communications to exceed customer expectations and differentiate from competitors. Schedule a free demo with SkyCreek to see the seamless experience in action.
- Disjointed data, slow content development and lack of automation: Some of the major problems Skycreek solved to make omnichannel communication a seamless experience.
- Innovating basic patient experience and managing operational costs is balancing act any healthcare organization must manage with the growing face of customer expectations in the healthcare industry.
- High accumulation of customer data and behavior and trends.