The global telecommunications industry continues its rapid evolution. Emerging technologies and applications enable companies to better engage with their customers, setting the stage for solid relationships and business growth. Omnichannel communication provides an integrated platform for these mutually beneficial exchanges.
What Is the Omnichannel Revolution?
The Omnichannel Revolution is an accelerating shift toward a new communication paradigm. For companies in many industries, an omnichannel communication strategy delivers a uniform customer experience in every communication medium.
An omnichannel communication experience begins in the pre-sales phase and continues during the purchase interaction. The omnichannel experience extends through the customer’s entire lifecycle with the company.
In the telecommunications industry, customers typically engage through phone, SMS/text, chat apps, and social media. Today, most customers prefer text messaging because they can respond at their convenience and often receive quick answers.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel Communication
Omnichannel communication and multichannel communication sound very similar, but they are not. In multichannel communication, a company invites customers to contact them via multiple messaging formats. Phone, email, SMS/text, chat, and Facebook Messenger are frequently used media.
Even with multiple communication choices, however, the customer may not have a unified experience. Perhaps they enjoy a stellar phone-based customer support experience. However, after several tries they receive no response from the business’ chat app. Therefore, the customer becomes frustrated and may take their business elsewhere.
In an omnichannel communication experience, a customer initiates a contact via their preferred channel. Whether through voice, text, or chat, the customer obtains a consistent response from the business. If the customer has a problem, all customer support associates will have relevant details.
Creating an Omnichannel Communication Infrastructure
An integrated omnichannel communication framework requires a three-step approach. Each step builds on the previous one.
- Pinpoint the Audience’s Favored Channels: Conduct market research that enables familiarity with the target market. Identify their favored communication channels.
- Design a Viable Communication Framework: Select communication tools such as SMS/text, chatbot, and live chat functions. Each tool provides the customer with real-time, interactive messaging capabilities.
- Develop Applicable Business Metrics: Analyze customer data relative to Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs). If certain measures don’t meet the standard, the company should design a remediation strategy.
Omnichannel Communication: 5 Benefits for Businesses
Adopting a new business practice often involves some retooling and a mindset shift. Fortunately, an omnichannel communication strategy offers five concrete benefits.
Centralized Technology Advantages
Through omnichannel communication, a company can operate as a single integrated channel. This sets the stage for consistent customer experiences. One communication platform also minimizes duplication of effort.
Enhanced Customer Experiences
When a company integrates its communication channels, consumers can enjoy effortless interactions. They know they’ll have a consistent experience on any channel.
Personalized Customer Offerings
With all customer conversations funneled through one conduit, a company can better understand each customer’s ongoing service experience. By evaluating previous interactions, the company can deliver more personalized customer offerings.
Higher Customer Retention
Companies using omnichannel communication reduce friction in the customer experience. First, the business engages customers via their preferred channel. The company offers faster customer support (via the chat tool), and delivers efficient resolutions. This increases customer satisfaction and decreases customer attrition.
Strong Competitive Advantage
Companies that facilitate omnichannel communication have a competitive advantage over similar businesses with fragmented communication frameworks. The omnichannel early adopters may be regarded as industry innovators.
Mitto: Delivering Omnichannel Communication Leadership
Switzerland-based Mitto is known for its leadership in the omnichannel communication arena. Mitto delivers leading-edge customer engagement technology along with messaging enablement. Together, these technologies help facilitate growth for leading enterprise brands and mobile network operators (or MNOs).
Mitto’s Wide-ranging Mission
Mitto laid the groundwork for this ambitious goal in 2013. Mitto Chief Operating Officer (or COO) Ilja Gorelik noted that the company was founded to accomplish a specific mission. “Our company was founded in 2013 with the specific aim of building a state-of-the-art Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS messaging platform, unrivaled in reliability, that could support the requirements of a new wave of A2P services.
“As the demand grew for enablement of omnichannel communications capabilities, we expanded our portfolio beyond SMS. [We] now include voice, chat bots, all major chat apps (WhatsApp, Viber, Facebook Messenger, etc.), Google Business Messaging, RCS, myriad CRM and marketing platform integrations and, most recently, pre-built tools for bulk campaigns and conversational support chats. Simply put, we make communication happen,” he concluded.
Global Brands’ Customers Prefer Varied Channels
Ilja Gorelik noted that Mitto’s streamlined omnichannel communication enables customers to engage on their preferred channel. “Global brands have global customers, each of which interacts with brands slightly differently.
“Some prefer to interact with brands on SMS, some on chat apps like WhatsApp and Viber. Some don’t have a preference; they want the ability to engage with a brand on whatever channel is most effective at that moment in time.
“There is no single channel to reach every customer, there is no perfect message, and customers’ expectations for brands are sky high. Mitto’s services help brands navigate this complexity,” Ilja Gorelik emphasized.
Taking an Educational Approach
Today, Ilja Gorelik relishes the opportunity to speak about Mitto’s omnichannel approach. He emphasizes the importance of relating to customers wherever they are and with a single voice.
“As marketers add new digital channels, I am more concerned with educating on the importance of taking an omnichannel, not multichannel approach. Brands need to speak to customers wherever they are ─ be it SMS, Chat Apps, or other ─ with a single consistent voice.
“Otherwise, they risk losing them and their revenue. Drawing multiple digital channels seamlessly together will become a foundational element to unify customers’ touch points across all channels,” Ilja Gorelik summarized.
Vodafone UK: A Switch to Omnichannel Customer Experiences Produces Results
The telecommunications industry moves fast, with frequent technological innovations that improve providers’ capabilities. Some advances also produce positive results for customers, such as Vodafone UK’s users.
Vodafone UK is a top-tier mobile operator serving almost 18 million subscribers. In 2019-2020, Vodafone UK’s competitors were outpacing the company with new customer offers.
In addition, Vodafone’s customer channels, application performance, and mobile app had subpar performance. The company’s app, plus each customer-facing channel, operated in a separate silo.
Infosys Helped Vodafone to Execute a Complete Turnaround
To turn the situation around, Vodafone UK obtained assistance from Infosys, a global digital services consulting firm. Infosys implemented an omnichannel customer experience to enhance Vodafone UK’s sales, service, customer care, and commerce operations. The resultant transformation produced numerous measurable positive results.
Ben Connolly, Head of Vodafone UK’s Digital Engineering operation, summarized the company’s goal. “Our overall goal is to enable a modular platform architecture that provides interoperability, scalability, and well-defined interfaces between omnichannel solutions and downstream systems.
“Digital is the glue that helps Vodafone attract, retain, and engage subscribers…The digital platform, implemented together with Infosys, enables Vodafone UK to serve digital natives with new, differentiated, and value-added services.
“Culture change was crucial to the success of this effort, and it was driven from the top. Our leadership’s commitment to digital transformation and adoption of new methods was critical,” Ben Connolly concluded.
Vonage: Omnichannel Business Communication Drives Personalized Customer Experiences
Vonage Business Communications delivers an integrated solution that facilitates effective teamwork and collaboration. Concurrently, Vonage’s leading-edge solution meshes with communications channels, workflows, and contact centers. This focus on omnichannel communication enables personalized customer experiences.
In the Middle East market, Mohammad Radaydeh, Vonage’s Country Manager META, emphasized how omnichannel communication enables effortless conversations between companies and customers. He said Vonage has implemented the necessary infrastructure to facilitate seamless communication.
“Owning our tech stack from unified communications, contact centers, and a communications platform as a service, we are uniquely placed to help businesses improve digital engagement with their customers. And in doing so, enhance both customer and employee experience to create greater satisfaction and brand loyalty,” he said.
Vonage’s Market Research Drove Its Omnichannel Focus
Mohammad Radaydeh offered the backstory behind Vonage’s omnichannel communication approach. “We are at the beginning of a huge market-wide communications revolution…Last year, we researched to understand changing consumer preferences and behaviors to help organizations better engage with their customers to drive better experiences.
“The survey underscored that it is now fundamental for companies to stay connected to employees and customers from anywhere ─ through whatever channel they choose ─ video, voice, messaging, and chat…Armed with these insights, businesses can build a winning customer experience that meets customers on their preferred communications channels, whatever and wherever they might be,” he said.
“While this remote delivery of services is crucial to business survival today, that ability will mean little if the experience isn’t frictionless, seamless, and embedded into the applications customers are already comfortable using.
“The ability to innovate and meet customers on their preferred communications channels is the value the Vonage platform brings to organizations worldwide,” Mohammad Radaydeh summarized.
Omnichannel Communication Continues to Expand
Companies that adopt an omnichannel communications framework are well positioned to reap the benefits of this unified approach. As this sophisticated technology continues to advance, customers should enjoy further enhanced experiences.