Blog/Contact Center/Building multichannel journeys at scale with Airkit

In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions changed consumer behaviors in profound ways. Contact centers were flooded with unprecedented call volume for routine requests, such as order status, service cancellations, claim filings, or payment updates, and expectations for digital offerings across multiple channels skyrocketed. 

Even before the shift to digital as a response to the start of the pandemic in 2020, many companies had begun investing in new digital services to increase the scope of their online business. This might have meant adding new channels for customer outreach, such as chat and text, automated appointment scheduling, or AI-powered chatbots as a means to answer customer FAQs.

In a recent survey conducted by Airkit, 40% of consumers used three or more conversational channels to engage customer service. Adding support for these channels is a great start. However, having the right tools and using the right tools correctly are two different things.

What follows are several recommendations on how to develop a successful multichannel CX strategy, one that is intentional, contextual, and iterable.

The importance of an intentional multichannel strategy

An article written for McKinsey stated, “Many companies have subpar digital capabilities that actually increase customer demand for engagement. Indeed, organizations that attempt to migrate customers to digital channels before they are fully ready can trigger the ‘boomerang effect,’ in which customers can keep coming back to a company multiple times in an effort to resolve a problem.”

In other words, just because a channel exists, doesn’t mean you’re providing an exceptional digital experience. A customer might be delighted to see that a business has a chatbot to answer questions after working hours. But, if that chatbot can only tell the customer when a representative will be back online to assist, has it really helped the customer? 

And many Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems ask consumers to download and use an app. How many customers do you expect to hang up, download an app, authenticate, navigate to the right solution page, and complete their action?

Failing to build a contextual multichannel experience can be immensely costly. According to Forrester, unnecessary service costs for online retailers due to channel escalation are roughly $22 million. Siloed omnichannel experiences are almost worse than no omnichannel experience at all. 

Building a consistent experience across all channels

Smart CX leaders are adopting digital CX platforms that unite all their communication channels from live chat to email to SMS to IVR, so they can get a 360-degree view of their customers’ needs. The difference with Airkit is you can orchestrate digital experiences that preserve session state and flow uninterrupted across channels without losing context. 

web and phone workflows

Airkit gives you the ability to instantly adopt channels you’d like to support from IVR to SMS to digital self-serve flows. Once you integrate with Airkit, our platform ferries data from front-end experiences like sign-up flows to your backend system of choice like Heap, Salesforce, or Marketo where that data is stored. 

Now, data isn’t siloed between channels and you can identify customers as they move across channels to deliver a more consistent, personalized experience. So, as a customer moves from channel to channel on their way to reach your business, you don’t lose sight of who they are and what they need. 

When you know who your customer is, what channels they’re using to contact you, and what they need, it’s time to measure how effective your business is at delivering on their needs. 

Experiment, iterate, repeat 

Let’s say you’re up and running with an omnichannel platform and tracking customer interactions across channels seamlessly to delight and serve your customers. That’s a great time to ask the question, “How can we do better?” 

Airkit lets you log, store, and access critical data insights that define your customer’s journey. With deeper insights, you can more confidently run experiments that enhance your customer’s experience. 

For example, if you see that customers on mobile aren’t making it all the way through your sign-up flow, you can try simplifying your onboarding questionnaire or making a mobile-friendly UX to address that problem. You can make, measure, and iterate on those experiences with Airkit and track their impact. 

Bench Accounting, America’s largest bookkeeping service for small businesses, is a prime example of the value of iteration. By integrating Airkit with Heap Analytics, Bench was able to build a lead generation flow to collect and analyze data from 700+ small businesses in just four weeks. Heap allowed the team to view and understand how leads were progressing through the Airkit experiences, which enabled them to use these findings to power amendments to the original workflow. 

Using the power of these two platforms, Bench was able to make two to three significant, data-driven adjustments to their original experience in just a matter of weeks, all without Engineering help — something that would never have been possible without Airkit and Heap. 

The result was a 20% increase in unique visitor-to-client conversion rate by optimizing the signup flow to drive only high-value leads, all while decreasing the client acquisition cost.

Start meeting your customers’ omnichannel expectations.

The prospect of adopting new channels, managing multichannel experiences, and iterating based on data can seem daunting. Airkit makes it simple and manageable. Using Airkit, you can get started quickly and scale effortlessly. Our intuitive CX platform is designed to give you the flexibility and freedom you need to build and update ideal CX flows, without requiring hours and hours of training or a computer science degree. Take a step forward towards multichannel journeys with Airkit.

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