Nowadays, if you try to force a customer to buy a product in a way that doesn’t suit them, you risk alienating them for good. The modern customer needs and wants to buy products on their own terms, and that means buying when, where, and how they feel like doing. With so many digital and traditional channels at their disposal, there is no need for customers to conform to your rules – if you don’t accept social media orders, then someone else will. Simple as that.
This can be a golden opportunity for you to increase sales and advance your company in numerous ways, but it can also be your downfall in the modern business world. Choose to adopt an omni-channel sales approach and you will thrive. Choose to stick to the old way, and you will find it impossible to keep up with your competitors.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what it takes to build a strong, sustainable omni-channel sales approach that will benefit your brand as much as your customers.
Live website chat is non-negotiable
The modern customer wants to be able to communicate with their brands in the now, meaning that they expect you to be readily available to address their needs on a moment’s notice. Sure, some might be willing to send you an email and wait for your response, but many others will choose to venture to your competitor’s site in search of immediate assistance. Needless to say, this is one of the best ways to lose quality leads and miss out on easy conversions.
Your goal is to provide immediate service to anyone who lands on your website, and to do that you need:
- A 24-hour live chat function.
- An experienced and skilled customer-support team that uses standard operating procedures as well as a personalized approach.
- Quick forwarding to your sales staff when the customer is ready to convert.
- Alternatively, bring sales and support together and train your support staff to provide a stellar experience to your customers that will lead to a quick conversion.
- Don’t forget to give your customers the opportunity to order a product right then and there in the chat.
Automate communication to improve CX and sales
Many business advice you’ll read around the web stress the importance of automation in business, but rarely will they go beyond the obvious money-saving benefits. Sure, automating certain processes saves you time and money, but when it comes to sales, automation can help you sell faster and more frequently than before. One example is the automation of the support and sales processes by integrating AI-driven solutions, like a chatbot.
A great way to improve sales performance with AI is to implement a sales chatbot that will automatically log and process sales orders via chat and other communication channels. This way, your sales and support specialists can devote their time to converting tough leads and reaching out to past customers, while your chatbot processes conversion-ready customers. The chatbot is another sales channel and method you need to employ in 2021 to reach higher sales goals.
Run your omni-channel structure from one place
One of the greatest challenges of running an omni-channel sales structure is making sure that you are processing orders from multiple channels efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately, the moment you switch to omni-channel sales you will realize that doing this manually is next to impossible. The risks of human error and inventory mismanagement are simply too high. A great example of how to prevent these downfalls comes to us from the manufacturing industry.
Manufacturing is an essential, yet extremely complex field. Business leaders in this sector need to leverage technology like centralized manufacturing software in order to manage everything from inventory to sales, support, order processing, and more from a single digital location. Why? Because that is the only way to prevent errors and run an efficient omni-channel sales structure. So, the key takeaway is that you need to implement a centralized ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) platform to eliminate risk and retain full control of your complex sales processes.
Leverage traditional communication channels
Just because the modern business world is focused on digital doesn’t mean that all of your conversions are going to come from online customer touchpoints. Many customers still need and want to communicate with brands the old-fashioned way, meaning that you have an opportunity to sell more via phone and even SMS.
Make sure to enable seamless phone communication with your customers and allow them to make a purchase right then and there. Likewise, don’t miss the opportunity for conversions by sending out personalized SMS messages with special and concrete offers, allowing your customers to order products by simply replying to your message.
Capitalize on the rise of Mcommerce
Last but definitely not least, keep in mind that customers are increasingly shopping on their mobile phones and handheld devices in general. While you can consider developing a branded app for increased sales and CX if your company is growing rapidly, you should primarily ensure that your website is optimized for mobile browsing and shopping.
Make sure that your site is easy to peruse on mobile and that your mobile customers can place orders with a push of a button instead of having to jump through too many hoops. Inspire them to make a purchase right then and thereby reducing customer effort and enhancing the customer experience on your mobile-friendly website.
Nowadays, you can no longer grow with a single sales channel. Customers are expecting you to accept orders from a variety of touchpoints, so having an omni-channel sales strategy is paramount for growth. Use these tips to set up your omni-channel sales structure quickly and manage it for maximum financial gain.