Has the term omni-channel inbox been popping up in your Google searches? Are you unsure of what it actually means? You've come to the right place!
Omni-channel inboxes exist to solve two fundamental problems that business owners face. First, they allow local businesses to centralise all their communication platforms in one place. Second, they let business owners tag team with their employees to offload some of the weight of keeping up with all customer and prospect communications.
Now that you're familiar with the term omni-channel inbox, let's break down some of the top benefits that make it indispensable for a growing business.
The golden era of email is long gone, and SMS, WhatsApp and social media messages have taken over the world of customer communication. Why? Because we are all so overloaded with emails that we stopped checking them... and because while most people only check their personal email inboxes a couple of times a day (or less!), a phone that rings in a hand or pocket is able to grasp people's fleeting attention a lot better. For this reason, text messages have a whopping 98%+ open rate (vs. 20% for email), and a 45% response rate (vs. 5% for email). As a business owner, you should be dropping email for text... and if you haven't yet this article will make you change your mind!
In practice, if you'd like your messages to be read, and ideally replied to / actioned upon, then messaging should be your preferred method of communicating with your prospects and customers.
Providing the best possible service to every customer is probably something you strive to achieve. Nevertheless, providing an impeccable service is not always enough to offer a perfect customer experience. The way you interact with the customer through their journey from interest to conversion will make an impression on them, and influence the way they remember your business.
If you're eager to get more reviews and referrals, you need to keep in mind the communication aspect of your customers' experience.
There are two ways an omni-channel inbox can help you achieve just that. First, you want to make sure your prospects and customers have several options to choose from when they need to contact you. Being available via email only doesn't work anymore, and many people prefer to reach out on apps they already use all the time, like WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook or Instagram Messenger..
Secondly, you want to make sure you're responding to enquiries within a very short time. Any delay may harm the way a customer remembers their experience with you. A centralised omni-channel inbox helps you lower your response times. You won't have to constantly remember to check several different apps, you'll just need to stay on top of one single inbox, where all the messages from your SMS, WhatsApp, social media and email accounts get pulled in.
In the same way as a slow response can harm your prospects and customers' view of the service you're providing them, it can also result in work lost to the competition... Nobody wants to wait hours to book an appointment or know whether you offer a certain service. If you don't get back to your leads soon enough, they'll try your competition. An omni-channel inbox makes it easy to keep on top of your leads, and helps you deliver a quick response through the use of templates and automations.
Finally, a central inbox where you can assign conversations to your team mates and employees means that you're not the only person responsible to getting back to everyone all the time. This can free up hours of your day, lower your stress, and also allow you to efficiently assign a chat to the most appropriate person in the company to deal with it (which in turn might offer your customers a better experience, connecting them with someone who can solve their issue right away).
What are you waiting for? Start considering an omni-channel inbox for your business today!