Why Local Service Industries Must Provide an Omnichannel Experience

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What is an omnichannel customer experience? The short answer: a frictionless, always-on approach that's consistent across all your messaging and channels.

An omnichannel strategy gives your customers the same experience whether they interact with your business online, in store, on their smartphone, or a combination of the above. It ensures your brand is present anywhere and everywhere they might be willing to buy or ask questions. It encompasses all communication methods: email, social, SMS, search, website, phone calls, and face-to-face interactions.

Much of the research on the omnichannel customer experience focuses on ecommerce businesses — not service industries like home improvement, legal, medical, and finance.

It makes sense. Ecommerce is perhaps easier to measure. Not to mention service industries traditionally rely on older marketing strategies like print, TV, and word-of-mouth advertising to acquire new customers and clients.

But the times are changing, and service businesses must adapt. Let's explore why service businesses like yours need to provide an omnichannel experience, what that experience might look like, and a secret weapon that allows you to build better relationships with your customers with less time and effort.

Why service industries must provide an omnichannel experience to grow

Ecommerce giants like Amazon have permanently changed customer expectations. Same-day shipping. 1-tap buy. An ultra-personalized experience across several offerings. Customers expect instant gratification from their favorite brands.

That might seem irrelevant for service industries like home improvement, legal, and even medical. But consider some of these popular Google searches:

  • emergency HVAC repair
  • chat with a lawyer online for free now
  • live chat with a doctor free

Clearly, that "need-it-right-now" mentality doesn't solely apply to ecommerce. It also applies to local service businesses like yours. And it means you have to open up every possible avenue of communication with your business.

Some of your customers might prefer to call. Others might prefer to text. Still others might prefer to contact you via social media, live chat, or email. Or maybe even a combination of channels.

Which means you have to be present on all of them if you want to reach those prospects and outpace your competition.

But how can your local business be everywhere at once? It doesn't make sense for you to employ a 24/7 marketing or customer service team.

The good news is, you don't have to. But we'll get to that a little later in this article. For now, let's look at an example of an omnichannel customer experience in the service industry.

What an omnichannel customer experience might look like for service industries

Using a local HVAC company as an example, here's what an omnichannel customer experience might look like.

  1. A customer searches for "emergency HVAC repair near me."
  2. They click your Google Local Service Ad or Maps result.
  3. When they land on your site, tracking codes activate for later retargeting. A web chat window greets the prospect, inviting them to ask questions or schedule an appointment.
  4. The customer engages with the chat and receives an instant response from a customized chatbot. They provide key information like their name, ZIP code, phone number, and email address.
  5. The bot answers their questions, schedules the appointment, and/or notifies your team of the interaction. If they ask to speak to a human, team members are notified and can jump into the conversation immediately. Meanwhile, the lead's information is automatically stored in your chat logs or CRM.
  6. After the interaction, a technician or CSR calls the lead to confirm the appointment, discuss their needs, or answer questions more in-depth.
  7. On the day of the appointment, the customer receives a text letting them know the technician is on their way.
  8. After the job is complete, the customer receives a customer satisfaction survey in an email. The email might also invite the customer to sign up for text reminders to schedule future maintenance appointments.
  9. An automated email campaign triggers, providing the customer with educational tips for maintaining their HVAC systems twice a month.
  10. The customer receives an automated SMS when their next service appointment is due, complete with a handy link to schedule it in just a few clicks.

Admittedly, this is a super straightforward example that assumes intent. For instance, this lead needed that emergency HVAC service ASAP. But they also had a reason to choose that specific company over its competitors. They might've chosen the company with the most 5-star reviews, asked a trusted friend or family member for a recommendation, or perhaps remembered a catchy TV commercial — or all of the above.

Most of the time, leads will take their time shopping around. The company that wins their business will be the one that stays top-of-mind by being visible on every possible channel.

Your secret weapon for managing an omnichannel customer experience

Ultimately, when leads come in, you need to be in the best possible position to qualify and convert. That means being present on every channel that prospects might use to interact with your business.

It sounds impossible for a small business with a small team and without a bottomless marketing budget. You've undoubtedly found yourself wishing you could use just one tool to manage everything so you can focus on what matters most — serving your customers and clients.

Wish no more! Manage and automate your customer interactions across email, SMS, web chat, and social media messaging platforms like Facebook with ZyraTalk. Build better relationships with your customers by opening up every possible avenue of communication with your business. All without lifting a finger.

Yep, you heard that right — our team of experts will take care of everything for you. We'll customize your chat window with your brand colors, logo, and industry-specific chat scripts. We'll set up your review management dashboard, making it easy for customers to leave reviews on your preferred platforms in just a few clicks. We'll even write custom chat scripts and email copy. Whatever you need to get up and running, we've got you covered.

When you choose ZyraTalk, you're not just adding another marketing or customer service tool to your tech stack. Think of us as a member of your team. Sure, we serve 3,000+ local service businesses across the country. But we're also a local business ourselves. We know what problems businesses like yours face because we created ZyraTalk to solve our own problems.

We know that's a lot to take in, so feel free to hit us up with any questions you may have. Schedule your demo today for a behind-the-scenes tour of the world's first ever growth engine.

Not quite ready to take the plunge? That's cool. Check out our resources for actionable advice on cutting customer acquisition costs, measuring lead response times, building a memorable brand, and more.