What was considered an aspiration for any modern business not too long ago has become a must-have for businesses across industries. Omnichannel customer experience is fast becoming the key to a successful business. The primary reason for this is that consumers nowadays have more ways than one to interact with your brand. With various channels available at the users’ disposal, they can learn about your products and services anytime, anywhere. Google searches, customer reviews, social media, videos, etc., are some of the many available options. Therefore, to successfully cater to the modern user/consumer, you must adopt an omnichannel approach.
Let’s look at what omnichannel customer experience means and how you can create and improve it for your company. This article will explain how creating an Omnichannel CX can make that process as seamless as possible. Along the way, you’ll improve customer satisfaction, boost loyalty, and drive more sales to your business.
Businesses have traditionally engaged in cross-platform sales. Brick-and-mortar businesses have at least supplemented their physical sites with an online presence since the internet became widely used. However, just because you use several channels in your sales strategy doesn’t guarantee a true omnichannel customer experience. The integrated strategy/approach is what makes a difference.
One aspect of the omnichannel approach centers around its availability on multiple platforms. You want to connect with your customers in any way you can. The goal is to let your clients choose how to approach you — you’re available at every entry point they could consider.
With a well-implemented Omnichannel approach, customers can start their interaction with your business in one channel and carry it out in another channel smoothly. To get there, it is necessary to align your marketing, sales, and customer service initiatives.
However, an omnichannel customer experience involves more than just providing multiple points of contact. Rather, it’s about interweaving these touchpoints into a seamless whole. At the same time, you want to build a closer connection with your customers. With that in mind, some other augmentations to consider are Personalized Interactions, Multiple Points of Communication, & Maximize Customer Choice. Before taking a deep dive into Omnichannel CX, let us first understand how it is different from Multichannel CX.
Most companies employ a variety of channels for sales and customer service. However, having several channels does not guarantee an omnichannel experience.
A multichannel company might run a website, a social media presence, a physical store, etc.
Each channel, however, runs separately in separate silos. For instance, a company’s website may have a different objective and strategy than its Facebook page.
Even though an omnichannel strategy requires engaging with customers across numerous channels, it focuses on delivering an integrated experience in real-time rather than having a separate plan for each one. The channels are all closely woven together.
There was a time when companies believed that if sales at their brick-and-mortar locations were dropping, the company was itself failing. This is a claim that has now been repeatedly refuted.
However, it’s not necessary to tear down and reinstall the old system to implement the current technological trends. It comes down to cross-pollination. Not just evolution, but revolution, is produced by this process.
It comes as no surprise that businesses gain heavily from taking their businesses online. The results are remarkable when these advantages are combined with people’s innate desire to engage in physical and local experiences. This interaction will result in a significant gain for the customer. In essence, they are getting the best of both worlds.
Lenskart is the best example of this. A user can buy the products from both brick-and-mortar stores or via click-and-mortar, i.e., online. The user can try on these products before buying them – be it via the traditional in-store try-on or Lenskart’s AR-powered Try-on feature. After making the purchase, the user can get the same product delivered to their doorstep or pick it up from the Lenskart store. The same goes for the repairs.
By making it convenient for the user to seamlessly switch between the preferred mode of service from online to offline and vice versa, Lenskart seems to have cracked the code for ensuring a seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience, which undoubtedly is one of the biggest reasons for the brand’s success.
Regardless of the channel, they access from, an omnichannel customer experience enables you to reach the modern consumer in a contextually appropriate way at every stage of their journey. This increases customer engagement and has a beneficial effect on the caliber of customer interactions.
Many companies have become famous for their aggressive omnichannel approach. High appreciation is given for the work that multinational corporations (MNCs) like Disney, Walgreens, and Starbucks have done in these areas. But are you able to stay up with these sizable corporations? The financial resources of large corporations with hundreds of billions of dollars at their disposal are frequently unavailable to most firms. And when you try to advance on several fronts at once, this lack of resources might undermine an omnichannel strategy. The statistics support this difficulty.
However, to provide value to your customers, you do not need to offer an actual Disney-caliber experience. A modest investment can pave the way for future expansion. This fuels a positive cycle that, over time, may enable you to create more complex offerings.
Using an omnichannel approach has several advantages for both your customers and your company. The following are some of the key benefits of an omnichannel customer experience:
An omnichannel strategy goes beyond simply reaching out to customers in different ways. Additionally, you should keep in touch at every stage of the procedure. As a result, you are integrating your strategy horizontally in addition to vertically. That essentially means that your omnichannel initiatives will encompass marketing, sales, and customer service. Doing this will ensure that every customer has the finest experience possible.
You will clearly benefit financially from improved customer experiences. Creating these solid ties will motivate customers to return. Additionally, greater engagement presents more potential for upselling and cross-selling. According to ClickZ, consumers who interact with brands across three or more channels have a 250% higher purchasing frequency than those who only utilize one channel. According to the Harvard Business Review, shoppers who used multiple channels made an average of 4% more in-person purchases and 10% more online.
Beyond a better relationship with your current clientele, having an omnichannel approach allows you to appeal to a broader set of potential customers. Interested buyers can find you more easily, and the multiple contact points (along with the integration between them) reduce friction during the sales process. Moreover, this Omnichannel approach allows you to serve a wider clientele. How would certain consumers want to interact with your brand would vary. Hence, the wider the range of channels you have available, the greater the variety of potential customers you can attract.
The previous aspects we mentioned combine to achieve one key goal: additional revenue. One study showed that an omnichannel approach could expand the lifetime value of a shopper by 30%. Another data set suggested that strong omnichannel engagement can nearly triple revenue growth — from 3.4% for companies with a weak showing in this area to 9.5% for the true outperformers.
Having multiple entry points into your sales funnel also provides you with an additional windfall. You also have new sources of information. This expanded data will teach you more about your potential customers, letting you fine-tune your methods and optimize your efforts.
If you’ve decided to move ahead with an omnichannel experience, you’ll need a plan. Extensive research and careful organization will let you get the most out of your investment. Here are some tips for creating an effective Omnichannel Customer Experience:
You must plan top-down since an omnichannel consumer experience necessitates the simultaneous interaction of several processes. Draw up your objectives and research what it will take to realize them. However, even as you create a general approach, the specifics will be very important. As you continue to strategize, you’ll need to go into the details to ensure that each offer meshes with the overall picture.
You must thoroughly understand your customer journey, including the starting point of the buyer’s journey and all touchpoints that lead to the purchase and beyond. By mapping the client journey, you may also see the underlying gaps and problems. Once you have this information, you can adjust accordingly and improve your customers’ convenience and buying experience across all channels.
You may use customer feedback to gather the necessary knowledge to streamline the customer experience and enhance the customer journey. Therefore, gather reviews and solicit feedback from your clients. Take advantage of the chance to discover how people want to interact with your company. In this manner, you may create an omnichannel strategy tailored particularly to the requirements of your customers.
Seamless user experiences are only possible with the right technology. Depending on their preferred form of communication, support employees should be able to get in touch with consumers via live chat, video and phone conversations, mobile apps, and more. But you must combine all this information into a single customer view to deliver a real omnichannel consumer experience. In this manner, your team will have all the knowledge necessary to continue working seamlessly from where they left off, regardless of the channel a consumer visits. To entice users to make repeat purchases, websites should leverage technology to provide tailored experiences in the form of product recommendations.
An omnichannel customer experience is only the first phase of a lengthy process. The 1.0 version of your offerings will inevitably include flaws and roadblocks. Try to identify trouble spots so you can fix them as soon as possible. After that, make investments in gradual advancement over time. Gather information on how customers react to your initiatives. Use this knowledge to pinpoint the areas where you can make improvements.
Even with an established omnichannel customer experience, there’s still some room for improvement. Here are some ways to get the most out of your Omnichannel approach:
Even a well-planned omnichannel strategy will fail if it’s not directed at the right customer. You must be up to speed on customer behavior to ensure that doesn’t happen.
Gain insights into customer behavior, what they anticipate from your brand, and how this develops over time by using big data and surveys. Using business intelligence and analytics tools can give you insightful knowledge about your target market and the services they require.
How quickly do you typically respond to questions on social media? You might be surprised to learn that over half of customers anticipate a response time on social media of less than 60 minutes. Additionally, you’re doing a big disservice to your company if you don’t respond to customer messages at all.
Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to interact with and address visitors on your website. To make every visitor feel heard and valued, you can employ communication tools like live chat software or chatbots.
Consumers nowadays prefer to shop online from the convenience of their homes over going into physical businesses. 87% of shoppers, according to a study, look up things online before making a purchase. Ensure that customers may effortlessly switch from online to offline. This might be as easy as giving customers access to real-time inventory for stores with brick-and-mortar locations so they can quickly determine whether to visit the store or not. Additionally, if it’s sold out, your website may suggest an alternative item that meets the criteria.
One mistake many companies make with omnichannel is thinking they must be on every platform. Omnichannel marketing isn’t about being everywhere but about being present, available, and consistent in the places your target consumers are and creating a positive user experience.
Learn where your customers spend their time— Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Don’t forget about offline opportunities as well. Optimize your content for only the offline and digital channels that you need in your marketing approach. There’s no point in overstretching and putting your message where it won’t be heard.
It may seem obvious, but whenever you doubt your omnichannel strategy’s direction, remind yourself that consistency is key to developing loyal audiences and stronger customer relationships.
From your website to your app, your social media pages to your email, and your employee’s shirt logo to your receipts, strive for consistent branding throughout. Familiarity breeds trust, trust builds repeat customers, and the easiest way to grow revenue is through repeat business.
Want some inspiration? Let’s look at a few leading companies that have effectively integrated various digital channels to create a seamless and successful omnichannel customer experience.
Starbucks offers a top-notch customer experience. After joining their customer loyalty program, customers are rewarded with a complimentary beverage. After purchasing the Starbucks card, customers can reload them in-store or via the app, website, or mobile devices – where the reward points get updated across all platforms.
Image Source: Acquire
Additionally, coffee lovers may place mobile orders, give digital Starbucks gift cards, locate nearby outlets, and tip favorite baristas without going out of their way.
The Dufresne Group utilized technology to move services online while maintaining the type of in-person interaction that is essential for sales in a sector like furniture.
In the past, fixing furniture needed two visits to the site: one for inspection and the other for repair. The team delivered the same high-quality service remotely through video chat, increasing convenience while reducing on-site inspections.
Image Source: Acquire
Video chat also allowed Dufresne to perform product walk-throughs in the face of the pandemic, when conventional sales channels were no longer available, bringing the showroom experience to consumers’ homes.
Including more channels in the mix made it possible to maintain client engagement around the clock, with chatbots collecting contact information while the Dufresne team was not in the office.
Adding further channels produced a seamless omnichannel strategy for the long run and helped the business maintain stability during the pandemic’s instability.
Neiman Marcus is one of the finest examples of a fashion company using technological innovation to link online and offline channels.
Customers and the sales staff are seamlessly connected via the Neiman Marcus app, using which they can easily communicate via text messages, calls, emails, or FaceTime.
Customers can utilize the app to view upcoming events or promotions as well as check their points.
The Neiman Marcus app connects the customers and the sales staff
The website offers individualized product recommendations and also keeps track of preferred size choices.
What sets Neiman Marcus apart from other online retailers? You can use geolocation to find products offered by the neighboring stores. Moreover, new arrivals that match customers’ preferences are sent to them via email and direct mail.
With its Smart Recognition, the app helps users find similar products.
Another distinctive omnichannel feature is the Memory Mirror.
Have you ever wondered what you looked like from the side or behind? Your try-ons can be captured in full detail via the Memory Mirror. Sharing their clothing with their network is another way hesitant consumers who want a second perspective can get feedback on their looks.
Cover all the bases with an Omnichannel approach!
If you want to improve brand recognition, create loyal customers, & boost revenue, then you must prioritize an omnichannel strategy.
It may seem overwhelming initially, but a little progress each day will add up over time. And as consumers notice the differences, you’ll see firsthand what the omnichannel experience can do. How do you plan to leverage omnichannel customer experience? Well, think no more.
We at Worxwide Consulting can help you create a frictionless customer journey and improve customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and sales for your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today.