Customers use numerous channels to get in touch with your business. They hop channels throughout the customer life cycle. This necessitates the demand for a strategy, namely omnichannel (omni-channel), that can provide a unified customer experience across all channels they use.
So businesses must vie for marking their presence in every popular channel where the customers linger, to deliver the service right away.
“90% of customers jump between channels and devices throughout their day.”
What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?
An omnichannel customer experience is a comprehensive and connected customer journey spanning all customer touchpoints aiming to improve the customer encounter with your brand via their favorite device or channel.
The omnichannel customer experience is delivered by the integration and synchronized operation of all the channels that an organization uses to interact with the customer.
The customer touchpoints of interaction – website, email, social media, live chat, phone calls, and live-agent assistance are seamlessly connected together, allowing agents a full picture of the customer experience. Customers can continue their journey from one to the other without losing context, too.
You buy a product online, for instance, and chat with their support team on Facebook over a product issue. You are requested to take the product to their service center. At the service center, the support team has all information about your purchase, including your past orders and interactions, thus giving them all the relevant context to address your query.
Omni-Channel Vs. Multi-Channel Experience
Let us look at the above example in the absence of an omnichannel experience, say, you messaged the support team on Facebook to mark a complaint about the product. Later, when you go to the service center to avail of the service, the agent has no idea about why you are there and requests you to explain the whole story.
In both the scenarios you have interacted with the agent over the online and offline channels but in the latter the channels weren’t connected. This left the service agent with no context on what was happening with the customer, delivering a poor customer experience.
In a Multi-channel experience, customer information exists in siloes and the channel is maintained separately making the achievement of the big customer picture a hard reality.
A coherent omnichannel experience, however, is created when multiple independent channels interlink seamlessly.
- There are numerous channels available, however, they are not connected.
- Lacks a coherent framework for guiding customers.
- The customer data lies in silos in different channels as each channel runs separately.
Image: Multi-channel Vs Omnichannel
- All the channels are coherently integrated with each other.
- Offers a seamless experience to customers.
- Maintains channel-to-channel synchronization of customer data.
Why is an Omnichannel Customer Experience Important?
The omnichannel customer experience makes sure your business stays customer-centric and committed to delighting its customers.
According to Harvard Business Review, “73 percent of all customers use multiple channels during their purchase journey.”
Therefore, it is essential to interlink these independent channels coherently to form an omnichannel to make it convenient for customers and agents to access a single source of truth (SSOT).
So, delivering an omnichannel experience has become a compelling necessity for businesses to stay in the race.
Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Experience
Since the omnichannel experience helps in delivering a smooth customer journey, it keeps the customers satisfied and happy thereby contributing to more customer retention and revenue.
Read about some of the gainful ways about how an omnichannel experience benefits the customers and the support team alike.
- Enables you to Offer a Consistent Customer Experience
The omnichannel approach empowers you to offer a consistent experience to customers irrespective of the device or channels the customers prefer to use.
It is because an omnichannel platform lets all channels work harmoniously and helps customers smoothly navigate the customer journey undividedly.
With the omnichannel experience, customers can connect or disconnect with you at any of the touchpoints and come back to where they left through a different channel, with all the contexts perfectly in place.
- Improves Speed of Customer Support
For your service agents, omnichannel means saving ample bandwidth through quick query resolution as there isn’t a need to switch screens to understand the state of customer affairs.
- Increases Customer Retention
When customers feel that they are being offered a seamless and consistent experience across all channels, they engage with you better and become your loyal customers, increasing the customer retention rate. Omnichannel opens up more dedicated channels for customer support paving the way for deeper customer engagement and creating more loyal customers eventually.
- Delivers a 360-degree view of the Customer Journey
Omnichannel experience entails maintaining information on customer journey across all channels, giving you a complete picture of the customer’s interactions with your business. A deeper understanding will allow businesses to improve the personalization of the customer experience.
- Helps in Upholding the Brand Image
With the omnichannel approach, you have every opportunity to offer great customer service at all the touchpoints in the customer journey, and thus stand out from the competition. You can make known your brand presence in several channels, improving the visibility of your business and garnering more loyal customers.
How to Build an Omnichannel Customer Experience?
The major reason businesses fail in delivering a fulfilling experience to customers in the digital space is because they are unaware of the customer’s needs and preferences across all touchpoints. The customer journeys are complex and non-linear as it involves handover from conventional channels to digital channels which can again vary from customer to customer.
Here are some steps that will help you build an omnichannel experience successfully:
1. Understand your Audience
Understanding the customers’ behavioral patterns from the very beginning is important to creating an impeccable customer journey. Use the analytics tools, surveys, or customer interviews for gathering valuable data and feedback.
Segment the customers based on the data such as the products they use, frequency of purchase, Lifetime Value, and so on to offer personalized experiences according to the customer persona and value.
2. Map your Customer Journey
Map out the customer’s behavior in the customer journey, such as at what points they shift channels. Identify each customer touchpoint and meet their needs according to where they are in the customer journey.
Figure out the customer engagement at different stages in the customer journey to help you better serve them.
3. Analyze Customer Feedback
Collect customers’ feedback on what channels they prefer to use to interact with your business. Having this data will let you reach out to the customer through their favorite channels, speeding up the interactions. Moreover, the feedback data can tell you whether there are any shortcomings in the customer experience and help you come to the pulse of customer satisfaction
4. Use the Right Technology & Tool
The right technology and tool make the data flow between different channels relatively easy and enable the frictionless collection of customer interaction data from all channels. Be mindful that missing even a single interaction can undermine the purpose of the omnichannel experience.
Robust customer service automation solutions such as Kapture, offer seamless integration such that the service representatives and customers can hop channels coherently without losing data or context.
5. Effective Self-Service Options for Customers
Bestowing customers with the power of autonomy in finding solutions to their own problems across the customer journey helps eliminate friction points/frustrations of not being able to find information.
Artificial Intelligence-powered intelligent chatbots, for instance, can help customers with transactions or solve complex issues by providing customers access to troubleshooting guides.
Reach out to us to learn how Kapture’s self-service solutions can steer your omnichannel strategy forward.
How to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience?
To improve the omnichannel customer experience you must focus on adapting your business to meet the customer needs on all channels rather than merely replicating a single brand experience in all channels.
Therefore, the best step you can take in this direction is to improve the value of the service you offer through these channels with extensive personalization. And, here are more tips to improve the omnichannel customer experience,
- Improve the mobile-friendliness of your site, with clear and attractive visuals, and smoother navigation.
- Personalize their experience at all touchpoints such as with recommendations of solutions or products as per customers’ interests and by sending personalized messages.
- Leverage customer data appropriately by explicit segmentation of customer profiles and standardization of the data gathering process across all channels.
- Improve your response times for the customer queries when it pops up through any of the channels. Engage and address all customer queries through live chat, intelligent chatbots, or interactive discussion forums.
- Take a leaf out of the omnichannel success book of the big players in the market and follow suit. Read about the examples of Tesla, Adobe, and Zappos below to learn how they efficiently implement the omnichannel strategy for superior customer service.
Omnichannel Customer Experience Examples
Let us look at how some of the bigwigs in business delight their customers with the omnichannel experience and are more successful than others at it.
Tesla, an American automotive and clean energy company, lets customers contact their support team in a way that suits the customers best by offering them omnichannel support.
Customers love the convenience of being able to contact them via phone call, email, or chat for help, and as indicated by Tesla’s high prices, customers are ready to pay extra for their service. This example demonstrates how the way services are delivered dramatically improves the level of customer service.
Adobe, the multinational software company, runs a separate customer service account on Twitter which has helped the brand to respond to urgent queries quickly and effectively.
By implementing a strong omnichannel strategy, Adobe is able to promptly receive and respond to customer feedback or suggestions on its products and services.
Zappos, the online shoe, and clothing retailer consider providing excellent customer service seriously by way of implementing a powerful omnichannel strategy- as is shown by their posting on the homepages of their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
“We’re here for you 24/7. Post a comment, Tweet, chat, email, or call us at (800) 927-7671! Let Zappos Social Team WOW you!”- source
Zappos is known for providing quick response times to customers across several channels.
These examples indicate how the use of several communication channels results in delivering efficient and organized support to the customers.
Kapture: The True Omnichannel Solution
Kapture, a customer service automation platform, helps brands offer their customers a seamless and uninterrupted journey that kindles loyalty.
We ensure that the channels and technology that your business employs do not operate in isolation; that they are synchronized and together leaving no broken threads of information.
Taking on board the steps mentioned in the blog will give you the vision required to create a comprehensive omnichannel experience, allowing you to witness a rise in customer experience metrics, revenue, and opportunities.
About the Author
|Seema C Mohan|
|Seema C Mohan is passionate about all things XaaS and loves to write value-added content. She has been in Business Process Management in the past and has published technology articles in journals.|