This brave, new, hyper-competitive world demands an omnichannel customer experience. Unless you can provide seamless experiences, your business will suffer no matter where people are. Today’s workforce has grown up with the internet and expects things to be quick and straightforward. They don’t want to be forced to jump through hoops to get what they want. They will look elsewhere if they cannot find what they want on one site.
Allowing customers to connect and receive personalised service across eCommerce, social media, email marketing, in-store, and other channels is critical to keeping them satisfied and engaged. Without that flow of information, you may find they consider yours a poor customer experience, which can lose business and negatively impact your brand.
The solution is to deploy an omnichannel customer experience.
What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience?
An omnichannel customer experience is the ability to interact with a company across all channels consistently and seamlessly. Customers should receive the same service and understanding whether they interact with the company online, in-store, or through a mobile app.
Customers trust and remain loyal to brands that provide a consistent experience, whether they interact with the brand online, in-store, or somewhere else.
An omnichannel customer experience can help brands increase leads, sales, and conversion rates and provide a positive customer experience. According to research, customers who have a positive experience are more likely to make purchases than those who do not.
In fact, according to Ipsos, 52% of consumers who have a negative experience with a brand will tell their friends or colleagues about it, so it pays to come up with a solution that keeps your audience satisfied.
What Defines a Good Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Several factors contribute to a successful omnichannel customer experience. First, brands need to clearly understand their target audience and what they want and need from the brand. Second, brands need to ensure that all of their channels are integrated and working together seamlessly. Third, brands must provide employees with the training and tools to deliver a consistent experience across all channels.
Whilst the definition of success might differ from business to business, some general principles can be applied to ensure an excellent omnichannel customer experience:
- Ensure that customers have a consistent experience across all channels.
- Provide customers with the most relevant information and options based on their previous interactions and behaviour.
- Aim to provide a seamless, personalised experience for each customer based on their specific needs and preferences.
How to Improve Your Omnichannel Customer Experience
You can do several practical things to improve your omnichannel customer experience. Start by understanding how your customers interact with your brand and how they move between channels.
You can do this with a unified data hub or customer experience software that collects every interaction your customer has with your brand, no matter which channel they are on. With this data, you can create a customer journey map and outline the path your customers take to complete a typical task, like booking a vacation.
You can also outline the path your customer would like to take to accomplish a task. For example, you can trace a route for a customer who wants to book a vacation but does not yet know where they want to go.
1. Make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices.
More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the internet, so your website must be optimised for these devices. This means having a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and ensuring that your website loads quickly on mobile devices.
Mobile devices often have slower internet connections than laptops or desktops, so making your website load quickly on all devices is essential. You can do this by compressing images, using smaller videos, and keeping your website lightweight. It’s also necessary to ensure your website is easy to navigate on a small screen. People often use their smartphones to shop online, so you must complete the experience as quickly as possible. This means having a clear call to action that stands out on a small screen and removing any unnecessary navigation on your website.
2. Integrate your online and offline channels.
Customers should be able to move seamlessly between your online and offline channels, such as viewing online product information in-store or picking up an online order in-store. This provides a more seamless customer experience and helps to build brand loyalty.
Additionally, you can use your online channels to generate traffic in your offline stores. For example, you could offer a discount code that can only be redeemed in-store. This can help improve conversion rates by making your online channels more relevant to each customer.
3. Offer multiple channels for customer support.
Customers should be able to contact you through multiple channels, such as phone, email, live chat, social media, etc. This allows them to choose the track they’re most comfortable with and ensures that you can provide them with the support they need.
It’s also important to be responsive and provide quick replies. This will show your customers that you value their business, and they can expect a high standard of service. By setting up different channels, you can also segment your customers. This will allow you to provide a more tailored approach to your support.
4. Use customer data to personalise the experience.
Collecting data on your customers’ preferences and behaviour allows you to personalise their experience with your brand. This could include showing them relevant product recommendations, providing targeted discounts and offers, or simply making sure they see the most relevant content when they visit your website.
Data-driven marketing starts with the correct data, and you need a strategy to collect the correct data; the best way to do this is to create a persona for each of your target customers. Personas are representations of your ideal customers, and they’ll help you to collect data that are relevant and meaningful to that person. From there, you can start to design your marketing strategy. Where are you managing your data from? What kind of data do you need? What do you want to achieve with your data-driven marketing strategy?
5. Provide a consistent experience across all channels.
Customers should have the same experience regardless of which channel they’re using. This means using the same branding, tone of voice, and level of customer service across all channels. Consistency helps to create a brand that people recognise and trust. It also helps to create a cohesive experience that customers can expect.
By using the same language and terms on all channels, you can help customers find the information they’re looking for. It’s also essential to ensure that your customers get the same service level across channels. This means hiring and training your customer service staff to be knowledgeable about your products and services across all channels. It also means ensuring your customer service staff is trained in the same level of customer service across channels.
Customers will notice the effort you’ve put into giving them what they want and therefore feel valued and special, leading them to recommend you and remain loyal to your business.
Giving your brand a voice also makes it easier for new staff to join the team because they will have a common understanding of how to talk to customers. As well as consistency, your customers will appreciate variety in your messaging. By delivering different information to different people depending on their needs, you avoid boring your customers and give them more reasons to keep coming back.