58 percent of customer support professionals and 64 percent of marketers said that consumers would demand more from how brands communicate across channels in 2022 – according to Mitto research.
Such findings perhaps highlight the need for a well-articulated omnichannel CX strategy that cuts across multiple platforms.
Indeed, brands with an omnichannel strategy are three times as likely to provide exceptional CX and four times more likely to drive loyalty than their single-channel or less-integrated counterparts, as per Mitto. This makes omnichannel CX a top priority for businesses today.
What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience?
An omnichannel customer experience (CX) is a holistic strategy that considers how customers interact with a company across all channels. In doing so, it focuses on cross-channel integration, contextualization, and uniformity.
These components are essential because they enable a consistent, seamless experience, no matter how the customer interacts with a brand.
Such a strategy also allows customers to begin interacting with the business on one channel and easily transition to another. It also allows contact center agents to shift channels midway through the conversation.
Further, a digital omnichannel CX entails using multiple sales, customer service, and marketing platforms in close connection.
Components of an Omnichannel CX Strategy
When going omnichannel, organizations must consider the following components:
- Social Media – Social media platforms are a powerful way to connect with potential and current customers. Social marketing encompasses selling items, goods, or services using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- eCommerce – An eCommerce store is a digital storefront that allows customers to browse and purchase products or services online. It should provide a seamless user experience (UX) and enable customers to find and purchase items or services with minimal effort.
- Mobile Applications – The proliferation of mobile devices has created new opportunities for businesses to connect with customers. Mobile apps can provide customers with a more personalized and convenient CX, making them more likely to use the app again. This includes loyalty programs and customer assistance in addition to shopping.
- Online Aggregator Marketplaces – An online marketplace is a platform that allows companies to sell their products or services to a broader audience – for example, Amazon, eBay, Alibaba, Etsy, etc. To succeed in an online marketplace, brands can optimize listings, add multimedia content, and streamline logistics.
- Cross-Channel Integration – A cross-channel strategy ensures that the brand delivers a consistent message across all channels and that customer data flows between them. This allows companies to connect all channels to work together seamlessly and provide a more personalized experience for the customer.
- Contextualization – An omnichannel CX strategy equips agents with contextual data curated from across channels. An integrated CRM is a critical technology here.
Benefits of Having an Omnichannel Strategy
By planning for omnichannel customer experiences, companies can:
- Better Understand the Customer Journey – Omnichannel brings all interactions together on a connected journey map and provides advice on improving touchpoint interactions.
- Increase Customer Retention – An omnichannel CX strategy allows customers to connect with the company across their favorite channels while maintaining a seamless transition and centralizing data within the same CRM contact. It boosts satisfaction, which converts into great retention.
- Establish a Consistent Consumer Experience – When an organization employs an omnichannel approach, customers get a consistent experience regardless of the platform or device. This consistency helps build relationships and provides frictionless customer service.
- Enhance Channel Shift – Omnichannel allows customers to shift between channels conveniently. Moreover, agents may also move a conversation to another medium once they understand customer intent. Doing so may help to lower handling times and meet the needs of impatient customers.
Best Practices to Remember
When setting up an omnichannel customer experience strategy, remember the following best practices:
- Identify Stakeholders and Form a Cross-Functional CX Team
An omnichannel strategy requires buy-in from all levels of the company. From management to leadership, everyone must be on the same page for this method to work. Therefore, securing leadership buy-in and identifying stakeholders is a critical first step in preparing for the transition.
- Collect Customer Feedback and Create Personas
A detailed understanding of customer preferences will help businesses choose the best channels and design a successful strategy. This will consider technical barriers, conversation records, and the channel’s attractiveness to digital native
- Do a Journey Mapping Exercise to Identify Touchpoints
The best way to understand customer behavior, including how they migrate across channels, is to use a journey mapping exercise. A customer journey map also allows contact centers to isolate possible issues and design optimal omnichannel interactions.
- Build an Omnichannel Ecosystem
Omnichannel CX necessitates an ecosystem of software and tools to keep track of client interactions, monitor channels, and route requests to the right team members. The best way to provide such experiences is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It helps businesses keep track of their interactions with customers and potential customers from the first interaction up until churn/attrition. Click-to-call, click-to-chat, and click-to-message links are also helpful in enabling customers to shift channels.
- Make continuous adjustments
If customer behavior changes, new channels emerge, or the market evolves, companies need to adjust their omnichannel strategy. To keep tabs on this, gather and analyze data continuously while monitoring competitor channel choices and experiences.
Omnichannel CX is the new standard for delivering customer service and support.
It provides customers with a consistent, cohesive experience no matter how or where they interact with your company. It also empowers the brand’s target audience and provides them with greater flexibility.
Finally, in the long term, omnichannel CX capabilities will strengthen a company’s digital maturity and ability to adapt to future journey innovations and forms – such as the metaverse.