Omni-channel experiences are something that companies have been working towards for quite some time. As consumers continue to interact with brands across a variety of platforms, business leaders need to ensure that they’re ready to offer contextual, relevant interactions at every touchpoint.
Unlike multi-channel strategies that simply ensure companies are available on various channels, omni-channel solutions combine all touchpoints into one aligned strategy for consumer success. An omni-channel customer experience considers all of the touchpoints a customer has with your brand, allowing for a seamless buyer journey.
As more channels continue to open up, ranging from social media interactions to video conferencing, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for business leaders to maintain an experience that’s truly “omni-channel”. However, 2021 could be the year when this aligned strategy really takes off.
Why Omni-Channel Engagement is Essential in 2021
Omni-channel customer engagement strategies aim to connect with and enhance the customer experience on as many relevant channels as possible. This broad strategy for engagement is essential in a landscape where omni-channel customers spend up to 10% more online than single-channel customers. Today’s digital buyers are naturally omni-channel.
We might start engaging with a company when we see their brand on social media, then continue on their website, and eventually end up making a call to the contact centre. During these journeys, we don’t want to repeat our queries several times. 9 out of 10 customers say that they want a seamless experience between different channels and service methods.
The rise of tools like UCaaS (Unified Communications as a service) has opened the door for more comprehensive omni-channel interactions, but it’s only the start. To truly evolve for 2021, companies will need to ensure that they understand every channel their customer uses, and when they approach that platform in their buying journey.
The Demand for Omni-Channel is Increasing
The need for connected experiences across channels has always been a significant consideration for many business leaders. However, the demand increased even more during 2020, when the global pandemic struck. According to Gallup, there’s a rising sense of disconnectedness in the world, which means that customers are searching more aggressively for experiences that make them feel understood and connected.
At the same time, in a world where offline shopping is less available, consumers are dedicating more of their time to exploring multiple digital channels. A Harvard Business Review report found that around 73% of customers use multiple channels in the buying journey.
As the world continues to evolve with new technology, the need for more immersive strategies for omni-channel engagement will continue to grow. Already, we’re seeing the rise of new channels for customer engagement in the form of things like live chat tools, online events, and even webinars and video conferencing sessions.
In the future, a comprehensive omni-channel engagement strategy might also include a variety of disruptive technologies, like the use of connected IoT devices, or interacting with businesses through AR and VR. 2021 could be the year that omni-channel engagement really begins to thrive.