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Representation of omnichannel customer experience

Omnichannel Customer Experience for Retail (2019)

Introduction

A cohesive shopping experience, both online and offline, is what the modern consumer demands. An omnichannel customer experience (CX) works by seamlessly connecting every one of your customer touchpoints over multiple channels with the aim of optimizing your brand’s customer journey.

Customer interactions and engagements today are typically a blend of traditional and digital customer touchpoints to ensure brand success. For example, regardless of whether a customer shops from a desktop or mobile device or a retail store, they are bound to have a seamless brand experience.

Customer interactions and engagements today are typically a blend of traditional and digital customer touchpoints.

Businesses that provide an omnichannel customer experience tend to retain their customers better, with the ease of use contributing to recurrent purchasing.

Why You Must Provide an Omnichannel Customer Experience

Technology is now integrated into every area of our lives. The line that separates online and offline interactions with customers has started to blur. The average customer today wants to interact with businesses on the go without having to switch platforms or applications. This is why it is incumbent upon brands to build an omnichannel customer experience.

The average customer today wants to interact with businesses on the go without having to switch platforms or applications. This is why it is incumbent upon brands to build an omnichannel customer experience. Click To Tweet

The Key to a Worthwhile Omnichannel Customer Experience

Your brand’s success hinges on creating multiple customer touchpoints that provide a singular, unified customer experience.

Your brand must align its goals, messaging, and design across different channels and devices to provide a truly omnichannel CX. For this to happen, you need to first understand the various channels and devices your customers use apart from their needs and preferences. You must apply this knowledge about your customers to create an engaging omnichannel CX for higher ROI.

Your brand must align its goals, messaging, and design across different channels and devices to provide a truly omnichannel CX. Click To Tweet

How to Provide Top-Class Omnichannel Customer Experience

An infographic about omnichannel customer experience

  1. Don’t Lose Sight of the Traditional

Going digital doesn’t imply ignoring your brick and mortar business. Take the effort to ensure your customers receive the same information about your business across all platforms. Make sure not to leave your physical store behind while you run offers, deals, discounts, and more!

Going digital doesn’t imply ignoring your brick and mortar business.

  1. Make the Customer Experience Immersive & Interactive

According to a Forrester report, around 30% of marketers repurpose ad budgets toward data, technology, or innovation with a view to fulfilling customers’ needs by creating an immersive customer experience.

It is is incumbent upon brands to ensure that their customer journey is immersive and interactive. Identify all the touchpoints of interaction in your customers’ experience cycle and make sure you connect with them at every point. Doing so will help you identify customer pain points and quickly address them while they are still manageable.

  1. Focus on Apps

Data from Forrester Research suggests that on average consumers from Britain and the United States use around 24 apps per month. Of all these apps, they spend more than 80% of their time on not more than five apps. Consequently, it is important to ensure that your brand is with the consumer all the time as an interactive and engaging mobile app.

It is important to ensure that your brand is with your customers all the time as an interactive and engaging mobile app. Click To Tweet

The research study also suggests that customers spend most of their time on social media and messaging apps rather than on games or business apps. This indicates that brands need to build an innovative app marketing strategy where they engage customers through frequently-used third-party apps while simultaneously not abandoning their own native apps. Brands can also run innovative campaigns and promotions to bring customers on to their apps.

  1. Have a Responsive Website

Gone are the days when internet usage was restricted to desktop computers and laptops. You are probably surrounded by many electronic devices and gadgets even as you read this article! This means that every device can serve a purpose or be substituted by another. 

Is your website optimized enough to cater to all audiences who come to your website using different devices? Based on Forrester data, Over 90% of mobile users haven’t bought anything through their phones in the past three months. More than half of these cite unfamiliarity with the mobile version of sites as the main deterrent.

  1. Create Cross-Selling Opportunities 

It is easier to sell to existing customers than to  convince new ones to buy. So, always have cross-selling options in place. According to market research by Gartner, “of 503 buyers of B2B technology and services, a significant number of respondents viewed these activities (cross-selling pitches) as extremely significant in terms of expanding the relationship (and propensity to buy).” The reasons for this could be varied, including factors like knowledge of the brand, trusting the organization and product/service quality, perception of value for money, better access to customer support, being existing customers, etc. 

Make sure you package your offerings with an understanding of your customers’ needs and use cross-selling to engage your customer better while expanding the scope of your business.

  1. Be Where Your Customers Are

Do not shut yourself from customer feedback. Listen to your customers and gather all the qualitative data that their inputs give you on multiple platforms.

A depiction of customer feedback

In other words, be wherever your customers are, and have an active brand presence on all platforms. This won’t just make customer interactions easier, it will also help you ensure that your customers do not have to take any extra steps (opening a new app, website, or social media platform), to connect with you. Businesses sending tickets and notifications to customers on Whatsapp is a great example of being where customers are.

  1. Let Data do the Talking

When Econsultancy surveyed over 600 digital marketing and e-commerce professionals for a research study, a staggering 85% of them admitted to facing difficulty in extracting full value from data sources. Additionally, two-thirds of survey respondents admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the volume of incoming information. While you may have been working hard to reach out to your customers and been gathering vast amounts of data, the real challenge is to sort through them and use them for your benefit. 

We are in an information age. It is now possible to use inputs from incoming data points for customer behavior prediction and proactive branding and marketing. Handling data analytics the right way can give your business a major boost in your omnichannel strategy.

A representation of data analytics

  1. Have a Uniform Call-to-Action

Uniformity is the key to building a top-class omnichannel customer experience. So make sure your brand speaks the same language across platforms, channels, and collaterals. By uniformity of messaging, we do not mean using the same words or tone everywhere but rather that the overall brand messaging needs to be packaged to convey the same meaning everywhere while effectively targeting each platform’s audience.

How Omnichannel CX Impacts Organizational Functions

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Support are the three major business processes that have a major impact on and are impacted by omnichannel CX. Each of these processes plays a critical role in the customer journey right from creating brand awareness to customer acquisition and retention. These processes work in tandem toward developing and delivering a seamless and cohesive customer experience.

Research and Planning has a huge role to play in applying advanced CX strategies and models. For instance, the Product and Customer Success departments can also be a part of your brand’s CX strategy in order to ensure a successful omnichannel experience. The right combination of business processes can be streamlined to create an integrated CX and achieve business goals.

Conclusion

Businesses are constantly striving to obtain a global customer base. Consequently,  relevance, reach, and retention must be the key principles to serve, support, and delight your customers worldwide. Omnichannel CX is your go-to business strategy to boost ROI and brand loyalty. While one is all about the numbers, the other is dependent on your customers’ connection with your brand on an emotional level.

Omnichannel CX is your go-to business strategy to boost ROI and brand loyalty. Click To Tweet

CX leaders target increased growth and greater profits through omnichannel marketing. They understand that true omnichannel customer experience is an eclectic mix of customer-centric business innovations and strategies that provide better results for various stakeholders: employees, customers, and shareholders.

True omnichannel CX is an eclectic mix of customer-centric business innovations and strategies that provide better results for various stakeholders.

An increasing number of global brands are adopting omnichannel CX best practices to ensure customer success. Disney is a case in point. It’s mobile-responsive website, the My Disney Experience tool, and the Magic Band Program all provide an integrated customer experience. This omnichannel approach has allowed customers to enjoy a seamless experience of Disneyland across multiple channels online and in the park.

Ultimately, The thing to remember is that when you begin building your brand experience with a focus on omnichannel customer experience at its essence, you can ensure business growth that is both future-proof and holistic.

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Rohan Rinaldo Felix

Rohan Rinaldo Felix

I've traditionally been a poem-writer, but poems don't pay. I eat cereal for breakfast, but only sometimes. I eat insults for lunch and convert them into renewable energy.

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