As the customer experience industry has grown and developed over the decades, we’re now aware that people don’t just communicate over a telephone call. Changes in technology have led to several different methods of communication: email, text, social media, messaging apps like What’sApp, video, Facetime and Zoom. Understanding the changes in the way customers communicate and cultivating these avenues into your customer journey strategies starts to develop a more omnichannel customer experience.
With all these new ways of communication one question may still be on your mind, what is an omnichannel customer experience then? And why is it important?
What’s the Definition of Omnichannel?
Omnichannel takes all avenues of communication and interaction and links them together to get a full view of your customer experience. Rather than siloed experiences operating parallel to one another, these work concurrently for a seamless experience between each that emphasize your brand. Whether you have a physical location, or are reachable by telephone, your website and any other channels, omnichannel keeps a branded experience with all of these avenues in mind.
Not only that, but you also have a higher pool of data that can offer you more. When you bring in data from all these venues, you start to get a truly full view of how your organization is operating. Gathering and looking at all this data will inform you to then be able to provide an even better omnichannel customer experience.
The Difference Between Omnichannel vs Multichannel
Just like all squares aren’t rectangles, multichannel doesn’t equate to omnichannel. Looking at the prefixes alone, multi- signifies multiple while omni- refers to all.
Practically put, while you may have several avenues of communication or products, just having more than one signifies a multichannel roadmap. They may not all sync to offer the same experience across the board. When they meet to provide the same thing in each avenue, you now have an omnichannel experience. Whether you’re thinking through the omnichannel vs multichannel strategy for your call center, for your product or your help desk, communication and experience in several avenues (especially digital) matter.
What is An Omnichannel Customer Experience?
An omnichannel customer experience offers your customer the same communication or retail experience in any avenue or format available. They should be able to communicate with someone over an online chat with the same capacity they would over the phone and feel like they can walk away taken care of.
This approach is mindful of all the touchpoints your customer has (and will have) in order to offer them a seamless experience. Whether they start off on your website, to then jump onto a phone call and then end up at your store, the customer should be able to carry on their experience with no hassle.
So Why is It Important?
Is keeping your customer engaged and loyal to you important? If you’re looking to keep and even expand your customer base, an omnichannel customer experience should be high on the priority list.
OK, so loyalty sounds almost like more of a nice-to-have than need-to-have, huh? However, do you realize that this qualitative trait can translate to quantifiable outcomes? Simply put: Loyal customers are valuable. When you have a customer base that is engaging with you through several forums (and has the ability to), they’re all in. Your visibility is higher, meaning your name and brand are more frequently in front of them, and their likelihood to spend with you increases greatly. A customer for life is way more of a win for you than a one-time customer.
So create the omnichannel customer experience that makes them want to stay.
How to Start Taking An Omnichannel Strategy Approach
Make sure you have individuals, or a team, that are manning all channels. Ensure that all who are overseeing your omnichannel avenues are trained accordingly so they’re all aware of the same manner to approach and treat your customers and their needs. From there, try these tips out to develop your strategy:
- Take time to listen to your customer feedback
- Get your customer journey mapped out
- Review, update and test your channels for providing a seamless experience
- Have live support available when/where possible
- Invest in appropriate tools and technology to make your strategy happen
Meeting your customers where they are, and how they’ll interact with you, is crucial if you plan to survive, expand and have longevity. Don’t sweep some of these channels under the rug – you could be missing out on your biggest sale.
Need help identifying your customer journey? Aceyus offers customizable data visualization and reporting to help you better understand your customer’s journey. Contact us today to see how we can offer you a solution.