A Quick Guide to Understanding the Omnichannel Customer Experience

Reuben Yonatan on October 2, 2018

There’s a strong demand for businesses to implement omnichannel experiences into their customer journeys. Successful companies are always going out of their way to figure out how to improve the overall customer experience. They find that doing so by implementing omnichannel solutions is a powerful way to optimize every channel by catering them to each customer’s specific needs.

Here, we’re going to break down why omnichannel is important for the customer experience, and why the customer experience matters in the first place. We’ll also provide real world examples of how omnichannel works and the benefits that are invaluable to your future business strategy.

1. Optimize Channels to Their Fullest Potential

The major benefit that comes from offering customers an omnichannel experience is the fact that it empowers users to personalize their own experience, and access the products, services, and support options on demand. Not every single person wants to be stuck using either the phone, computer, tablet, chatbots, or live agents.

Looking at a website or software to provide context during a phone call can help provide a personalized customer experience for support, marketing, and sales teams. These scenarios happen all the time in the retail world. A customer not consumer comes into the store because they ordered an item online and want to pick it up. Instead of having the customer service employee look up the customer’s information manually, the customer can show the employee the order number and speed up the entire process significantly.

2. Combine Online, Offline, and Physical Worlds

Customers can walk into a retail store or restaurant like Starbucks and take advantage of the app for assistance with support, coupons, contact info, rewards, and payments. Agents can take advantage of CRM software on their computer or phone while they speak to a customer on the phone, in person, or through a live chat to provide themselves with important context.

Combining the online, offline, and physical worlds is another great way businesses can improve the customer experience with omnichannel. Consider the first retail example. A customer can either bring in their phone while they speak to an employee in the store, or the employee can use a tablet to search for their product while speaking to the customer. This is a scenario unique to businesses that implement omnichannel solutions because no other strategy allows multiple channels to be used by agents and customers simultaneously.

3. Personalized Customer Experiences Improve Loyalty

The easier it is for a customer to use multiple channels simultaneously to their own specific needs, the more likely they’ll do business with your company again because of the omnichannel experience being offered. It’s common knowledge that businesses who are capable of getting customers to come back time and time again spend less money than those who have to constantly worry about outreach.

Omnichannel offers personalized customer experiences by letting customers pick and choose what channels they want to use to interact with the business. If a customer can’t walk into the store with their phone out and app open to ask about a product, and they know they can go somewhere else and pay a little bit more for a better experience, odds are that they will spend more. According to American Express, “U.S. consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service, up from 14% in 2014.” Don’t take this chance and prioritize omnichannel today.

4. No Channels Are Left Behind

The difference between a multichannel strategy and an omnichannel strategy is subtle, but significant. A multichannel strategy simply offers customers multiple ways of reaching out to a business, but those channels aren’t able to work and integrate with each other. This often leaves open the possibility of either phone, text, chat, email, or any other channel being neglected, which can negatively affect the customer experience.

Omnichannel, as we’ve mentioned time and time again, uses every channel equally, making it close to impossible for employees to ignore. This, of course, requires the company to make sure someone’s on top of each channel at all times to ensure it’s optimized to its fullest potential, but the effort does not go unnoticed. Customers can feel free to shop around and engage with the store however they please. Think of Apple Stores and how their employees can either buy a product for you, help you with an issue, or schedule a meeting if the issue is significant. They can also help you anywhere in the store because they can ring you up right from their phone or tablet.

5. Diversify Audience Through Different Channels

When implementing multiple channels at once, you reach out to different leads, opportunities, and customers who only interact on certain channels. You can combine that audience by allowing smoother transitions/integrations between talk, text, chat, and email channels. This is especially important for support agents, because they can resolve tickets faster by looking at certain channels in and out of the office.

For example, a company can use helpdesk software with a chatbot feature that integrates with Facebook Messenger. This allows an agent to look at the company’s Facebook page, identify issues in real-time, and reach out to the customer without having to leave the page. Now the agent is in a position to resolve the issue publicly, which can encourage other people who don’t typically shop or seek help on social media to come forward with their problems

The Final Word

The omnichannel experience is an imperative in today’s trust economy. Customers are viewed as the ones in power, telling businesses what they need rather than being told by businesses they need their product or service. With this new dynamic, omnichannel comes into play by personalizing every customer experience.

Personalized customer experiences are especially ideal for larger companies that don’t have time to interact with every single customer on a one-to-one level. Omnichannel makes this possible by letting multiple channels that already exist work with each other to help the customer improve their own experience. When customer satisfaction improves, word spreads quickly between friends, family, and social media, encouraging other people who never knew of these possibilities to reach out to your business.