Omnichannel Customer Experience: Why It Matters More Today Than Ever

Its effectiveness has been proven across industries, and its uses have expanded into many areas, from marketing to customer service
Omnichannel Customer Experience: Why It Matters More Today Than Ever
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Over the last few years, there haven’t been many marketing concepts that have transformed from an unknown theory to an essential strategy that almost no brand can succeed without and that is omnichannel marketing. Its effectiveness has been proven across industries, and its uses have expanded into many areas, from marketing to customer service.

What does omni channel customer engagement mean?

Pretty much what the name suggests. Multichannel customer engagement refers to companies interacting with customers through multiple channels, such as phone, email, and live chat, with each channel managed in its own platform. ‘Omnichannel’, meanwhile, blends these channels with one another and manages them all from a single, unified console. This provides a cohesive and seamless experience for both the customer and the agent across devices and touch points.

Private social messaging has emerged as a significant channel for creating meaningful interactions. Think about it, we spend a significant amount of time on social media. We share photos and updates on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, we share ideas and updates via tweet on Twitter, and we connect our professional network on LinkedIn.  As consumers, we all lead digital lives.

A good customer experience means your customers will spend more. In fact, 86 per cent of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.

According to Harvard Business Review, Omni-channel customers spend 4 per cent more in store and 10 per cent more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customer spends more money.

Contrarily, according to Forbes, 80 per cent of businesses believe they provide excellent customer service, but only 8 per cent of customers agree.

The number of channels this could be increases often. Only five years ago, Facebook was the primary channel of a brand’s concern. You couldn’t even advertise on Instagram yet.  Now, Instagram is the brand leader in channel focus, and TikTok is taking over more and more of brand marketers’ thoughts daily.

Beyond social media channels, however, an omni-channel customer experience also includes your own website’s UX, lead flow, sales process and customer service. However, while customers may be positive and accept different service levels from different channels, they also expect that the communication remains consistent. Adobe recently found that companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10 per cent year-on-year growth, a 10 per cent increase in average order value and a 25 per cent increase in close rates. Thus, it sounds like a no brainer to invest in CX, right? When it comes to providing a positive experience across different channels, mobile customer service is expected to soar. According to Stat Counter, 52 per cent of Internet traffic comes from mobile, with desktop use on a decline.

 

Any aspect of your brand that touches a customer is part of your omnichannel customer experience.

Be where they are

Millennial and Generation Z are flexing their spending muscles and quickly becoming dominant consumer groups. Millennial and Generation Z are already trending heavily in this digital-first direction—for example, 60 per cent of them have used private social messaging, such as Facebook Messenger, for customer service, which represents a higher adoption rate compared to their older peers.

Being present in these channels and offering them to your customers creates an incredible opportunity for you to bring your customers closer to your brand.  You’ll increase your interactions and make them more meaningful and in doing so, create strong advocates for your brand.  But this doesn't mean other generations aren't using digital channels like online chat and text. In fact, online chat continues to rank first in customer satisfaction on average, across all age groups. Overall, agent-assisted methods, like chat and phone, receive higher ratings than self-service channels.

That might be due in part to the relative immaturity of AI-powered self-service methods, such as chatbots, which today mostly solve straightforward problems. The human touch is still important.

The global omnichannel retail commerce platform market is expected to grow to $11.1 billion by 2023, according to Market Research Future, which also notes that key factors driving the growth of omnichannel retail commerce platform market are the increasing adoption of e-commerce for convenient online shopping purposes and the rising adoption of smart phones and tablets.

Final thoughts

A sensible approach to the omni channel retail strategy is what’s needed for sustained customer experience and improved ROI. This year is going to be a huge year for omnichannel. Other trends to watch out for include instant communication support, removing friction from the checkout process online, and using data better to hyper-personalize the CX. They all have one thing in common: a convergence toward the deliverance of a more intimate, urgent, and emotionally resonant experience. With customer experience becoming the key differentiator in the digital age, slow adopters could soon find themselves behind the times.

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