What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience & Why is it Important?

What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience & Why is it Important?

According to Google, 98% of Americans switch between devices on the same day.

Today’s savvy consumers have a variety of options when it comes to engaging with your brand. From desktop & laptop computers to tablets & smartphones and even brick and mortar stores, the customer journey path is more complicated than ever.

Let’s get one thing clear, having multiple channels is not the same as being omnichannel. The difference here is that a true omnichannel experience is interconnected and seamless throughout the entire customer journey, whereas multichannel simply means you have multiple customer touchpoints but fail to connect data across channels to enhance the experience.

Omni Channel Diagram

The Importance of an Omnichannel Strategy.

Delivering a true omnichannel experience is hard to achieve, but definitely has its benefits.

A survey by Aspect Software indicated that businesses that adopt omnichannel strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year customer retention rates compared to businesses that don’t.

Here are 5 benefits of providing an omnichannel customer experience:

1) Provide Better Customer Experiences through leveraging real-time and historical data on customer online shopping behaviors, profile preferences, and purchase history.

90% of customers expect consistent interactions across channels.

*source: sdl.com

2) More Effective Marketing through more targeted promotions and remarketing strategies based on data-driven customer segmentation across channels.

Campaigns integrating 4 or more digital channels will outperform single or dual-channel campaigns by 300%.

3) Generate New Customers by increasing exposure to your brand and engaging customers on any channel or device they are using.

71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others.

4) Gaining More Robust Data that covers all channels that allow businesses to make better decisions on product development and marketing efforts.

As 77% of strong omnichannel companies store customer data across channels, compared to 48% for weak omnichannel companies.

*source: digitalcommerce360.com

5) Improve Operational Efficiency through real-time communication and visibility of data across channels.

71% of shoppers agree that it is important or very important to be able to view inventory information for in-store products.

As you can see, having an omnichannel strategy has benefits for both consumers and businesses alike. Customers get better experiences, businesses increase and retain more customers.

The Missing Link in Today’s Omnichannel Customer Service Strategy

Consumers don’t care about channels, they demand a fast and effortless customer service experience no matter which channel they use.

Common consumer interaction channels like phone calls, email, website chat and social media are all great ways to serve customers, but there is one missing; Text Messaging.

Text messaging is the only channel that doesn’t require a lot of effort or time for customers to engage with and many consumers prefer it as RingCentral reports that 78% of consumers wish they could have a text conversation with a business.

But only 48% of businesses are currently equipped to handle any form of messaging.

Customer service continues to evolve and improve as technology advances and businesses should be looking at all the channels available to serve customers while keeping in mind the business cost of service for each channel. For example, customer service call centers cost dollars per call vs. text messages that cost cents per call.

Speaking of cost savings, businesses who use a text messaging software often see reduced phone call volume from customers while streamlining communication and processes with automation. For example, if a business gets most phone calls from customers asking about directions, an automated response can be set up to respond to those questions with a link to Google Maps.

As a use case, MarBrisa Resort in Carlsbad uses text messaging for guest communication and saw a 25% decrease in inbound call volume while increasing guest satisfaction by 15% and employee satisfaction by 110%.

Text message automations are greatly beneficial for both parties involved as customers get faster service while employee resources are handling more complicated issues, rather than manually responding to commonly asked questions and requests.

People like to communicate in different ways, some like emails, some like face-to-face interactions while others, such as millennials, prefer texting over phone calls. Regardless of which channel your customers choose to communicate, ensure that your messaging, tone and overall experience is consistent personalized across channels. In addition, proper training of staff on knowledge, etiquette, and timeliness for each channel you support is equally as important as the channel itself.

The implementation and execution of your omnichannel strategy can be the difference between rising above or falling behind your competitors.

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