What is the omnichannel customer experience?
In this article we will provide you the information about Omnichannel customer experience examples with Advantages and 7 Steps to Create.
The omni-channel experience means streamlining all interactions with the customer through all of their contact points with the brand. Only through this unification of experience can we offer a coherent shopping experience.
The omni-channel digital strategy implies that there is a focus on multiple channels such as sales, customer support and marketing. It is focused on offering a unified customer experience regardless of the channel that the customer uses to contact the company.
The key to delivering an omni-channel experience is to provide a seamless journey across all channels, from online, over the phone or offline.
Having a wonderful website and a flawless store experience is great, but if the customer waits online for half an hour to answer any questions they have over the phone, or doesn’t get an answer when they send an email, then the work done by the other channels is to be wasted because there are gaps in the customer journey.
Omni-channel marketing ensures that messages and branding are consistent across all channels. Recognize and direct customers through their preferred platforms to deliver a smoother shopping experience every step of the way. But it also includes merging the different channels (eg social media and website) to achieve a unified experience, however it is very common that there is a conflict between omni-channel marketing and the omni-channel customer experience.
Advantages of the omnichannel experience
Customers who use more channels are generally more valuable because they will tend to be the most committed and spend the most money on your business.
Here are the main reasons to move to an omni-channel customer experience model:
• Better view of the customer journey: An omni-channel customer experience strategy gives us an overview of the customer journey. It streamlines all interactions on a single platform and provides information on the most appropriate actions to constantly improve the experience and the business.
• Greater customer retention: Having an omni-channel CX strategy allows customers to contact the brand through their preferred channels, maintaining a good experience in that contact. This increases satisfaction and consequently retains customers.
Differences between omnichannel and multichannel experience
The key difference is that omni-channel companies integrate all customer interactions on the same platform. This means that the planning of purchases, marketing and customer relationship management is done seamlessly across all your channels, whether online or offline.
On the other hand, in a multichannel strategy, each channel is treated individually and managed in a unique way and following different strategies. In other words, a multi-channel strategy is not about creating a coherent shopping experience.
Comparing the two strategies and drawing on customer experience statistics will understand how you can integrate customer touch points and deliver a coherent experience and a unified customer journey.
Steps to Create an Omni-Channel Customer Experience.
Companies that use an omni-channel strategy are able to significantly increase their customer satisfaction and retention.
Examples of omni-channel marketing experiences that will inspire you
It is one thing to discuss the theory and practice of omnichannel customer experience. It is quite another thing to see brilliant companies that are already implementing it in their strategies. Here are some of the ones I most admire:
- Virgin Atlantic
- Bank of America
The Disney nailed in omnichannel experience in the smallest details. It starts with your initial experience on the entertainment giant’s beautiful, mobile-responsive website. Even their travel planning website works well on mobile devices. That alone is something you don’t see very often.
Once you’ve booked a trip, you can use the My Disney Experience tool to plan your entire trip, from where to dine to secure your Fast Pass. At the park, you can use the mobile app to find the attractions you want to see, as well as view an estimated waiting time for each.
The creative company goes a step further, however, with the launch of its Magic Band program . This tool acts as a hotel room key, photo storage device for photos taken of you with Disney characters, and food ordering tool. Plus, it has Fast Pass integration to keep your vacation rolling.
This is a true omni-channel experience and it’s a privilege to see Disney leading the way.
2. Virgin Atlantic
Robert Fransgaard shared his incredible experience with Virgin Atlantic’s omni-channel customer service experience.
In his anecdote, he shares the story of his personalized experience with a representative named Dan, who, after being the unwitting target of Robert’s frustration over an appointment with an engineer who never showed up, encouraged Robert to contact him directly, in case of problems in the future.
Dan didn’t say to call customer service or post another tweet to get attention. Dan sought out the company’s various marketing channels to provide Robert with a personalized customer service experience.
It’s amazing what a personal touch like this can do, especially when it comes to consoling customers who have had a bad experience with the company.
The Virgin is a leader in many aspects of omnichannel marketing, but this story seems well describe the kind of thing that can happen when all channels and employees work together seamlessly.
3. Bank of America
The Bank of America takes its omnichannel development seriously. As one of the biggest brands in the industry, they are setting the standard for the dynamic experience, which today allows everything from check depositing to meeting scheduling to be handled by the company’s mobile and desktop apps.
Of course, Bank of America still has a long way to go. Users still cannot apply for loans or perform other more complex banking tasks over the phone. But other activities, like paying monthly bills or depositing a check, save all that work, and the company’s commitment to the omnichannel experience ensures that.
Oasis is a UK clothing retailer that is bringing together its e-commerce website, mobile app and brick-and-mortar stores into a single, simple shopping experience.
If you walk into one of their stores, you will find sales representatives armed with iPads who are available to give you immediate, accurate, and up-to-date product information. The iPad also doubles as a cash register, making it easy for reps to sell from anywhere in the store. And the icing on the cake? If a product appears to be out of stock, the team can instantly place an order online to have the item shipped straight to your home.
If this isn’t customer service, I don’t know what is.
At least 43% of customers have used their cell phone while shopping at a physical store. That alone gives an idea of the importance of omnichannel marketing. Imagine a shopper looking for an item that your website or app says is in stock but isn’t. You have it in the store. This is not a good experience.
Instead, you must ensure that each of your sales channels instantly works with each other to deliver something truly powerful. REI does this well with its various outlets.
With the company’s omni-channel initiative, you’ll find up-to-date, accurate product information anywhere. This type of internal communication will keep customers happy, satisfied and returning to the store non-stop.
A quick look at the Starbucks rewards app will reveal why many consider this one of the best omni-channel experiences available.
First, you get a free rewards card that you can use whenever you make a purchase. But unlike traditional customer loyalty programs, Starbucks lets you check and recharge your card over the phone, on the website, in-store or in-app. Any changes to your card or your profile are updated across all channels in real time.
Queuing to buy a coffee and have you realized you don’t have enough balance? Reload it and the cashier will know it has been updated the moment you swipe the car
Have you ever pre-ordered online at the restaurant only to discover that the restaurant hadn’t received it by the time you got there? I hate when it happens. What good is an online advance order system if you have to go and place (or wait) to order anyway?
The Chipotle seeks to eliminate this frustration with their online experience. With the online system and mobile ordering app, you can place an order from anywhere.
On the street and need an easy way to place an order? By creating an account, you can save your favorite orders for a quick and seamless experience. Do you want to send the order to everyone in your office? Place an order online for the entire team and it will be ready by the time you arrive at the restaurant.
Of course, omnichannel user experiences still have a long way to go, and the scale of some of the integrations described above can make all that effort out of reach for smaller companies.
But personally, I don’t think we’re that far from a world where omni-channel is accessible to brands of all sizes. Technology has come a long way in the last decade, and I have no doubt that future changes will make it possible for even the smallest of businesses to engage directly with the customer, no matter where they are, what they’re doing, or what device they’re using.
Steps to achieve
If you want to achieve successful omni-channel customer experience management, you should follow these steps:
1. Know your customers
Companies that don’t have a solid customer experience often complain that they have a hard time understanding their customers’ behavior. On the other hand, those that develop omnichannel CX plans based on surveys and the analysis of collected data obtain much better results.
Companies that exceed their customers’ expectations are those that have the entire strategy outlined and documented. They already know what kind of person their customers are and what to do to make them completely satisfied.
Collecting and analyzing your customers’ data is a key factor in understanding your target audience and what motivates them to buy your products or services.
And this is where omni-channel integration helps you deliver a better customer experience because:
• Improves value propositions by aligning them with customer needs.
• Increases benefits by providing exactly what customers are looking for.
• Provides a better understanding of your customers and their needs and how to solve their problems
• Speeds up conversations with potential customers by aligning your team with a coherent vision focused on the customer experience (from the marketing director to the support employee client).
2. Identify customer contact points
Identifying customer contact points allows you to better understand how your customers feel at each stage of the purchasing process through all available channels.
This provides insight into what customers expect and how you can exceed those expectations to create experiences that make a difference. Once you identify the key points through which your customers come into contact with you, you will be better able to create an even better customer experience and to develop more effective marketing strategies.
3. Design your customer experience map
The customer experience starts with the first exposure a customer has to your brand or product and continues until after the sale.
Developing a strategy that takes into account the entire customer journey across all of their interaction channels and that follows the customer all the way through can be complex because there are multiple different paths. That’s why it’s important to map all the paths and have a coherent strategy.
The increased use of smartphones and social networks has multiplied the number and frequency of contacts during a typical journey.
Conducting surveys at each of the customer contact points and analyzing the results from them helps you understand where the flaws are and where improvement is possible in order to achieve a unified and satisfying omni-channel experience.
4. Use the right tools:
Tools that can be used to improve the customer experience in different touch points:
• Chatbots: 24/7 customer interaction providing automatic and real-time responses to resolve the most common situations.
• Live Chat: Provides real-time assistance with sales and support related questions right away, improving customer satisfaction.
• Live participation tools: Such as accompanied navigation, in collaboration with customers, guiding them through the website and quickly identifying problems and offering a personalized solution.
Through the use of digital tools and customer engagement strategies, quick responses and effective solutions are provided. This way you can strengthen your relationship with existing customers and increase brand loyalty.
5. Analyze your customer’s comments
Feedback from your customers is a unique opportunity to improve your omni-channel experience. Offering superior service is also about providing real-time assistance by being where your customers are and giving them an easy way to share any comments and suggestions they have to make.
The focus on omni-channel customer support allows brands to engage with customers across all channels and thus capture their opinions at each of the customer touchpoints. Analyzing this information and taking action will make the customer journey increasingly integrated and satisfying.
You can ask for your customer’s opinion in different ways, such as through your website, social networks, email, app, SMS, chat, etc.
But how can reviewing comments improve the omni-channel experience?
• You should use customer feedback to develop in-depth knowledge and understand how you can best serve them.
• Implementing a system to help you collect, organize and analyze comments and act on them on a regular basis.
• Reducing friction and solving your customers’ specific problems and challenges.
6. Seeking balance between automation and human assistance.
An essential aspect of managing the omnichannel customer experience is the proper balance between automation and human understanding. Customers expect brands to serve them using smart technology while aiming for human, authentic and empathic experiences.
Focus on balancing resources on the highest priority tasks. You can use chatbots to filter and solve simple situations and move to a human in more complex situations.
Know when a conversation should move from a bot to a human, for example, before the customer gets frustrated with a repetitive response from a bot.
7. Measure failures in the customer journey
Identifying gaps in the customer journey is a vital part of improving the omni-channel customer experience. Improving the customer experience is a constant job as customer habits and expectations evolve, brands must also seek to evolve to provide an even better experience