An omnichannel customer experience is essential to retaining customers and increasing revenue. A well-cited study conducted by Aberdeen Group found that companies with strong omnichannel strategies are able to retain 89 percent of customers – those with undeveloped strategies retain about one-third of their customers.
But delivering an omnichannel experience requires a strategic mindset. You need to determine what approaches and technologies will reflect customer priorities rather than investing in the wrong initiatives.
Let’s dive into what a good omnichannel experience looks like and explore what your company requires to deliver exceptional customer experiences across channels.
The Fundamentals of Omnichannel Customer Experience
Omnichannel customer experience (CX) focuses on the overall quality of customer interactions. It focuses on the approach for all channels rather than just refining the experience for a single channel.
Another feature of omnichannel is seamlessness. Unlike multi-channel, which is a marketing approach involving multiple channels to engage with customers and sell products, omnichannel CX looks at what the customer experiences as a whole on any channel and as they navigate between channels.
For example, if a customer calls a business’s contact center to help with an order, can they switch to a live chat right away if there’s a wait for a live phone interaction? Can the chat agent send them a secure email after the interaction to resolve the customer’s issue or follow up on a later day to ensure it’s resolved? Is the customer data unified so the next time the customer calls, the agent knows the individual’s history?
Essentially, omnichannel CX is customer-focused, value-driven, and holistic throughout the customer journey.
When your business delivers it, your customers don’t have to jump through hoops to access what they’re looking for. In fact, your customer support team has the data necessary to anticipate customer needs and offer exceptional experiences consistently.
Why Omnichannel Matters Right Now
Today, being able to deliver a seamless experience across channels is more critical than ever.
There are a couple of reasons for this. First, during the pandemic, more consumers grew accustomed to an omnichannel experience, most of whom expect to continue interacting with brands on multiple channels for the foreseeable future. Second, the youngest consumer generation – Gen Z – looks at how seamless their experiences are when determining if they like a brand or not more than any other generation.
This shift to omnichannel means that companies need to work harder to deliver frictionless experiences so they can drive sustainable revenue and sales growth.
3 Things Your Business Needs for an Omnichannel CX
Creating a successful omnichannel strategy requires the right channels, the data to inform your approach, and the ability to go above and beyond for your customers.
1. Unified Communication Channels
For omnichannel to work, your business needs to make it easy for customers to interact through their preferred channels. This holds true at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Before converting, prospects should be able to access information online through your website, social media pages, and other channels. For those who want more than self-service options, it should be easy to contact your customer support team by phone, email, or chat.
- When making a purchase, customers should have the same ease whether buying through an app, on your website, or in-store.
- After-the-sale support should be just as robust with options for getting help, resolving a problem, and repurchasing being at your customers’ fingertips no matter what channel they prefer.
2. Unified Data
Customers should be able to move seamlessly between touchpoints. That means, when they leave one channel, they should be able to pick up where they left off without experiencing any friction.
To deliver high-level CX like this, customer data must be unified. Your communications solutions, contact center software, sales software, and CRM (customer relationship management) are all connected so you have a single source of truth rather than siloed data. For example, when the information in your CRM is integrated with your contact center software, your agents know each individual’s purchase and contact history.
This empowers your teams to deliver a seamless omnichannel CX, and it allows your customers to self-service their needs on their preferred digital channels without ever having to update their information or explain their past issues.
Unified data is also a must for generating actionable reports on the customer experience. With insights on things like call wait times, outbound email responses, and chat activity, your contact center managers and other customer-support decision-makers can use data to continually improve processes in ways that enhance CX even further.
3. Outbound Communication
Customer experience is an ongoing process, so you don’t want to limit your omnichannel CX strategy to prospects and new customers. It’s also important to have processes in place to connect with existing customers.
For example, a B2B company might choose to use their outbound contact center to follow up with customers, ensuring they have everything they need to thrive with a product. Your sales team might reach out through email or calling to upsell.
Get Started With the Right Tools for Delivering an Omnichannel CX
With all three of these things – unified communication channels, tools, and outbound capabilities – your business can meet customers where they are, analyze data, gather insights, and continually improve your omnichannel CX. But to get started, you’ll need the right technology.
Using cloud-based communications solutions like unified communications and contact center software that integrates with business applications, your company has a strong foundation for your omnichannel strategy. Learn how unified communications and contact center software from Intermedia can help your teams elevate CX across channels.