Omnichannel Customer Experience

Omnichannel Customer Experience is now the standard in marketing, retail, and customer service. In 2023, 75% of consumers expect a consistent Omnichannel Experience, with 73% willing to switch brands if not met.

 

This article explores the significance of Omnichannel and why it’s crucial for staying competitive in the modern business world.

 

You’ve likely encountered the term “Omnichannel Customer Experience” before, and you might have a sense of its significance. After all, Omnichannel has become increasingly popular across marketing, retail, and customer service sectors, to the extent that it can rightfully be called the new standard of Customer Experience. 

Today, 75% of consumers expect a consistent Omnichannel Experience, and 73% say that they might change brands if this expectation is not met. In 2023, Omnichannel Customer Experience is becoming increasingly vital in the modern business world, to the extent that it’s almost a necessity to stay competitive.

However, you might still be wondering something: what exactly is Omnichannel Customer Experience and why does it matter so much?

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about Omnichannel Customer Experience and highlight its growing role as the new industry standard. So, let’s begin with the basics and explore what Omnichannel truly means.

 

What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?

While an Omnichannel approach will look different depending on what industry and type of business it is applied to, there are some common characteristics and purposes we can pinpoint as the essential traits of an Omnichannel Customer Experience.

 

Above all, Omnichannel Customer Experience has a primary aim: to ensure that customers receive a consistent, integrated brand experience, regardless of their mode of engagement. These interactions can take place in physical stores, online, or through various communication channels like email, Live Chat, SMS, or phone calls with customer service representatives. 

 

The point of Omnichannel is that the Customer Experience remains satisfying, personalised, and consistent across all of these engagement channels, empowering customers to successfully connect with a brand through any avenue they prefer. 

 

The goal is to create outstanding Customer Experiences; experiences that are satisfying, memorable, and seamless for the customer, all the while contributing to communicate a unified, cohesive identity across channels on the brand’s end. All of this results in increased customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and, ultimately, sales revenue.

 

 

 

 

 

Later in this article, we’ll get into the factors behind the success of Omnichannel Customer Experience, discuss the most important benefits of an Omnichannel approach, and explain how to implement Omnichannel Customer Experience in your business.

 

But before that, let’s clarify a common doubt: what is the difference between Multichannel and Omnichannel?

 

Multichannel vs Omnichannel Customer Experience

Sadly, lots of business owners and decision-makers don’t fully know the distinction between Omnichannel and Multichannel. Let’s try to clarify that difference.

 

First, let’s break down the core definitions: “multichannel” means “many channels,” and “omnichannel” means “all channels.” This initial distinction hints at a crucial difference between the two approaches. Multichannel simply adds more ways for customers to reach a company, while omnichannel goes a step further by integrating all channels. 

 

To differentiate between multichannel and omnichannel strategies, think of the saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In essence, it’s a question of quality over quantity.

 

Multichannel marketing involves establishing a presence on various platforms and channels, such as physical stores, websites, mobile apps, social media, and more. Each channel operates independently and serves as a separate touchpoint for customers. While this approach offers convenience and choice to customers, it can sometimes result in a disjointed and inconsistent experience. The strength of multichannel lies in the diversity of channels but does not necessarily guarantee a cohesive customer journey.

 

In contrast, an Omnichannel approach takes the customer experience to a higher level by seamlessly integrating all channels into a unified system. It recognizes that customers often use multiple channels simultaneously and focuses on delivering a consistent and cohesive experience across all touchpoints. 

 

Unlike Multichannel approaches, an Omnichannel Customer Experience leverages the synergy between channels to create a holistic and personalised experience that enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty. In essence, an Omnichannel Customer Experience is based on the premise that the customer journey is a connected ecosystem where each interaction should complement and enhance the overall experience.

 

Hopefully, the real nature of Omnichannel and its difference with Multichannel have been made clear by this explanation. Now, let’s get into the meat of the matter: why is Omnichannel Customer Experience so popular across industries? 

 

Why Omnichannel Customer Experience Is Becoming The New Standard

Over the last few years, it’s become evident that Customer Experience is one of the most decisive factors when it comes to gaining or retaining customers, and, ultimately, one of the key factors in a brand’s success. 

 

While this might initially seem like only a tangentially related topic to some, it’s in fact one of the main reasons why Omnichannel Customer Experience is so important for modern business.

 

To get reminded of this importance of Customer Experience, as well as put into context why Omnichannel Experience is becoming the new standard for business, let’s take a look at some statistics from which you can extract a quite telling story. 

 

Here’s a clue: evolution of communication technologies, changes in customer behaviour, the move of Customer Experience to the forefront of businesses’ priorities, and the success of Omnichannel are four events that are inextricably linked.

 

  • In a survey, Salesforce found that 75% of consumers look forward to a consistent experience across multiple engagement channels. And what’s more: 73% declare that they will likely switch brands if they don’t get it.
  • Studies have found that customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel marketing campaigns than those focusing on single-channel marketing. 
  • Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain on average 89% of their customers. In contrast, companies with weak omnichannel strategies show customer retention rates of only 33%.
  • Data from Google also showed that omnichannel shoppers have a 30% higher lifetime value than those who shop using only one channel; in other words, they generate more revenue. When you consider that it usually costs between 5-30 times more to get new customers than retain the ones you already have (Finextra), this really helps put things into perspective.

 

Now, what is the story that these snippets of data are telling us? You might have figured it out by now. Let’s dive into it.

 

In a nutshell: the importance of Customer Experience has increased enormously over the last decade. When engaging with a brand and researching a product, the modern customer places the brand experience on equal footing with the product itself, influencing their buying decisions. But that’s not all.

 

Today, customers have more options and channels than ever to gather information about products and brands, as well as to engage with businesses. Notably, customers have developed a preference for utilising multiple channels when interacting with a brand or researching it. Consequently, they invest substantial time both before and after making a purchase to gather information about a product and compare it with other alternatives.

 

The importance of Omnichannel Customer Experience stems from the wide variety of communication options and an increase of customer expectations.

 

 

In this context, every second a customer spends researching a product or engaging with a brand is an opportunity for businesses to deliver a memorable experience that will influence his purchase decision.

 

Now, where does Omnichannel Customer Experience fit into this?

 

It’s not hard to tell why today’s customers prefer omnichannel. The multiplicity of communication options and channels and more empowered (and demanding!) customers results in the segmentation of different types of buyers with different preferences when it comes to customer experience and engagement.

 

Omnichannel represents a substantial enhancement in a brand’s Customer Experience. Not only does it meet the elevated expectations of today’s discerning customers, fostering loyalty and increased spending, but it also broadens the brand’s reach to new customers. Brands that embrace an Omnichannel strategy, delivering exceptional CX and attracting fresh customers, are poised to outperform those that do not. As Omnichannel adoption becomes more commonplace, companies that resist risk losing relevance, customers, and revenue to their more agile counterparts.

 

But how exactly can Omnichannel Customer Experience benefit businesses? Let’s see it in the next section.

 

Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Experience

 

1. Increased presence and reach

Having a presence on every channel allows a brand to connect with any customer. In today’s landscape, there’s a wide variety of communication channels to cater to diverse customer preferences. Studies show that Baby Boomers still favour conversing with a representative via phone when interacting with a brand, whereas younger generations prefer options like WhatsApp, SMS, or social media

 

Utilizing all these channels and facilitating smooth shifts between them will immediately enhance a brand’s accessibility for both existing and potential customers.

 

2. Seamless and Efficient Interactions

People not only use various communication channels but also switch between them frequently in their daily interactions. This behaviour extends to their expectations when engaging with businesses. As mentioned earlier, 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels, as reported by Harvard Business Review. An omnichannel approach enables representatives to adapt to customers’ communication preferences and transition seamlessly between channels, enhancing the quality, flow, and resolution time of customer conversations.

 

3. Better CX, happier and more loyal customers

As mentioned earlier, omnichannel aims to enhance the customer experience and establish a consistent, exceptional standard across all channels. Research by Aberdeen Group indicates that implementing omnichannel solutions can lead to a remarkable 23-fold increase in customer satisfaction rates. Furthermore, satisfied customers tend to recommend products or brands to friends, leave positive reviews, and participate in loyalty programs.

 

4. Better data collection

Implementing Omnichannel Customer Experience strategies not only streamlines and enhances customer journeys but also offers a valuable perspective on customer behaviour and preferences across channels. It enables a deeper understanding of customer desires, expectations, and their preferred engagement methods. This knowledge can be integrated into overall strategies, optimising the customer experience and marketing investments. 

 

Some Omnichannel Customer Experience platforms, like Connex One, provide AI analytics tools like Keyphrase Analysis, Entity Recognition, and Sentiment Analysis to identify trends, recurring issues, and customer satisfaction levels, offering businesses invaluable insights.

Sentiment Analysis AI features in Omnichannel Customer Experience platforms like Connex One can measure customers’ satisfaction by reading the emotional tone in their conversations with agents

 

5. A more consistent brand identity

Omnichannel strategies are key for maintaining a consistent brand identity. They ensure that the brand message and values are communicated uniformly across all customer touchpoints, whether online, in-store, or through various channels, fostering trust and loyalty. With omnichannel, customers enjoy a seamless journey with the same brand elements, voice, and visuals, reinforcing the brand’s identity and recognition. This consistent and compelling brand experience establishes a memorable identity, forges emotional connections, and sets businesses apart from competitors.

 

Hopefully, by now you’ll be convinced about the importance of Omnichannel Customer Experience for modern business. It’s finally time to get into more practical matters: how can you implement Omnichannel Customer Experience in your business? In the next section, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide.

 

How can a business implement Omnichannel CX?

 

1. Know your customer

Understanding your customers is the first step in adopting an omnichannel solution. It’s crucial to learn their preferences and preferred communication channels. While you don’t need all the answers upfront, embarking on an omnichannel journey with a clear purpose – meeting customer needs – is essential. Ask questions, gather feedback from representatives, and analyse customer data to gain insights before proceeding.

 

2. Create a Customer Journey Map

Next, create a customer journey map; or, in other words, a visual representation of all the touchpoints within the customer’s interaction with your brand. Consider each channel’s role in the overall journey; some customers may prefer email inquiries, while others lean towards Live Chat or social media. You may need separate journey maps for different client types. Chart the entire process, from the initial brand encounter to the purchase decision, incorporating critical events like product research, competitive analysis, and the path to purchase.

 

3. Connect All Channels

To achieve success with an omnichannel strategy, flawless execution is essential but can be challenging. The key is to have the right technology in place to track customers seamlessly throughout their journey, from online research and social media engagement to third-party marketplace browsing and in-store purchases.

 

Connex One’s Omnichannel platform offers rapid channel integration, an intuitive interface, and easy customer interaction management. Users can effortlessly switch between channels, all within a unified hub. Additionally, they can access a customer’s complete history and information with a single click.

 

4. Maintain a consistent brand identity across channels

For a successful Omnichannel Customer Experience, organisations must establish a strong brand identity with clear messaging and creative guidelines. These guidelines should be consistently applied across all channels to enhance brand recognition and awareness. Employing brand tracking tools aids in gauging and forecasting consumer perceptions of the brand.

 

Additionally, tools like Sentiment Analysis can help maintain a consistent brand voice across channels. Our solution, for instance, analyses the language used by customers and representatives during interactions, automatically identifying customer sentiment. Combining this AI functionality with tools like Keyphrase Analysis can reveal words and phrases.

 

5. Keep testing and improving

A vital part of good Omnichannel Customer Experience is continuous evaluation. After formulating a plan, ongoing testing, measurement, and feedback collection are crucial. Examine the involved individuals, processes, and technologies, both internally and externally, that contribute to an improved omnichannel customer experience. Assess the efficiency of workflows, document touchpoints thoroughly, and optimise customer service.

 

Connex One’s Assessment Centre features are invaluable for continually monitoring and enhancing your omnichannel strategy. The platform’s dashboard offers full visibility of agents’ performance, with AI tools like Call Transcription, Sentiment Analysis, Keyphrase Analysis, and Entity Recognition providing insights into customer-agent interactions. These tools empower you to identify what works and areas for improvement. After identifying your strategy’s strengths and weaknesses, devise a strategic plan to streamline processes, foster collaboration, and build a loyal customer base that keeps coming back.