Three Best Practices for Delivering Exceptional Omnichannel Customer Experiences
It’s virtually impossible to discuss customer experience without mentioning “omnichannel.” Customers have become accustomed to using multiple digital touch points to interact with companies as well as research products in their journeys.
Such a mindset doesn’t serve the omnichannel customer. Serving this customer requires a new way of thinking. The omnichannel customer journey is and has always been non-linear. Not surprisingly, research reveals that customers will often start their journeys in one channel (web), expand to other channels for additional information (social, call centers, online reviews), and then circle back to the initial channel for additional information or to review previous information.Unfortunately, many organizational leaders leave critical aspects of the omnichannel customer experience unaddressed, and often fail to challenge the company’s historical processes (i.e., “this is the way we’ve always done things.”)
Since customers move intermittently between channels, decision-makers need to gain a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and design seamless omnichannel experiences that meet their preferences. This is where brands can truly differentiate themselves in the marketplace. A good starting point is by developing an omnichannel customer journey map for target personas.
Creating a customer journey canvas
By developing personas for key customer groups, organizational leaders can create customer journey maps to track the behaviors of different customer types across the various channels they visit at different times. Leaders can then update the customer journey maps to reflect changes in customer behaviors and ensure that touch points in the customer journey are providing a superior experience. When done right, providing frictionless omnichannel experiences will strengthen sales, satisfaction, and customer lifetime value.
When a brand puts the consumer at the forefront, it can begin driving deeper connections that will make them not only a preferred destination, but a trusted partner with which to spend their hard-earned money. Understanding the consumer path to purchase enables a company to create personalized marketing, shopping, and sales experiences that are both good for the consumer and the corporation.
Breaking through silos
Company leaders also need to break through the organizational and channel silos that often impede the omnichannel customer experience. There isn’t a magic bullet for this. However, sales, marketing, customer care, and operations leaders need to come together to develop strong partnerships and identify opportunities for integration and putting their customers’ needs ahead of their own.
Applying customer insights across channels
When used correctly, data can serve as the silver bullet for omnichannel success. Contact centers, for instance, can use CRM data from marketing to provide associates with additional customer data that can be used to deliver personalized and contextual support experiences. Meanwhile, when prospects pose questions in contact center interactions about a company’s products or services, insights from these interactions can be used for outbound communications and ultimately to educate marketers on how to create a more relevant message for the marketplace and for other digital channels in customers’ omnichannel journeys.
When it comes to creating exceptional omnichannel customer experiences, remember, don’t blindly accept that traditional processes and approaches must be retained. Be willing to challenge everything. When employees at great companies are empowered to reassess processes and find a better solution they will often position the brand to be able to better serve the consumer.