Today, many businesses have implemented or plan to implement an omnichannel strategy. In the words of John Bowden, Senior VP of Customer Care at Time Warner Cable:
Omnichannel is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent. Omni-channel anticipates that customers may start in one channel and move to another as they progress to a resolution. (Source: Marketo)
Key is streamlining the brand’s voice, message and outlook. Essential is that these components are consistent on a client’s smartphone, their desktop as well as during their in-store shop experience and that they form one continuous experience. However, omnichannel is not just about focusing on those elements. The focus of omnichannel is on the client and on improving and adapting to their needs and desires.
As technology keeps evolving and people attach more and more importance to their ever-online devices, it’s only logical to say that the customer experience is changing drastically. In order to keep up with the current and future technology, businesses have to adapt their strategies to create a coherent omnichannel experience for their customers. We’ll provide you with six how-to steps to help you improve your client’s omnichannel experience.
Step 1: Work closely with other departments.
Omnichannel is a complicated process and demands a dedicated team that is ready to take the plunge. Providing a coherent omnichannel experience starts with co-operating with several departments within your company. Essential stakeholders in this process are the marketing department, the sales department, and most definetly, the customer support department. Establish a plan in which all these stakeholders play an active role.
Step 2: Streamline the message you want to deliver.
Every expert in omnichannel or marketing underlines the importance of consistent storytelling, and we agree with them. David Rich, Head of Marketing at Robert Dyas, highlights the crucial role of certain words, phrases and expressions a company uses.
Words – nuances in phrases – are absolutely paramount; as important as the look of the logo. If you don’t have consistency in your wording, you will never have a coherent platform for communication. (Source: Insight Agents)
Nuances in words and expressions you use are not only important. Equally important as the words you use to persuade your clients is that you, as a business, deliver exactly what you told you would deliver. Consistent, sincere and honest storytelling is essential.
Step 3: Get personal with your client.
We all hate those emails that address us with a ‘Hello’ or a ‘Hi there’. Personalization, over the past years, has gained more and more importance and clients are expecting tailored emails and a personalized brand experience. However, inserting your client’s first name into your email or into the subject line is not just going to cut it.
Segmenting your clients in different categories to provide them with a more specific experience is also a great idea. Consider dividing your clients according to their location, age, purchase intentions, style preferences and so on. You can also use behavioural data to detect whether they are a returning customer or a first-time customer to send them personalized emails or notifications. Getting to know your client and their needs is valuable for every business.
Step 4: Optimize the mobile experience.
Over the past years, the number of mobile internet users has exceeded the number of desktop-only users. This means that more people prefer using their smartphone or tablet to make purchases online or to check your website. This transformation in the digital landscape also implies that optimizing the mobile experience has become a priority for many businesses that want to provide a seamless online brand experience.
Our advice? Simplicity. Offer your clients a mobile-friendly website that makes it easy to navigate across all the services you provide.
Step 5: Experiment with different mediums.
Addressing your client or building a connection with them can happen across several channels. Omnichannel is about digging into different channels in order to reach returning customers in a creative way or to build a relationship with new customers.
If your brand already has a website and is present on different social media, but you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, a pop-up store is something interesting to consider. Your client has the opportunity to see and feel your product in person before they purchase it and you can demonstrate the value of your product.
On the other hand, if your brand only has a brick-and-mortar store and a website, it’s time to delve into social media. Set up an account to answer some burning questions your customers might have about the services you provide. Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence are another route you might want to take to follow the needs of your customers.
Step 6: Use your client’s feedback.
Implementing new strategies in your company are only beneficial when you keep on improving them. Key to improvement is listening to your customer, or as Bill Gates once said:
We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.
If your customer shares something about their shopping experience that went wrong, listen to their insights. Act on their complaints so you can offer a perfect omnichannel experience in the future. Listening to your client will also teach you about their needs and desires which can help you create a new service or a new product.
All set to further improve?
There is no question that omnichannel is a challenging project. It demands a lot of work: streamlining your message, getting your personnel on board with the decision and implementing new techniques to lure in your customers. However, the advantages attached to a perfected omnichannel experience outweigh the hard work poured into it. A recent study shows that omnichannel retailing works: the more channels a customer uses, the more they spend. Omnichannel customers are also more loyal and are more likely to recommend your brand to family or friends.
Ready to implement our steps to improve your client’s omnichannel experience?