What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?
by Mark Withington, on May 3, 2022 10:15:00 AM
Omnichannel customer experience describes a holistic strategy for creating a seamless customer experience (CX) by thoroughly integrating all the points of contact and communication between a supplier and a consumer. By now, nearly everyone understands the need for multiple ‘pathways’, or omnichannel commerce between consumers and suppliers. One need look no further than the plight of traditional restaurants, who suddenly had to adapt to the sudden change in delivery patterns during Covid-19 (e.g., from traditional seated in-house to takeout/curbside), to reinforce the need for omnichannel customer experience.
What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Beyond simply recognizing the different channels of communication and commerce, however, is the more significant issue of designing and coordinating the omnichannel customer experience, which is the choreographed interaction between the supplier and consumer across all possible pathways (phone, messaging, web, chat, chatbots, email, social media and in-person). An omnichannel approach acknowledges that customer interactions can originate anywhere and move across multiple channels and, therefore, require strategy and management to maintain a continuous and consistent experience.
For example, you might shop online at an organization’s website while chatting with someone in their call center or customer service department. This is an example of an omnichannel CX. It’s important to note that nothing frustrates your customers more than inconsistent information. Therefore, all interactions between customers and the organization must sync and mesh into a cohesive and consistent experience to remain happy AND loyal customers.
Achieving this level of consistency within the customer journey requires a Source of Truth Architecture that captures all interactions in one place and then distributes that information to the appropriate stakeholders, i.e., whoever oversees customer service, etc. This level of consistency remains the elusive holy grail for most front-of-house (i.e., customer-facing) systems primarily because the CX design is divorced from the supporting technology supporting the experience. With omnichannel CX, the goal is to combine supporting technologies into a seamless customer experience.
Benefits of Omnichannel CX
Here are two of the top benefits of omnichannel CX:
- Customers Have More Choices
Going back to the restaurant example, with an omnichannel approach, a restaurant might expand its offerings from dine-in to takeout, curbside pick-up, and delivery. By giving customers multiple ways to reach you and interact with your product, your business remains relevant to your customers.
- Happier Customers Increase Revenue
When an organization can seamlessly interact with its customers across multiple channels, it leads to happier, more loyal customers with a superior customer experience. A loyal customer base means repeat business and increased word-of-mouth advertising, which lead to higher revenue.
Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Customer Experience
Suppose a multichannel customer experience has multiple ways of communicating with a business and its products. How is it different from an omnichannel customer experience approach?
While multichannel and omnichannel may have very similar components (e.g., customers can communicate with an organization through their social media and their website.), what differentiates omnichannel and multichannel is that multichannel operates with silos and no coherent design. In contrast, omnichannel customer experience includes a holistic strategy integrating every avenue for customer experience into one seamless design.
How to Implement Omnichannel CX
Are you excited to take advantage of the benefits omnichannel CX can offer your business? Here are a few tips for getting started.
- Use Customer Journey Maps
Understanding your customer’s complete journey with your business will allow you to target areas where improvement is needed. Your customer’s journey includes all of the touchpoints that lead to a purchase or not.
- Take Feedback Seriously
Listen to what your customers tell you about their experiences and actively collect feedback through surveys. This will show you where any blind spots are in your business’s CX.
- Find Technology Solutions
It’s imperative that no matter how a customer interacts with your business, all of their data is in a single, easily accessible place. Without this technological framework, customer information would be scattered across multiple platforms. And remember, the single thing customers dislike the most is when a business does not have all of their data at hand.
- Take it Slow
Depending on the size of your organization, this may be a long process. Changing company culture and processes, while worthwhile, can take some time. So, start slow, be patient, and communicate the benefits of an omnichannel approach.
Transform Your CX with Accelare
Here at Accelare, we’re proud to utilize ServiceNow’s Customer Service Management (CSM) platform along with traditional customer experience design tools (such as personas, customer journeys, service blueprints, and empathy maps) and behavioral economics to achieve omnichannel customer experience through our Purpose Driven Customer Experience (PDCX) methodology. Our methodology and platform make developing and implementing an omnichannel approach to CX a seamless, speedy experience. Furthermore, Purpose Driven CX creates a level of structure around the customer experience that leverages proven concepts from behavioral economics, service design thinking, and Accelare’s S2E implementation methodology to deliver precision and discipline that any organization can benefit from.
If you want to learn more about PDCX and determine how PDCX and CSM can impact your organization, take our comprehensive Purpose Driven Customer Experience Maturity Assessment, a simple five-minute survey that can help highlight CX areas of strength and opportunity within your organization.