Customers are interacting with brands in all new ways, making for an exciting new age of marketing and strategizing, and companies strive to adapt. Just a short time ago, most customers interacted with brands through mass marketing and straightforward channels like call centers and catalog orders. But today, the possibilities for interaction are endless.
If you’re a brand wanting to keep up with your customers and optimize the engagement experience, an omnichannel customer engagement strategy is vital to your success. Keep reading to learn more about what an omnichannel customer experience is, and how to create an effective strategy for your customers.
What Is Omnichannel Customer Engagement?
Omnichannel customer engagement is a multi-channel approach to interacting with customers. This type of strategy allows customers to have a seamless experience no matter where they’re interacting with a brand.
They might scroll through the brand’s website on their mobile device and place an item in their cart. Then they might get an email reminding them to complete the purchase. Finally, they purchase the item by clicking through the email on their desktop computer. Later they get a text notification when the package is on its way.
This type of integrated customer experience is not just a multi-channel approach. If the channels don’t all work together cohesively, a company with multiple channels for engagement may not have a truly omnichannel strategy. An omnichannel strategy is defined by the ease at which a customer can switch from one channel to the other as they interact with a brand.
Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Service
There are endless benefits to creating an omnichannel customer service experience for your company. Here are just a few:
1. Learn More About Your Customers
This type of strategy allows you to learn more about your customers than ever before. As you interact across multiple platforms, you’ll be able to gather data about how customers are using various platforms and when they transfer to another one. This data is vital to improving your marketing strategy and increasing your bottom line.
2. Maximize Productivity
Your employees will be able to maximize productivity when they’re interacting with customers across multiple channels. For example, if they’re able to pull up a chat history or email history when someone phones into customer service, they’ll be able to more quickly resolve the issue and move on to the next customer.
3. Avoid Employee Turnover
When you create an omnichannel customer engagement strategy, employees will be dealing with more in-depth customer service cases. They’ll feel a higher level of satisfaction as they resolve more complex issues. This will decrease employee turnover and save you money in the long run.
4. Higher Customer Satisfaction
Customers, too, will feel more satisfied when they interact with your omnichannel brand. They’ll find it easier to get what they’re looking for and appreciate the quick response times to customer service issues. This will lead to greater loyalty and bigger purchases.
5. Real-Time Engagement
When you create an omnichannel strategy, you’ll be meeting customers wherever they are at any given time. This means you’ll be able to achieve real-time engagement and develop a deeper relationship with the customer.
What Is an Omnichannel Contact Center?
An omnichannel contact center is the call center of the future. Customers are able to engage with the brand across multiple channels within an instant. Rather than simply calling in and waiting for a representative to pick up the phone, the customer will be able to text, chat, email, and get a response over social media to resolve customer service issues. Representatives at an omnichannel contact center can seamlessly move from one platform to another at any time, all from a single queue.
What Defines a Good Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Now that you know what an omnichannel customer experience is, it’s important to understand what sets a good omnichannel customer experience apart from a bad one. Here are a few important points to remember as you create your strategy:
1. Understand the Customer
The best omnichannel strategy demonstrates a deep understanding of the customer. Your business should take time to research where your customers are and what they want out of the platform. Don’t create a strategy before understanding customer needs.
2. Coordinate Between Departments
An effective omnichannel customer experience requires in-depth coordination between departments. This means your sales team has strong communication with the customer service team, which reports straight to the marketing team. All processes should move in a cycle to optimize the customer experience.
3. Integrate Marketing Technology
Your omnichannel strategy will be most effective when you integrate it with marketing technology. This means you’ll be using a customer relationship management system (CRM) to record everything you know about a customer’s journey with your brand. You may also integrate tools like email services, marketing automation, data analytics, and print materials.
What Is the Omnichannel Strategy?
By now you’re probably ready to start creating your own omnichannel strategy. Here are key steps to getting started:
1. Invest in Mobile Services
Having a mobile-friendly website and SMS services is one of the most important tools to building a great omnichannel customer experience in today’s world.
2. Quick Social Media Response Times
Social media is part of any modern omnichannel strategy. Enhance the experience by quickly responding to customers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other platform where you have a presence.
3. Create Self-Service Opportunities
Customers like to be helped quickly. But even better, they want to help themselves. Create opportunities for customers to resolve their own issues with tools like printable return labels.
4. Optimize Email for Customer Service Needs
Many customers prefer email over phone interaction. Allow customers to quickly resolve issues with quick email response times.
A great omnichannel strategy should be evaluated and altered over time. Make sure you’re understanding how your customers interact with your brand and where you can improve by employing regular data analysis.
Now it’s time to jump into action with creating your omnichannel strategy. Your customers will appreciate the time and effort you put into creating a seamless, multi-channel experience. You’ll be rewarded with more loyal customers and greater profits over time.