WHY IS OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IMPORTANT?
The world is changing faster than ever, and Digital Transformation has become a top priority for most enterprises and governments.
Consumers and citizens now have different expectations regarding communication and want to choose the place to interact with your brand. They expect relevant content anytime, anywhere in the format, and on the device of their choice.
Hubspot declares that 51% of customers would not choose a company again after a bad experience. To engage audiences is vital for companies to focus on a seamless Customer Experience.
Companies need to be as flexible as possible to be where their audience is and provide multiple communication channels to connect with them easily and engagingly.
To achieve this, brands need to create an omnichannel experience that incorporates the right combination of knowledge acquired through analytics, helpdesk, CRM, customer service insights, and other tools.
With a well-crafted and executed cross-channel strategy, companies are given more personalized marketing campaigns, improved website shopping journeys, and better communication with their customers. The key to complete success with this approach lies in ensuring consistency throughout every channel.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ‘OMNICHANNEL’ AND ‘MULTI-CHANNEL’?
Though it may seem that omnichannel is simply an extension of multi-channel, these strategies are two distinct retail models.
Multi-channel is a customer experience in which one or more different contact points are used by customers throughout their buying journey to engage with a brand – for example, physical shopfronts, smartphones, emails, etc. Using a multi-channel strategy, retailers adopt as many channels as possible but manage them separately.
Omnichannel is a step up from multi-channel. It’s a customer experience offered across all of a company’s channels, but in this case, each channel is deployed in connection with all others, and every channel is complementary to all others throughout the different stages of the customer journey.
In other words, instead of each channel being managed separately, as defined in the multi-channel approach, omnichannel synchronizes existing channels using one central data system. The result is a smooth shopping experience for consumers because the boundaries are blurred among channels.
The difference between having a multi-channel or omnichannel strategy really comes down to a company’s approach to its different platforms. A multi-channel strategy is focused on maximizing the performance of each one (physical, phone, internet etc.) performing as its own entity.
However, an omnichannel strategy looks at customers engaging with their brand in multiple ways across diverse platforms and aims to ensure a consistent experience across all of them. They aim to give the customer the same experience no matter where they are accessing the brand from.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD OMNICHANNEL EXPERIENCE?
At the end of the day, a good omnichannel experience boils down to consistency. The customer journey today is spreading across multiple channels and devices. The purpose of omnichannel is to deliver an integrated customer experience – so, broken down into elements, it allows users to consume (shop, communicate, research) brands and enjoy the same standard of experience regardless of the device, platform, or communication channel employed.
An organization using either multi-channel or omnichannel communication will have many ways to communicate with customers, and some are inevitably more efficient. Brands that fail to provide a great user experience within all of their platforms, regardless of their perceived effect on brand consumption, are destined to lose customers.
Take a business Facebook page, for example. Suppose your social media manager is not responsive, which means your Facebook communication is different from your other channels. In that case, you are not providing a seamless omnichannel experience for your users, and some customers will leave.
OMNICHANNEL STRATEGY: MAINTAINING CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Every organization has its own existing workflow system, and not all streams will necessarily be working together already. This creates confusion and complexity, so it is worth bringing in the additional budget to optimize or integrate the existing system.
There needs to be strong cross-team collaboration and unification. It is a must that your company is agile. Many companies still don’t understand the importance of agility, and it is their main roadblock in developing a successful omnichannel strategy.
None of your departments should operate independently of each other – marketing, sales, customer experience, and others, should all work as one, with clear expectations and communication between teams. The responsibility for the customer experience will then be dispersed among more departments. Each team will know precisely their role in relation to the other departments involved in the omnichannel process.
Omnichannel communications allow seamless channel switching and turn the customer journey into a completely new and personalized process. Being able to communicate with the client from the same platform and in the appropriate channel entails a higher delivery rate and the possibility to trace each communication for every company department. In addition, the feeling of receiving a more personalized service is highly appreciated by the user, adding quality and proximity to the service.
To provide customers with a seamless omnichannel experience, Soprano uses specific APIs. With Soprano Connect, we enhance the existing CRM to generate timely and proactive, two-way communications, regardless of which channel the conversation starts or ends on. This type of orchestration between technologies and protocols is the key to achieving great omnichannel experiences.
BENEFITS OF A GOOD OMNICHANNEL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
The use of well-orchestrated communication channels generates attractive advantages, for example:
- Proactive, effective communications with added value: Soprano has in its DNA the term “momentum”, the moment of truth when a user searches for an item or service and wants to get an immediate response. This is the moment where we must be to offer an adequate response. We must arrive at the right time where the customer’s journey is experiencing the need or is considering what product to purchase. For example, a plane ticket, theater tickets, receiving support from a service, knowing the status of their medical visit, requesting information about a CPaaS platform, etc.
- A CRM that stands out from the competitors: Soprano’s CPaaS solution stands out for its API. This can be integrated with CRM software, giving your employees the convenience of centralized information and a single point of communication. Soprano takes care of communication, while workers do not observe any apparent change by using the same CRM software.
- In-depth knowledge of user behavior: With a CPaaS integrated into the CRM, it is easy to store all the omnichannel conversations of each user and know their preferred channels. With information based on user behavior, we can start the conversation through the most appropriate channel and create a unique experience. In this way, it is possible to improve sales, retention, and customer satisfaction.
MOBILE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
Every customer, citizen, and patient has their own preferences and needs. To reach all of them, organizations must be flexible and provide a wide variety of channels to ensure their audience can reach them easily and vice versa.
Here are some effective channels that you can use to improve customer experience taking into count your customer preferences:
- SMS: 98% of smartphone owners use text messages regularly. SMS should be a fundamental part of your omnichannel communication because they are accessible to almost everyone, fully adopted, and easy to use.
- IP Messaging: The encrypted two-way IP messaging enables custom embedded mobile applications that allow organizations to extend new mobile use cases into their mission-critical systems.
- Voice: Enabling voice broadcast messaging with audio files and personalised text-to-speech messages will help your company engage and interact effectively with users.
- WhatsApp: With more than 2 billion users, WhatsApp has become a great channel to communicate with patients, customers, citizens. Adding our WhatsApp Business API, you can increase the confidence of your customers and open a new world of interaction possibilities.
- Email: Reach your audience by email, sending them personalized or generic offers, delivering them reliable information, and sending payments reminders.
Soprano Design assists in the creation of more consistent and easily-implementable omnichannel experiences
Soprano is a leader in transformation initiatives. We provide digital solutions that span all industries, leveraging our true enterprise-grade messaging applications to deliver improved customer and employee engagement and drive growth and productivity for organizations.
Soprano automates workflows and processes, and each point of automation introduces a potential opportunity to communicate information to another. Our omni-channel platform can be integrated as a core element of a digital transformation technology stack and can help relay critical information to the right individuals or systems at each point of automation. Furthermore, Soprano’s solutions are economical and avoid the need for expensive additional hardware.
Some of our solutions include: Self-service API administration, Customizable preferences, Configurable API attributes, Access control & security, Near real-time monitoring, Archival of all messaging activity, Auditing & custom reports.
Omnichannel consistency is absolutely essential in modern design and development. A omnichannel strategy is a holistic communication and sales strategy that must offer an integrated customer experience – it is so important to ensure that the quality of experience offered through every channel is the same.
What has been your greatest challenge when implementing an omnichannel marketing strategy and how did you overcome this?