Building Great Customer Experiences through a Unified Omnichannel Strategy
From multi-channel to omnichannel
Realising customer needs and expectations have been rapidly evolving, many organisations have been building out multiple channels to engage and connect with their customers. Websites, mobile, social media, messaging apps, chatbots, call-centers, sales visits, physical stores, on-line kiosks, pick up & delivery points, … a multitude of possibilities offering the customer the choice on how, when and where to interact with the company.
Still the experience today leaves in many cases the customer lost, confused and frustrated. For the customer the different channels feel disjointed and are not connecting up. The content doesn’t help them navigate their way through all complexity. And the experience is very transactional, rather focused on closing a sale instead of establishing an ongoing relationship.
In their strive to offer a multi-channel approach, companies may have been overlooking a more fundamental need – the need for a seamless, omnichannel strategy that provides a single, unified experience for the customer across all channels.
However omnichannel entails a lot more than just tying together all the different ways a customer can interact with your organisation – rather it has massive implications on the way your organisation thinks and operates.
What is omnichannel?
Omnichannel is a key enabler of customer centricity. It is about creating great customer experiences and optimising customer satisfaction at all customer touchpoints. It is about enabling a real end-to-end journey from awareness through media activities to helpful sales interactions in-store, from efficient online purchasing and easy payment methods to smooth delivery processes and excellent customer support.
Instead of letting the multiple channels work independently, omnichannel will blend these together into a single, mutually supportive experience.
And what about optichannel?
As businesses and customers are moving into the ‘omnichannel’ approach, a new challenge is being presented. The choice of multiple channels hands the customer the task of finding the right channel to solve their particular problem. Optichannel aims to determine the optimal channel for each individual and configures their customer journey accordingly. Instead of offering more channels, an optichannel approach will guide the customer to the right one.
Keep an eye out over the next few weeks to discover part 2 of this blog on how to unlock the secrets of a unified omnichannel strategy.
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