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What is an Omnichannel Customer Experience?

As the ways in which we communicate with another and experience the world around us develop, so does the terminology we use when referring to the methods we employ when doing so. And as businesses, it becomes important to interact with customers using the platforms where they are present and which they prefer. The challenge lies in the fact that both we and our customers use multiple channels of communication. 

Our customers may send us an enquiry on any one of several social media channels where our marketing messages are seen, follow up with an email, and then contact us over the phone. The omnichannel customer experience is determined by how seamlessly we can integrate all these experiences and communications so that we aren’t treating our customers as if they were “strangers” every time they switch channels. 

Failing to offer a well-integrated omnichannel customer experience leads customers to suppose that we are inefficient at best, and at worst, simply don’t care about them. 

Read our guide to customer experience.

How to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience

With businesses fielding many communications across multiple channels, integrating all communications from each client into a coherent whole can prove challenging. Top omnichannel customer experience tips will always begin with the methods used to organise communications. 

The people responsible for interacting with clients need to understand the customer journey so far in order to respond appropriately. The alternative is to place customers in a position where they must repeat themselves, going through a history that is apparent to them, and that they feel should be obvious to a business that claims to prioritise its customers. 

Needless to say, trying to organise customer communications across multiple channels without the help of advanced software is all-but-impossible. Improving the omnichannel customer experience begins with leveraging technology, but doesn’t end there. 

Technology is only as good as the people who use it and the methods they employ. So, besides having the capacity to integrate communications across channels, businesses need people with a strong understanding of the business and the ability to join the dots across communications histories to understand their customers’ current situation properly. 

Omnichannel Customer Experience vs. Omnichannel Marketing

While talking about what the omnichannel customer experience is, we should also touch on omnichannel marketing. Marketing messages generate awareness of businesses and what they have to offer and signal the starting point of customer experience. In omnichannel marketing, every possible means of conveying marketing messages is employed. And while all marketing messages should be consistent with the brand identity, we may use different approaches to marketing depending on the channels where our messages are to be seen. 

Supposing that our marketing generates interest in our products, and people respond with questions or expressions of interest, it’s important to know which message they’re responding to. We may even adjust the tone and content we use in our responses based on the platform and the marketing message in question. 

Omnichannel marketing is part of omnichannel communication, but if we succeed in getting the conversation going, omnichannel communication continues long after the initial marketing message goes out. 

Multi Channel vs Omnichannel Experience

There’s some debate about what the difference between omnichannel and multichannel customer experience means in practice.  The simplest way to distinguish between the two, however, is to look at integration. It’s perfectly possible, yet not desirable, from a customer-centric perspective, to use multiple channels without integrating them for a seamless experience. 

From a linguistic perspective, it might be argued that “Omni” means “all,” but it isn’t practical or desirable to use every channel at a business’s disposal to market itself and communicate with customers. For example, a B2B enterprise will generally prefer LinkedIn to Instagram as a platform for customer communication and marketing. Additional communications channels like email and telephone would be added to the mix. And, of course, there could also be other offline touchpoints to consider. If these channels are well-integrated, the business in our example is using omnichannel methods even though it may not be using every single platform it could possibly employ.

So, to sum up: in answering “What is omnichannel customer experience,” we can say that the experience comes from the way in which a business integrates the messages to and from customers and the ways in which customers experience the businesses across all the channels used – both online and offline. The aim, of course, is to move customers from exploration to purchase, and for them to find the whole experience, including after-sales service, a positive one. 

Outsourcing Omnichannel Experiences

Achieving a positive omnichannel experience for customers requires the right technology and the right people. It also helps if it’s scalable. Doing a big marketing drive? If it’s successful, communication between your business and its prospective customers is going to peak. Leading them through the sales funnel to purchase is going to require extra capacity – and following purchase, an increased volume of support queries can be expected. 

Being able to scale up and scale back can be difficult for businesses, even when they have all the tech tools needed to integrate communications. That’s where outsourcing, and RSVP, enters the picture. Don’t leave your customers waiting for answers. Don’t give their interest time to cool down. Don’t make them feel as if they’re dealing with disjointed, poorly-managed communications that don’t take their personal experiences into account. It’s time to get help! RSVP’s omnichannel support services are there to help you create the customer experiences you want your customers to enjoy.  Want to know more? Reach out today!

 

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