Brands favor omnichannel marketing strategies for many reasons, including the opportunity to reach more customers and make more sales. However, in addition to business benefits, omnichannel efforts can greatly improve the customer shopping experience.
A well-crafted omnichannel customer experience can help you build a satisfied, loyal, and enthusiastic customer base.
What is the omnichannel customer experience?
The omnichannel customer experience is simply a way of describing how customers engage with and interact with brands through several channels. This is also known as the omnichannel customer journey.
An effective omnichannel strategy should include a customer journey map, with details about which channel(s) the customer interacts with at each stage in the purchasing process.
What do customers really want?
To provide an exceptional customer experience, you need to understand what customers want and give them what they want. Some examples of consumers’ customer service expectations include:
With a well-crafted omnichannel strategy, you’ll have various resources at your fingertips to meet and exceed these expectations, ultimately providing a satisfying, elevated experience that keeps customers coming back.
Meeting customer needs with your omnichannel customer journey
Adopting an omnichannel approach is the best way to serve your customers and improve their overall experience with your brand. Here are some ideas for crafting an omnichannel customer experience that meets and exceeds customers’ expectations.
Foresight — anticipating needs
Customers want brands to anticipate their needs, not just respond to them — but brands aren’t mind readers. To effectively anticipate customer needs, you need an in-depth understanding of your customer, which you can get through data and customer feedback. Some ways to improve foresight include:
- Soliciting customer feedback across multiple channels — add a link to a survey on printed receipts, in order confirmation emails, and on social media posts
- Including proactive outreach as a part of your customer communication
- Analyzing cross-channel customer data and looking for patterns
Swift, thoughtful responses are now the bare minimum in customer service. To really connect with customers, use data and feedback to anticipate their needs.
Convenience — reducing friction
Customers expect convenience when shopping in-store and placing orders online, and even small inconveniences can cause them to shop elsewhere. Your omnichannel customer journey should be streamlined and optimized to provide the level of convenience customers want. Here are some ways to achieve a more frictionless customer journey through your omnichannel efforts:
- Optimizing your digital platforms — website, mobile app, social media profiles, Google My Business profile — for speed and usability
- Giving customers a real-time view of inventory to see what’s in stock
- Streamlining the ordering and checkout processes
You can see increased sales and more repeat customers by improving convenience and optimizing your customer journey.
Flexibility — providing options
The more options you offer, the more personalized your customer experience. As you create your omnichannel customer service strategy, look for opportunities to offer a variety of options, such as:
- Allowing customers to make purchases through any channel
- Allowing all forms of payment
- Offering a variety of shipping and fulfillment options
Customers have unique wants and needs and are more likely to shop again when their preferences are accommodated.
Reliability — being consistent
Consistency can be challenging with an omnichannel strategy because you may have many channels to coordinate and integrate. Try these tips to increase your reliability across your omnichannel efforts:
- Consistent branding and brand messaging across channels — your presence and promotions should be instantly recognizable no matter where customers encounter you
- Fast response times across all customer service channels
When you provide an exceptional customer experience, you’ll gain a reputation for excellence. Maintain and grow your brand’s reputation by being consistent and reliable with branding and customer service.
Empathy — showing you care
Although you may handle a large volume of customer inquiries, each customer wants to feel like you care about their specific question or issue. To show you care and to build trust with your target audience, incorporate these things in your omnichannel customer service strategy:
- Warm, friendly customer service representatives
- Multiple customer service channels — email, phone, online chat, social media, in-store
- Creating customized responses to customer reviews
When consumers feel cared for, they develop an emotional connection with your brand, and they’re more likely to return and share their positive experiences with others.
Provide a better omnichannel customer experience with Cardlytics
A well-executed omnichannel strategy can transform the customer experience into a seamless series of touchpoints where you’re meeting customers’ every need. Solutions like Cardlytics Purchase Intelligence™ offer transaction-based data and insights that can boost your omnichannel efforts and drive results. To learn more about how Cardlytics can help meet your customer’s needs and expectations, reach out today.