Technological progress and the pandemic streamlined the development of e-commerce. The new digital reality, where every interaction counts, is all about walking in your customers’ shoes. 90% of companies are expected to compete mostly based on customer experience. And it motivates businesses to put efforts in improving their customer journey. Among the wide range of business tools, aimed to satisfy and engage the customer, “omnichannel”, once considered a buzzword, became a usual marketing term.
But what is that “omni-magic wand”? What “wonders” does it bring to a customer?
In this article, we'll cover:
What We Mean by Channels
When we speak about channels, we mean a medium through which a brand is able to communicate with its customers. So, in terms of marketing, a channel could be anything from a brand’s website, a billboard, their physical stores, or even their products’ packaging. In terms of customer contact, a channel could be anything from emails to phone calls, live chat or video calls.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel
In order to better understand what omnichannel is and how it works, let’s compare the definitions of multichannel and omnichannel. A multichannel approach is when a company uses multiple channels to spread the message about their brand. The channels are usually separate and don’t relate with one another. On the other hand, an omnichannel approach is about integrating channels with each other in order to provide a seamless customer experience. Every channel can be integrated into one another, so the customer is able to switch effortlessly between them.
The Advantages of Omnichannel
Multichannel Focuses on Customer Engagement, Whereas Omnichannel Focuses on Customer Experience.
For example, on social media, the main aim from a multichannel perspective would be to increase followers’ likes, comments, and shares. Whilst, omnichannel is about creating a consistent customer experience. The end goal of an omnichannel approach isn’t about increasing the number of eyeballs the brand gets, it’s about engaging with the people who are already interacting with a brand to make sure they get a seamless and high-quality customer experience, regardless of what channel they’re using.
Omnichannel Is Customer-Focused, Whereas Multichannel Is Channel-Focused.
For example, if we take retail, an omnichannel approach is designed to make the shopping experience as effortless and easy as possible. The customer is placed at the center of the strategy and everything works out from there. Omnichannel shopping experience removes the friction from moving across different touchpoints, making it easier for customers to complete their journey. On the other hand, multichannel is all about increasing and maximizing the number of channels available to customers, so they can choose which channel they’d like to use to interact with or contact the brand.
SupportYourApp Experience of Being Omnichannel
SupportYourApp offers outsourced customer support solutions. Our support is completely omnichannel, so we can communicate with our customers via chat, email, phone, and social networks seamlessly. Imagine a customer, calling a customer support services agent to discuss a query. If this customer then wanted to start a new conversation over email, with a multichannel strategy, the person would then have to start right from the beginning. With an omnichannel approach, they can start the query on one channel and, if required, move the conversation to another one without the need to start all over again. For example, if a customer strikes up a chat conversation, they can easily switch to a voice or video call at a click of a button.
What is more, with an omnichannel approach, SupportYourApp maintains customers’ profiles on each lead and tracks all their interactions in one place. Empowering the agents with an omnichannel solution, gives them the possibility to quickly understand a customer’s issue and provide them with a timely solution. Sounds like a miracle? No, just omnichannel.
How Omnichannel Improves Customer Satisfaction
To get a very realistic view on the future of customer service and become a forward-thinking brand, it’s worth considering these statistics:
- 73% of consumers use more than one buying channel on their shopping journey.
- 71% of customers confirm they want a consistent experience across channels, but only 29% say they get it.
- 41% of consumers, and almost half of Millennials — 47%, agree to pay up to 20% more for an exciting customer experience.
- Omnichannel strategies help generate around 80% of in-store visits by customers. Purchase frequency is 250% higher on omnichannel vs. single channel, and the average order value is 13% more per order on omnichannel vs. single channel.
- Customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel.
- 90% of multiple device owners switch between devices every day, using on average three devices to complete a task.
Being Omnichannel Today
Being omnichannel today means:
- to understand customer needs
- to create a consistent customer experience
- to add more opportunities and flexibility in customers’ lives
- to empower the customer with all the necessary purchasing tools as a sign of care
With an omnichannel approach, customer experience comes together as a holistic integrated process, where a customer can choose where and when to engage with a brand. This definitely increases customer loyalty and, ultimately, retention.