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A Guide to Understanding the Omnichannel CX
Brands have been transforming their customer experience (CX) models over the last several years, but the pandemic has been a true catalyst for accelerating this digital transformation. Between stay-at-home orders, transitioning to remote work, the rise in consumer vulnerability, and more—the business-to-customer relationship is forced to evolve. Brands continue to overhaul their approaches to CX, with many now relying on technologies and platforms to prioritize faster, actionable insights to meet buyers where and how they prefer.
CX shifted at high speed to meet evolving customer expectations, and many of these new consumer behaviors will remain permanent, even during post-pandemic business operations. In today’s digital economy, customers can connect with brands across more channels, and that’s only going to continue; omnichannel engagement is no longer a nice-to-have—it’s a long-term business imperative.
By understanding every customer interaction across every channel, organizations can uncover insights to drive better business decisions and influence transformative growth.
Here’s why an omnichannel approach to CX is here to stay:
The Omnichannel Approach
The term omnichannel experience refers to a multichannel approach to marketing, selling, and serving customers across multiple devices and touchpoints. It’s not a new concept, but it’s one most brands haven’t yet mastered. As consumers demand more personalized, streamlined experiences, it has become a competitive differentiator.
Not surprisingly, during the pandemic, customers engaged with brands across more digital channels than ever. Customers were regularly booking and paying for services they never had before, like grocery delivery, for example, forcing them to navigate virtual services for activities they used to perform in person, like banking. A PWC report suggests that growth in omnichannel experiences rose from 20% to more than 80% since 2020.
When engaging with brands, customers aren’t taking a linear path. Mobile devices have become the center of our digital world. Consumers engage with brands on multiple devices across various channels, from Instagram to chatbots. Shopping now happens whenever and wherever the mood strikes. According to IBM’s Research Insights, seven in 10 consumers say they shop in so-called “micro-moments,” and 35% do so at least weekly.
You can imagine that as customers jump from social media to self-service options and call into the contact centers throughout their journey, they’re communicating (whether via text or voice) a plethora of information. Brands face challenges in ensuring that the customer journey is seamless across channels, and those critical conversations are captured and analyzed to improve CX.
The companies that will succeed in this approach understand the power of every customer interaction, and have started to adopt the tools necessary, such as conversation analytics and customer journey mapping, to optimize these experiences.
Brands can identify important patterns, nuances, and context in customer interactions by removing data silos and capturing and analyzing conversations at scale. With these insights, organizations can uncover pain points, concerns, or challenges and take action to improve omnichannel CX and drive increased customer retention and loyalty.
Best Practices for Omnichannel Customer Engagement
The push to understand customer conversations across every channel isn’t confined to specific industries. It emerges from the evolution of customer preferences and behaviors. For organizations looking to create omnichannel experiences that meet the high expectations of today's digital consumers, here are three best practices:
- Meet customers where they are and anticipate changes: The easiest way to ensure you’re providing top-notch customer service is to meet your users where they already are. Look at your history of customer contact and shift attention accordingly. Spikes in chat contacts that eventually move the contact center could indicate an emerging issue or indicate a shift in channel preferences. Either way, brands can make more informed decisions about how to staff channels based on this understanding.
- Eliminate data and channel silos: Creating authentic omnichannel experiences mean customers can move between channels, pausing and resuming their journey without interruption. If customers call the support center after asking a question on chat and are then transferred between departments only to repeat the same story, you may have lost a customer entirely. Unfortunately, many contact center and customer relationship management software solutions don’t deliver integrated omnichannel experiences. Advanced analytics solutions, like conversation analytics, make it possible to support every digital channel and data input, including social media and automated chat.
- Correlate analytics to make better business decisions: Separately analyzing text and voice communications makes it impossible to get a complete understanding of customer journeys. Ensuring that customer conversations are analyzed and integrated, regardless of channel, helps paint a picture of customer sentiment, emerging issues, and more. Having this comprehensive understanding means uncovering the insights required to improve businesses across a range of departments.
Despite the acceleration of digital transformation at the start of the pandemic, many organizations already have the data necessary to understand omnichannel conversations and deliver the experiences that customers expect—but they must put it to good use.
The future of CX is rooted in deeply understanding your customers—this means capturing intelligence from every interaction, then using that insight to meet customers on their preferred channels, create personalized experiences, and drive enterprise-wide improvement. Companies that understand this and take action are the ones that will achieve true business resiliency and growth in this new landscape and the next.
Learn more about the contact center and customer experiences during Enterprise Connect this September. Register now with promo code NJAL200 and receive $200 off your registration.