Omnichannel Customer Experience (CX)
It’s easy to define omnichannel customer experience (CX). It is simply creating a single, frictionless experience across every customer touchpoint.
This means regardless of how they interact with your business – through their phone, tablet, desktop or even with a member of your team – and no matter where that engagement starts – through a search engine, text message, chatbot, customer service call or in person meeting, they have the same phenomenal customer experience.
Customers aren’t just embracing omnichannel experiences – they’re expecting them. Typically, consumers undertake buying journeys across multiple devices during multiple sessions. An omnichannel customer experience enables customers to begin their experience with your business in one channel and continue it on a another channel seamlessly.
Omnichannel CX Benefits
Here are four benefits of building an omnichannel customer experience:
Better customer experience: when you look at your overall customer experience through multiple channels with the goal of creating a single phenomenal customer experience, you almost can’t fail to create better customer journeys.
More effective team members: once you invest in creating an omnichannel customer experience, team members engaging with your customers provide better service. They don’t have to worry about serving customers one way on one channel and another way on another channel; they can focus on the one way of providing the best customer experience possible.
Build brand loyalty: when you build a great omnichannel customer experience, your customers can trust you to provide a consistent experience. This leads to more repeat business and increases the opportunity for referrals.
Save time and money: once you invest in creating an omnichannel customer experience, you will save time and money every day going forward. A study by Deloitte revealed a 33% reduction in customer service costs by creating phenomenal customer experiences, which is only enhanced when you create an omnichannel customer experience.
Let’s examine five steps to create an omnichannel customer experience for your business:
Assess Your CX Across Channels
It’s time to take inventory of your customer experiences.
- What is their journey when they engage with your business through a search engine or paid ad?
- How about when they chat online with your bot? Does your AI make the experience better or worse?
- What about when they speak to a customer service representative or a member of your sales team?
- How is their experience different when it starts with their phone, tablet, desktop, call or meet with you in person?
It won’t take long to see the many different experiences you are creating for your customers.
Design Your One Customer Experience
No matter how many different experiences you have created for your customers, you will begin to see the good, the bad and the ugly of each of those experiences.
What good customer experiences can you take from each channel to incorporate in the design of your single customer experience? How can you pull those experiences together into a seamless customer journey?
Once you have assembled the best parts of your current customer journey, now it is time to make every step of the journey even better. How can you design every moment of truth to delight your customers?
Now step back and look at your overall design. Will it deliver a phenomenal single customer experience regardless of the channel your customer engages your business? If so, now it is time to start the development process.
Develop Your Omnichannel Customer Experience
Let’s contrast two different approaches to developing your omnichannel customer experience, waterfall and agile.
A waterfall approach takes your entire design or a large piece of it and builds a complete customer experience. This big bang approach completely and dramatically transforms your customer experience.
While a waterfall approach may be essential if your customer experience is badly broken, this development approach typically takes much more time and money. Worst of all, many waterfall projects miss the mark, causing considerable rework leading to even longer timelines and greater costs.
Conversely, an agile approach to omnichannel customer experience development build smaller pieces of your customer experience. Changes can be moved to implementation much faster and more frequently with an agile development approach. Best of all, you can get timely feedback and make changes more quickly if you have missed the mark or discover opportunities to create an even more delightful customer experience.
Implement Your Omnichannel CX
We have a strong bias for agile development, although we acknowledge waterfall does have its place in some customer experience transformation projects.
Your implementation of your omnichannel customer experience, however, almost always demands an agile approach. The complexities of each of your customer engagement channels typically have enough variability to warrant focusing on each channel one-by-one as you implement your new customer experiences.
The agile approach to implementation allows you to test your development initiatives and get timely feedback on each channel. You can tie a bow around your full omnichannel CX solution after you have successfully implemented for each channel.
Measure Your Omnichannel CX
Last but far from least, you need to measure your omnichannel customer experience performance.
You need to capture your current CX performance during the assessment phase then determine what you will measure in your new omnichannel customer experience during the design phase.
After you have developed and implemented your omnichannel CX solution, measure and gain insights from your performance. This will allow you to see even more opportunities for improvement to create an even more phenomenal customer experience, regardless of the channel where customers engage with your business.