How to Craft a Frictionless Omnichannel Customer Experience

min read
How to Craft a Frictionless Omnichannel Customer Experience

Bob shops online — he likes the ease of one-click ordering. Ellen peruses a catalog she got in the mail, then picks up the phone to place an order. Jayden engages with an ad served up to him on Instagram, intrigued by a new product. Martina spies an item that she likes in a brick-and-mortar store and uses a mobile app to order it for same-day delivery to her home.

All of these people are customers of the same business — a business that provides an omnichannel customer experience. Its customers can interact with the business across various channels while experiencing consistency in messaging, branding, and service quality, regardless of the channel they choose.

This post answers the question, “What is an omnichannel customer experience?” You’ll learn about the benefits of this approach and the differences between omnichannel vs. multichannel strategies. You’ll also discover ways to craft a frictionless omnichannel customer experience.

What Is an Omnichannel Customer Experience?

With an omnichannel customer experience, your business supports seamless customer interactions across multiple channels or touchpoints, such as online platforms, mobile apps, physical stores, social media, and customer service centers. Your aim is to provide a cohesive and personalized experience, allowing your customers to switch between channels effortlessly and have their needs met consistently throughout their journey with your brand.

Why is it important to provide an omnichannel experience for your customers? As noted at the top of this post, customers of the same business can have different buying preferences and interact with the brand in different ways. Most customers today also own multiple devices. So, when you enable an omnichannel customer experience, you give your customers the ability to move seamlessly between the channels they prefer using the devices they choose.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

Omnichannel and multichannel strategies are both designed to engage customers across multiple channels. However, there are distinct differences between the two.

As noted above, an omnichannel experience is one that emphasizes creating a seamless, integrated experience for consumers across multiple channels. The channels involved, from physical stores to websites to social channels, are interconnected and work together to provide a consistent and cohesive experience for consumers.

With omnichannel, customers can switch between channels during their interaction with a brand and still get the same level of personalization throughout. That’s because data about their journey, behavior, and preferences is shared across channels.

Brands that use a multichannel strategy make it possible for customers to engage with them through various channels, such as brick-and-mortar locations, websites, mobile apps, and email. However, unlike an omnichannel approach, the channels in a multichannel experience operate independently of the others. There may be little integration or synchronization between them and thus, the experience for consumers may not be personalized or consistent across the various channels they choose to use.

Components of Omnichannel CX

A customer experience, or CX, that is omnichannel is flexible and adaptable. It gives customers the ability to move without friction between channels and devices. An omnichannel customer experience includes:

  • The integration of all customer data, offline and online, into a 360-degree or single customer view (SCV)
  • Seamless cross-channel customer communication
  • A customer-centric design
  • Personalization at scale
  • Continuous optimization

Creating a Seamless Customer Journey

Is there really such a thing as a “seamless” customer journey? Absolutely, and it is foundational to creating an omnichannel experience. Here are seven steps you can take to set up this type of journey for your customers.

1. Create Customer Personas

Customer personas help you understand your customers. This is a must if you want an omnichannel CX to succeed. 

Identify your target audience and use behaviors, data, and analytics to create detailed personas to understand needs, preferences, and pain points. Make sure to capture data from all customer communication channels, including phone conversations, by using conversation intelligence software like Invoca. 

2. Develop Customer Journey Maps

Developing customer journey maps to visualize the stages and touchpoints customers encounter throughout their brand interactions will help create a seamless customer experience.

It’s important to map and unify the online and offline touchpoints you are providing to consumers. You can stream data from conversations and online touchpoints to your customer relationship management (CRM) system, ad platforms, and contact center software to create personalized omnichannel experiences

3. Assess Current Touchpoints and Channels

Assess existing touchpoints and channels where customers engage with your brand. There are 12 very important communication channels and countless touchpoints, both online and offline. Keep in mind that phone calls can be a vital source of customer data. 

4. Consolidate Customer Data

Bring customer data from sources such as CRM systems, marketing platforms, and website analytics together. Once centralized, that information can be easily and productively analyzed and mined for actionable insights.

5. Establish a Single Customer View

Integrate all relevant data to create a 360-degree, unified view of each customer (the aforementioned “SCV”) to ensure consistent and personalized interactions can occur across all channels.

6. Develop a Communication Strategy

Next, develop a communication strategy with consistent messaging and branding across all channels. This strategy will help to align marketing and sales so they can become a more effective revenue execution team. A consistent strategy across all channels also builds trust and brand loyalty with your customers. 

7. Optimize Digital Touchpoints

Design and optimize all digital touchpoints, including websites, mobile apps, phone calls, and social media platforms, for a seamless user experience.

For example, if a customer puts a product in their cart on your website, it should also appear in their cart displayed in your mobile app. The customer should also be reminded via email and text that they’ve left something in the cart.

Building a Strong Omnichannel Strategy

Once you’ve established a seamless customer journey, you can start building a strong omnichannel strategy. Standout omnichannel customer experience examples include those provided by Amazon, Disney, and Starbucks. To emulate their approaches, use these five steps.

1. Conduct Customer Research

Create buyer personas and conduct audience segmentation to understand your customers’ expectations and preferences. You need this insight to build an omnichannel strategy around your target audience.

2. Establish Consistent Branding and Messaging

When you adhere to clear brand guidelines and use messaging that resonates with your target audience across all channels, you can build trust and brand loyalty with consumers.

3. Unify Online and Offline Channels

Make it easy for customers to transition between channels by providing a unified experience. Data from online and offline sources is the key to making the CX frictionless. Tools like Invoca’s revenue execution platform let you collect and analyze offline data, such as from phone conversations, and link it to online data so that you can develop a full picture of the customer and their journey.

4. Leverage Personalization Techniques

Personalization delivered through dynamic content, recommendations, and targeted promotions boosts engagement and conversion rates as you build an omnichannel customer experience. Data insights from phone conversations that are tracked and digitized using Invoca’s conversation intelligence tool allow you to target ads and personalize customer experiences, particularly with products the customer has already mentioned.

5. Map Your Customer Journey

Training and empowering employees so that they know how to promote customer satisfaction at every touchpoint is also essential to the success of an omnichannel CX. Providing a map of the customer journey gives your team members the information they need to be confident in every customer interaction.

Best Practices for a Frictionless Omnichannel CX

There are also several best practices that you can adopt to ensure frictionless omnichannel customer experiences. Here’s a quick look at some top ones.  

1. Consistent Experience Across Channels

As you’ve no doubt gleaned by now, providing a consistent experience across all channels is critical to creating a seamless customer experience in an omnichannel strategy. Anything you do to reduce customer effort and eliminate variables in the journey will reduce friction and enable a better omnichannel CX.

2. Implement Technologies

Use technologies to help remove friction from the customer experience. For example, you can employ conversation intelligence software to bring together online and offline experiences.

Invoca’s platform routes calls based on online buyer intent and then tracks every phone conversation between your call center team and customers. Invoca also integrates with CRMs, like Salesforce, automatically depositing relevant conversation intelligence data in those systems to keep customer records up to date.

3. Personalize Customer Interactions

Use customer data and insights gathered from phone conversations and online activity to personalize customer experiences by tailoring interactions to individual preferences and behavior. This can be as simple as routing incoming calls based on which pages the caller visited online prior to picking up the phone.

Invoca PreSense is one solution that can help you deliver a more personalized call experience. It gives contact center agents information about what happened in a caller’s online journey before they picked up the phone.

For example, with PreSense, an agent would get details about the ads a customer interacted with online, the customer’s name and account number, and what geographic location they are calling from. The agent can then jump into the conversation immediately, greeting the caller by name and anticipating what they want to talk about and what product interests them. 

4. Optimize for Mobile Experience

Global consumers are adding mobile devices like smartphones and tablets at a rate of almost 1 billion per year. It’s projected that 18.2 billion mobile devices will be in service by 2025 in a global population of just 8.1 billion. That’s 2.2 mobile devices per person. So, if your website isn’t already optimized for mobile, you are creating friction in omnichannel customer experiences today, and for the future!

5. Provide Self-Service Options

Sometimes, customers don’t want to talk. They just want to find the answer they need on their own. With that in mind, make sure to provide adequate self-service tools such as FAQs, knowledge bases, and chatbots to satisfy customers who want to go it alone. 

Giving your customers self-service options for easy-to-answer questions can also help you to improve customer service. It clears up the phone lines in the contact center so your agents have more time to address complex questions and requests that require the human touch.

6. Offer Seamless Transitions Between Channels

Frictionless means customers should be able to move between channels easily without repeating information or refilling forms. Perhaps your customer started out on their home computer, then had to leave for work. They want to complete the order on their phone while on the bus. You need to make that possible!

Seamless transitions are especially important in your contact center. Being transferred and repeating information creates unnecessary friction and can result in customer churn.

Benefits of an Omnichannel Customer Experience

What are the key benefits of providing frictionless omnichannel customer experiences? Here are four examples that help to underscore why building an omnichannel CX can be well worth the time and effort for your business.

Benefit 1: Enhanced Customer Retention

It’s cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones. Studies indicate that customers are loyal to brands offering seamless omnichannel experiences. This translates to higher retention rates and increased customer lifetime value (CLV).

Benefit 2: Boosted Customer Engagement

It’s a fact that customers engage more with a brand when they can do it through a channel they prefer to use. Statistics show that companies with the best omnichannel CX strategies turn 89% of buyers into engaged, loyal customers. 

Benefit 3: Increased Revenue

Businesses can see increased revenue from successfully implemented omnichannel CX. According to recent statistics compiled by Capital One Shopping, companies with omnichannel customer engagement increase sales revenue 179% more, on average, than companies that don’t use the strategy.

Benefit 4: Better Lifetime Value

Enhanced omnichannel CX translates to better CLV because customers are loyal and more likely to buy. Omnichannel can help businesses achieve an industry benchmark of CLV three times greater than the customer acquisition cost (CAC). 

Crafting a Frictionless Omnichannel Experience with Invoca

Seamless and personalized omnichannel experiences are a necessity in today’s world of commerce, not a luxury. Many customers want and even demand these experiences. According to Marq, 87% of businesses report that some customers expect personalized content, while 43% say most customers expect it. And, in a survey of marketing professionals in the U.S., the respondents cited an improved customer experience as the top benefit of personalization.

Creating a frictionless omnichannel experience is challenging, but it’s easier when you have the right strategies and robust technology in place to support your efforts. 

Invoca’s conversation intelligence platform enhances personalization from the moment a customer picks up the phone to call your contact center, and even long after they hang up. Here’s a closer look at how that happens.

First, before the phone conversation begins, Invoca gathers data from the customer’s online interactions and uses it to direct the caller to the best agent or department to handle their inquiry. This smoothes the offline portion of the customer’s journey. 

At the same time, Invoca’s software arms the agent with relevant data about the caller so that when they pick up the call, the agent is able to personalize the conversation from the outset. This frictionless call handling makes the caller feel they are being well taken care of, which helps to boost their overall customer satisfaction.

Then, once the conversation starts between the agent and customer, Invoca uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the conversation to collect more valuable data nuggets in real time. Invoca’s seamless integration with your tech stack means the data can be easily passed to your CRM system to create a more complete customer profile. 

That information can help you to enhance future marketing campaigns by personalizing ads and other materials you use to engage with your target audience across every channel. In other words, Invoca can help you build an omnichannel experience your customers will love and keeps them coming back for more.

Additional Reading

Want more insight on the value of delivering a frictionless omnichannel customer experience? See these resources:

If you’d like to see for yourself how Invoca can help you provide more personalized and seamless customer experiences, contact us today to schedule a customized demo.

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