5 Tips on Delivering a Smooth Omnichannel Customer Experience

5 Tips on Delivering a Smooth Omnichannel Customer Experience
28 May, 2023 • ... • 468 views
Selzy Team
by Selzy Team

More and more customers use several channels to shop. This means creating a positive and seamless customer experience through a strong omnichannel retail strategy is vital. It can help you gain and retain customers and get more revenue. In this article, we’ll provide you with five tried and tested tips to improve your omnichannel customer experience.

Before the internet, making a purchase was straightforward. Customers would go to a shop, buy what they wanted, and then take their purchase home. The customer experience usually started and ended in the shop. 

Now, a customer’s experience can begin over various channels, and their onward experience could be far less straightforward. Recent data show that 78% of customers have used several channels to start and complete a purchase. For example, a customer could start their journey on a website, then continue it on a mobile app, and then visit the shop in person, where they finally make their purchase. 

Not only do in-store purchases start online now, but many people research products on their smartphones while in the store. In the U.S., 27% of customers always shop that way, and another 41% do that sometimes.

Businesses adapted to these changes. Currently, most companies offer multiple channels that customers will interact with, but many aren’t linking them up to provide customers with a unified, consistent, and memorable experience. This is where omnichannel retail comes in.

The evolution of the customer experience

What is omnichannel retail?

Omnichannel retail is a strategy that allows businesses to connect with customers through various buying channels, including physical stores, online marketplaces, mobile apps, social media platforms, and more. 

The goal is to unite all channels so customers receive a seamless and consistent experience when they engage with your business. In an omnichannel retail model, all channels are integrated into a single system, which allows companies to track customer interactions and preferences across all touchpoints. This data can also influence the retail marketing strategy to improve product recommendations and offer a more tailored customer experience.

Your business may already be using an omnichannel approach to some extent. But there are always aspects you can and should improve.

Benefits of improving the customer experience

When businesses take the time to invest in improving the omnichannel experience, the benefits can be significant. 76% of customers will stop buying from a business after just one bad experience. 

This means that the cost of just one mistake is really high. At the same time, if your omnichannel customer experience is good, your business will attract very lucrative omnichannel buyers. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that omnichannel customers spend 4% more in the store and 10% more online every time. Plus, the more channels buyers use, the more they spend. 

But that’s not all. According to the same study, omnichannel shoppers are more loyal than those using only one channel. Within six months after purchase, they are more likely to go to the store again and to recommend the brand and products.

Omnichannel strategies contribute to businesses in various ways, making them worth perfecting. For 32% of companies, omnichannel strategies increased conversions and/or basket sizes; for 25%, they even improved customer lifetime value (CLV).

Omnichannel strategies for marketing campaigns make a big difference as well. Marketers using three or more channels for their campaigns have 494% higher order rates than those using only one channel.

Want to benefit from omnichannel retail even more? Then read on to learn five tips on improving your strategy!

5 approaches for delivering a smooth omnichannel experience

In a survey conducted by Salesforce, 88% of customers reported that the experience they receive is as important as a company’s products and services. To satisfy the majority of your customers, you need to deliver an excellent customer experience. For starters, use the tips below.  

Map the journey

A key mistake many businesses make is not understanding their customers’ journey. It tells the story of the customer experience from initial awareness to purchase and post-purchase. Mapping out the customer journey helps to see the big picture and improve the experience so each prospect becomes a paying customer.

The customer journey comprises a series of stages within the buying process. First, it is crucial to identify how your customers first encounter your products or services. Once you know this information, you can analyze customers’ decisions before, during, and after purchase. This allows your business to identify friction points and how you can improve them to provide customers with a more seamless experience.

In addition to this, identify your main customer demographic. This helps you determine which parts of the omnichannel experience to prioritize. For example, if you run a conference call company, your customers are professionals working in medium to big companies. That’s why you may need to focus on email marketing and LinkedIn stages of the customer journey. 

Or if your primary demographic skews younger, you may need to pay more attention to other social media like TikTok or Instagram and optimize your strategy using social media tools. Here’s what your omnichannel customer journey map can look like:

Omnichannel customer journey map
Source: OmniTalk

Use customer feedback

The best way to understand customers is to listen to them. Customer feedback and opinions are the most valuable tools to enhance your omnichannel customer experience, improve the customer journey and foster loyalty.

Customer feedback can help you to:

  • Understand what customers want and need.
  • Identify areas of improvement.
  • Create targeted solutions.
  • Build trust and credibility with customers.

You can collect reviews and actively ask customers for their opinions via surveys or pop-ups. Ask questions about the current omnichannel experience. How do your customers interact with the business? What do they like and dislike about the experience? What channels do they prefer and why? What would make their experience better? Answers to these questions can give you invaluable insights into improving your service.

Continuously measure success with CSAT or NPS scores

Monitoring customer satisfaction is key to improving the omnichannel customer experience. You can use CSAT or NPS scores to measure how well you meet customer expectations.

CSAT (customer satisfaction) looks at customer satisfaction with a specific interaction, such as a purchase or support call. It is measured on a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10. Companies regularly send out surveys to gather feedback in this way. You can see an example of a survey below:

example of a CSAT survey from an email
Source: writer’s email

On the other hand, NPS (net promoter score) focuses on customer loyalty by asking customers if they are likely to recommend the company to someone they know on a scale of 0 to 10. Many companies like Insurify include NPS surveys in their emails:

An NPS example in an email
Source: Really Good Emails

Collecting and analyzing CSAT or NPS scores allows you to identify areas where you need to improve and make necessary changes. These scores can also help you understand the impact of specific initiatives, such as a new customer service channel or a website redesign.

Use cloud-based enterprise application integration (EAI)

Many companies use multiple software platforms to support their omnichannel experience in today’s business environment. For example, they can use an email service provider like Selzy, a separate CRM (customer relationship management) platform, CMS (content management system), etc. 

Integrating these various platforms and systems is critical to providing a smooth customer experience. One solution to this challenge is a cloud-based enterprise application integration (EAI). So, what is enterprise application integration? EAI essentially connects various applications and systems to make them work together seamlessly.

EAI uses middleware technologies to facilitate the integration of different applications. These technologies enable data exchange between applications, automation of business processes, and real-time access to information.

For example, businesses can use Selzy’s integration with HubSpot to connect the CRM system with the email marketing service. This allows teams to access customer data and communication history without switching between multiple systems, resulting in a more efficient and effective customer experience.

Provide ongoing training and support for employees

Finally, ensure all employees have the knowledge and skills to provide a seamless customer experience. This includes customer-facing roles such as sales and customer service and backend roles such as IT and operations. All employees should understand the company’s omnichannel strategy and how it impacts the customer experience. 

You should also train your staff on the tools and technologies used to support the omnichannel experience, such as the office phone system, as well as how to handle customer inquiries and complaints effectively.

Omnichannel success example

An excellent example of a successful omnichannel strategy is the fashion retailer Nordstrom. Nordstrom has successfully integrated its physical stores, online store, and mobile app to provide a seamless shopping experience for customers.

The increase in sales proves Nordstrom’s omnichannel success. In fact, they reported an 8.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2017 due to providing customers with a personalized and seamless shopping experience, whether online or in-store.

Nordstrom offers multiple ways to shop to suit the customer.

A screenshot showing multiple pickup and delivery options on Nordstrom’s website
Nordstrom offers multiple ways to shop to suit the customer. Source: Nordstrom’s website

Nordstrom’s omnichannel strategy success is also measured by increased customer loyalty. Nordstrom created a loyal customer base by providing a seamless experience across all channels. In CI&T’s 2020 Connected Retail Report, Nordstrom topped the poll for the most connected retail experience.

Nordstrom’s omnichannel strategy was also successful in increasing customer engagement. For example, the company’s mobile app encouraged customer engagement using personalized recommendations and product information. Customers could also use the app to reserve items for pickup in-store, leading to increased foot traffic and sales in physical stores.

Conclusion

Creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience is essential for businesses that want to succeed. Companies can create a memorable and seamless customer experience across all channels by:

  • Mapping the customer journey.
  • Using customer feedback.
  • Utilizing cloud-based enterprise application integration.
  • Continuously measuring success with CSAT or NPS scores.
  • Providing ongoing training and support for employees.

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing business environment, businesses that prioritize the customer experience and invest in creating a seamless omnichannel strategy will succeed in building long-lasting relationships with their customers.

28 May, 2023
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