Almost 46% of companies report prioritising customer experience (CX) over areas such as the product and pricing.1 CX is able to fuel everything from your chances at customer retention to invaluable marketing tools like word of mouth. This highlights the importance of nailing your customer experience throughout your business in order to get the best results from your business and the most out of your customer experience.
The reality of continuing to offer the customer experience that customers expect (and are willing to pay more for in 86% of cases) is complex, especially considering the large number of available communication channels.2 Unfortunately, call centres that only offer a single channel aren’t going to be able to meet a growing audience that expects quality experiences delivered across different channels and means of communication.
In this article, we’re going to help you avoid the latter by considering the top five ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience. Let’s go!
Suggested reading: Read our eBook, ‘A New Approach to Customer Service’, to learn more about how to deliver great customer experiences in 2023.
What is an omnichannel customer experience and why is it beneficial?
Quite simply, an omnichannel customer experience is when businesses deliver customer services across multiple channels. It is an umbrella term that encapsulates a range of further digital marketing techniques, such as multi-channel and cross-channel marketing.
Customer satisfaction in an omnichannel landscape relies not only on the phone channels still favoured by as many as 60% of customers, but also on customer care delivered via other on and offline channels.3 This might include:
- Social media messaging
- SMS messaging
- Online live chat
- And more
Done well, this can extend your business reach, help convey a unified brand voice, reduce customer churn and ensure that consumers feel looked after regardless of their platform of choice.
However, the flip side of this is that failure can lead to confusion, poor communication, and a general sense that your company doesn’t care.
Now that we’ve covered what omnichannel customer experience is and why it matters, let’s get into how you can improve omnichannel customer experiences for your business.
5 ways to improve omnichannel customer experiences
Omnichannel experiences are only successful if they are supportive, personal and can meet customer demand. Below, we’ve listed our top 5 methods for improving omnichannel customer experiences and achieving these targets.
Method 1: Involve everyone in customer experience strategies
It’s easy to assume that customer experience is the sole responsibility of customer representatives. However, this siloed approach is rarely the right fit for even one-source solutions, let alone omnichannel operations that rely on a consistent experience across several mediums.
Instead, involving everyone from your marketing team to accountants and even executives in the development and deployment of customer experience strategies is the only way to ensure that things run as they should across all channels. The following ideas should be considered when opening customer experience strategies across wider teams:
- Methods of communication: Discover how each team interacts with the customer to get a holistic understanding of your company’s customer support service.
- Play to your strengths: Know the best method of contact for each team – whether this be via email, social media, phone calls, or another channel..
- Establish your business identity: Work together as a larger team to understand the company’s customer experience culture and values. This can be through mission statements that are shared among teams.
Keeping these in mind enables the oversight and coming together of entire customer journeys for the easier delivery of effective customer care.
Making customer experience a company-wide initiative can also supercharge your ability to store and communicate data across channels. This makes it easier to cross-reference feedback, surveys, and reviews across all channels. It also helps improve each channel in its own right and brings together the results that consumers expect, seamlessly delivered, even across multi-channel landscapes.
Pro tip: Excellent customer service starts from the first point in the customer’s journey with you. Read our blog on customer support in the onboarding process for specific tips and tricks.
Method 2: Omnichannel experiences need omnichannel servicing
The need for products and services delivered across multiple channels has ultimately been fuelled by growing demands and requirements for increasingly seamless experiences. If customer care doesn’t expand, you risk ruining that with various platform redirections for even simple queries. The cost of poor customer service is high — so it’s important to establish a strong support service from your communication channels upwards.
It’s also important to ensure your messaging is the same across different channels and customers don’t have to repeat themselves to different representatives. After all, 75% of customers want a consistent experience, regardless of how they contact a company.4
Customer experience will inevitably suffer when the service is not consistent across these channels. This would then further the risk of potential leads heading directly towards your competitors.
To avoid this, companies need to offer a range of customer service options that all provide a unified brand experience, including:
- Phone: Trained phone professionals continue to appeal to both less tech-minded consumers and those looking for the ease of real conversations when addressing complex queries.
- Live chat: The quick response times possible through live chat enable the effortless addressing and resolution of simple questions.
- Social: Social presence builds customer relationships across new demographics. Those bonds will grow even more when replies are almost instant and helpful.
- Email: Traditional email offers customer support for lengthy queries complete with paper trails that customers can use for reference.
- Website: Visible website reviews and responses provide an obvious go-to for consumers and act as a recommendation tool to highlight the value of your service.
All of these channels must be connected internally to share information. Customers can change their method of communication with you at any time, and to be consistent with your service, information received from all channels should be accessible to the rest.
Method 3: Personalise customer service for better experiences
It’s all too easy for omnichannel experiences that typically focus on high-volume, far-reaching operations to function at a base level of efficiency. However, improving your customer service and delivering better customer experiences still relies on your ability to make customers feel like valued assets. Taking steps to incorporate the personal customer service valued by 80% of consumers is the best way to continue achieving that goal.5
Omnichannel strategies make this easier than you might expect in some surprising ways, primarily through interaction-fuelled data collections that form a 360° view of customer journeys. You can create customer journey maps that give you insight into which channels are working successfully and which need improvement. This information can then be used to detail consumer profiles.
Whether your team is in-house or outsourced, making full use of this information makes for easier CS handling that improves personalised services, and ultimately, customer experience. You can easily do this through methods such as:
- Self-service solutions
- Personalised greetings
- Tailored suggestions/problem handling
- Follow up emails
By having the customer journey mapped and implementing the above methods, you reinforce the message that you care about your customers, what they have to say and where they’re saying it. This allows you to tailor experience-enhancing customer service to their needs and the platform in question, while also emphasising the importance of customer satisfaction.
Method 4: Value existing customers equally to potential new ones
Great customer experiences delivered through excellent service have always been essential for creating loyalty. Still, they’re most often tailored towards converting new and potential leads. The fact that returning customers on average spend 67% more with each purchase suggests that it’s worth considering putting at least as much value on existing customers as potential new ones.6
In some ways, the steps we’ve discussed will help with this. However, brands looking to achieve bonds strong enough to enhance customer lifetime value (CLV) need to go even further. Tailoring CS around existing omnichannel data can be valuable for custom solutions that create lasting emotional bonds.
Focusing on enhancing your customer care areas can help show existing customers how much they mean to you and why your brand is worth returning to in the future. Simple tweaks that can be used to enhance your customer care quality include:
- Streamlining your complaints policy
- Introducing or simplifying your 24/7 contact solutions
- Adding visible customer feedback onto your website and social media
Suggested reading: Ready to improve your customer support? Read our article, ‘Delivering Quality Customer Care: A Checklist for 2023’, to learn what you need to deliver in 2023.
Method 5: Be prepared for anything
The real value of omnichannel customer experience comes from your ability to provide seamless, uninterrupted service on-demand. This benefit isn’t guaranteed though, if you don’t prepare for the unexpected. Factors such as sudden surges in demand could leave key customer experiences faltering due to the long wait times for small queries. Due to this, consumers will inevitably go elsewhere, impacting your customer service ROI.
Being prepared and able to naturally scale customer service to demand at a moment’s notice is vital to consistent happy customers and high quality customer service. Achieving this solely in-house is rarely simple, meaning that true preparation relies on scalable agent programmes delivered through outsourced providers with your business in mind.
Without the costs that you would face from having large but typically unnecessary teams on stand-by, outsourcing can provide you with a much more affordable and scalable solution to match demand in real time. This reduces the risk of delays and therefore assists you in further cases where queue may spike or fall unexpectedly.
Be there for your customers with Odondo
Omnichannel customer support experiences provide customers with choice. Freedom to communicate how they wish to reduces friction. However, the broader your focus gets, the harder it can be to perfect things in-house due to:
- Escalating costs
- Potential delays
- The risks of general inefficiency.
By offering scalable solutions on-demand, Odondo’s pay-as-you-go customer service outsourcing can help you get omnichannel outlooks right without any of those struggles. Our distributed customer service agent model ensures the experiences your customers need, regardless of when, how, or where they request them.
From eCommerce customer service outsourcing to managing your social media messaging or even email and call centre requirements, our agents ensure quality experiences for queries of all sizes.
See these benefits and more for yourself by getting on top of omnichannel offerings with a customer service outsourcing quote today.
Bobby spent 11 years as an Investment Banker before going on to co-found his own e-commerce start-up, where Customer Service was one of the core functions that fell under his remit.
He has spent the past 9 years in and around the start-up space, most recently co-founding Odondo with the aim of reimagining the delivery of Customer Service. Bobby has pursued a very traditional career path for someone who ultimately aspires to be a hardcore gangsta rapper.