Key Elements to a Seamless Omnichannel Experience
Omnichannel is here to stay but the goal is to take all of the guesswork out -- which channel to use, when to switch channels, and what the best options are. Users should be able to easily glide from one to another, whether it be a laptop to mobile phone. To be able to pick up where you left off and be recognized without having to constantly reenter information, is one of the best assets to a well-developed omnichannel experience, whether it’s a pure digital experience for the customer alone, or an interaction with a live representative (in-person or via voice or other digital channels). There are five key elements that consumers desire when it comes to the most user-friendly omnichannel experience:
It may seem relatively easy but reality is not quite such. Take a simple consumer activity, for instance, shopping. Users are constantly changing environments, including physical location, devices, and time. Today’s customer simply isn’t stagnant and may decide to switch between channels for the sake of convenience when the nature of the shopping experience changes.
For example, we can be in the middle of placing an order online when a question arises. Fortunately, there is a live chat option on the site, which we decide to leverage and immediately are connected to a live agent (well, maybe a live chatbot, these days). The good news is, hopefully the online activity has been communicated to the agent or bot, and the conversation is relatively simple. But, the explanation becomes complicated, and we decide we really need to talk to a rep, so we decide to use the Click to Call option, all the while keeping our fingers crossed we don’t have to start the conversation over from the beginning.
Or, perhaps you have ordered an item from a local retailer through the website or its mobile app, and used the store pickup option. The experience there also may include multiple channels, including an email confirmation of the order with a barcode required for pickup, and a text message when the order is ready for pickup.
There are countless examples of multichannel experiences – the challenge for businesses is not knowing which channels any single customer may use, especially when you factor in the prolific use of social media for complaining about or promoting their experiences. Businesses need a true omnichannel strategy, which includes the software components to integrate each of the options into its overall engagement model, and ensuring its workforce is appropriately skilled to manage them all.It’s just the dynamic world we live in – omnichannel is the only strategy to have.
Edited by Erik Linask