Omnichannel retail means giving customers a seamless, consistent experience no matter how they choose to do business with you.
Getting your customer service channels all on the same page seems daunting. But never fear – we’ve identified four areas to focus on to ensure the ultimate customer experience.
Map Out The Customer Journey
To understand what your customers want, you must experience first-hand how customers interact with your brand. The purchase process is no longer linear – customers interact interchangeably across channels: browsing, researching, buying online, and sometimes changing their entire behavior depending upon the channel they choose to use.
Find out the answers to the following questions: What frequently asked questions are asked at your brick-and-mortar locations? Do people want the ability to look up information online? What do they use their mobiles for in and out of your store? How are customers finding you (paid search, social ads, blogs, etc.), and what keywords are they using to get there? When they land on your website, where do they click first? Is that different on your mobile site?
Transaction data tells you what’s working and what isn’t. By logging data from each transaction across every channel, you gain insight into where your customers are struggling and where things are moving smoothly.
You should meet customers where they are, regardless of their channel of choice, and operate as a single brand. Suppose they started browsing on their laptops and added items to their cart before leaving for an appointment. In that case, they should be able to pick up where they left off on their smartphones or through a mobile app – all by providing identifiers to continue the shopping experience.
Also, make sure to utilize your social channels as more than just a marketing strategy but as a communication tool.
Facebook is great for facilitating product discussion, and answering customer inquires. Twitter is great for identifying and handling complaints. Have a highly visual product or service? Get on Instagram or create a Pinterest page! Know what works for your customers – and then get in front of them.
Customers expect a degree of familiarity when they shop with a brand more than once – sometimes, even the first time! While sales staff can personalize the experience in-store, in the online world, you need to find ways to capture data about your customer to track preferences, search history, and purchase data. Using geolocation data helps identify customers who’ve got your mobile app when they visit in-store. Syncing their purchases and preferences creates a more personalized experience when they visit a physical location. Contact center and customer care agents should also access the customer’s profile.
Customers will return to a place where they feel both comfortable and valued – it’s important to acknowledge past preferences and tailor the experience with offers, products, and promotions relevant to the customer.
The omnichannel experience is about catering to customers across different devices and locations – but it also means keeping your brand messaging and service levels consistent across the board.
They should be able to move from one device or communication channel to another without much hassle. Even more importantly, the customer and your employees should never have to answer the same questions or re-enter the same information repeatedly, wasting time and money!
It’s relatively easy to test whether your omnichannel experience is truly integrated. Can your contact center agents review all customer communications and order history via your CRM? Are your in-store associates able to access online transactions to know when a customer has already paid online and is only coming to the store to pick up the product? Are your stock levels accurately represented in-store, online, and in the contact center – or are they different depending upon where you look?
Your biggest challenge with omnichannel retail is the need to feel and appear unified – not leaving the customer feeling like they have shopped at three different stores. Each interaction should feel like a continuation of the previous one!
What tactics do you employ to ensure that your customers receive a seamless experience?