In the past, the only point of interaction between businesses and customers might have been a customer walking into a brick-and-mortar store. However, customers nowadays engage with businesses in myriad ways before and after making a purchase.
To delight your customers at all such touch-points, you’ll need a customer experience strategy that accounts for their characteristics and preferences, and leverages the right tools, to facilitate a truly omnichannel customer experience.
Let’s examine what a customer experience strategy is, how to derive such an omnichannel strategy for your business, and the tactics to execute for customer experience excellence.
Explained: What Is a Customer Experience Strategy? (And Why Omnichannel?)
A customer experience strategy is a plan for improving the quality of customers’ interactions with your brand. While it may seem like a series of isolated steps of “do this” and “do that,” each step should work hand in hand to deliver a superior customer experience at every touch-point.
That’s because customers are especially finicky these days, and may choose to avoid patronizing businesses that fall short of their expectations. Such withholding of expenditure is costing businesses US$4.7 trillion globally, as a 2022 Global Consumer Trends Report by Qualtrics XM Institute shares.
And then we have the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the last two years, we’ve seen how it’s caused major supply chain disruptions and sparked off the Great Resignation. Because of supply and labor crunches, businesses need an omnichannel strategy that incorporates technology to improve the agility of their customer experience operations, while facilitating a stellar experience for customers.
How to Derive an Omnichannel Customer Experience Strategy
A customer experience strategy has to be carefully formulated according to each business’s unique circumstances—you can’t “borrow” one business’s strategy, apply it to your own wholesale, and expect the same results. To derive a successful omnichannel customer experience strategy, you’ll need a thorough understanding of issues such as:
- How customers interact with your business,
- Their satisfaction with such interactions, and
- The friction they experience at such touch-points.
Combined, these insights shed light on how well your business is serving customers thus far and what could be done differently.
When gathering intelligence on customer satisfaction with your business, it’s worth hearing from customers themselves. Appending a survey link to your customer service reps’ email signatures is a simple yet highly effective method of obtaining customer feedback. You can also engage independent “mystery shoppers,” who act like customers to gain first-hand experience of the customer journey for evaluation later on.
6 Tactics for an Effective Omnichannel Customer Experience Strategy
As you tailor an omnichannel customer experience strategy for your business, these six tactics are especially worth exploring and incorporating:
1. Understand Your Target Audience
Your target audience's perception will inform all aspects of your operations, from product development to marketing—and of course, customer experience.
Work to obtain essential background information on the people in your target audience, including:
- Gender, age range, and other key demographics
- Their goals and aspirations
- Their needs and pain points
If your target audience is especially broad, group them according to certain shared characteristics. By doing so, you can make more targeted improvements to the customer experience among different segments.
2. Train Your Customer-Facing Staff
While automation has paved the way for administering efficient customer service by a chatbot, customers may still have to interact with a human staff or two during the customer journey. Hence, train your customer-facing staff to provide helpful service that satisfies customers’ needs.
This includes leaving customers with a positive impression of your business. If a customer service rep converses with a customer in a terse or even rude manner, the customer may feel offended and take their business elsewhere—even if their matter is ultimately resolved.
Impress upon your customer service reps that although they may be serving countless customers every day, creating a single negative experience is sufficient to break a longstanding customer relationship with any of them.
3. Optimize Your Customer Data
Your business likely possesses significant customer data, ripe for mining for valuable insights and shaping your marketing campaigns. However, such data might come from different sources. As a result, you may encounter repeated data points that need to be filtered out before you can start analyzing your data properly.
Using a Customer Data Platform helps you take in data from multiple platforms, automatically clean out redundant data, and then build comprehensive profiles of your customers. Through such customer data optimization, your business will be able to better understand your customers (as per tactic #1 above) and shape the customer experience accordingly.
4. Tap on Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) technology may sound daunting, but adopting it in your business can be a breeze. In this regard, conversational AI chatbots are especially effective for leveling up user experiences.
Making use of natural language processing, natural language understanding, and machine learning, conversational AI chatbots discern the intent behind a customer’s question to smoothly deliver an appropriate response. This is even if the customer hasn’t used keywords normally associated with a certain request.
As a result, conversational AI chatbots trump non-AI, rule-based chatbots, which have to stick to a tight script—any deviation in the situation and the rule-based chatbot will flounder.
5. Personalize Your Marketing
As KPMG’s Global Customer Experience Excellence Research 2021 confirms, personalization is a driving pillar of brand loyalty. Businesses that incorporate personalized content into customer touch-points are those that can elevate the customer experience and generate more sales.
For instance, if you’re running an e-commerce store, tap on product recommendation engines to track customers’ browsing activity and recommend related products for their consideration.
You can also use the same browsing data to engage in retargeting campaigns with users who have demonstrated interest in your products. These users are more likely to value such ads than users who have shown no interest in your offerings thus far (and who may hence find your ads irrelevant).
6. Use Omnichannel Communication Tools
For a superior customer experience, look to offer customer support on customers’ preferred channels instead of making them jump through hoops to contact you.
With plenty of instant messaging applications out there, from WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and more, managing support conversations on multiple channels can be a challenge. However, omnichannel customer service software such as Mobile Service Cloud can streamline the support workflow by consolidating all conversations in an omnichannel inbox.
Your customer service reps can then chat with customers on any supported channel of the customer’s choice, while effortlessly collaborating with colleagues for the prompt resolution of queries.
Delivering an Outstanding Omnichannel Customer Experience Starts With Laying Out the Right Strategy
Improving the customer experience is a never-ending process of experimenting with new tactics, monitoring their results, and then optimizing them for greater performance. Before taking steps to boost the customer experience, it pays to flesh out an omnichannel strategy that considers:
- The needs and behaviors of your customers,
- Opportunities for improvement, and
- The available omnichannel solutions enhance the customer experience at every touchpoint.
CM.com’s Mobile Service Cloud software is especially suited for rendering effective omnichannel customer service. It offers customers convenient access to support on their preferred channels, while your team collaborates behind the scenes in a centralized inbox. Use Mobile Service Cloud to increase support satisfaction among customers and execute your omnichannel customer experience strategy to perfection.
Learn more about Mobile Service Cloud and how it complements your customer experience endeavors.