4 Ways to Optimize the Omnichannel Customer Journey
As consumers become more tech-savvy, they also become more demanding. Both B2B and B2C businesses are in the position of having to keep up with their customers, whose bar for service is increasingly high.
Today, competent customer experience (CX) delivery on multiple channels is the minimum requirement for businesses. As Forbes notes, both B2B and B2C transactions have more touchpoints than ever before, and a mishap on any step of the journey could lose customers and revenue.
How can companies optimize their omnichannel customer journey? Whether strategizing to satisfy and/or increase B2B or B2C audiences, it’s important that businesses acknowledge that the traditional behaviours of these audiences have evolved, and their strategies must evolve, too. Here are some tips that you can adopt to develop a winning omnichannel customer experience.
1. Mobile optimization
As more and more traffic gravitates to mobile devices, optimizing mobile website experiences becomes crucial. Not only do smartphones and tablets generate at least 57 percent of traffic to websites, but Google considers the level of optimization on desktop and mobile when it comes to ranking.
Key factors in mobile optimization include the availability of image and video; visible text that doesn’t require users to zoom or scroll; click-ability and interactivity, including larger buttons and easier-to-access menus; and page-loading speed, which is sometimes delayed on mobile devices due to slower loading capabilities.
Other considerations include coding and formatting that is compatible with mobile use, i.e. not Flash-based video and audio, which is incompatible with many modern mobile devices; minimization of slow-loading and annoying pop-ups; and creating layout and design that is appealing and intuitive.
2. CX technology
Customers expect a timely response to inbound inquiries. Indeed, 50 percent of sales go to the vendor who is first to respond/first to frame the conversation and define the value proposition.
For many businesses, chatbots are in the frontlines of customer service. But CX technology doesn’t begin and end with chatbots.
Other technologies are becoming more necessary to ease the customer along consumer touchpoints and to manage the various elements of CX programs. Self-service analytics, prescriptive intelligence/recommendation engines, machine learning, and AI are some of the technologies being used to track and communicate with customers.
CX technology also includes social media monitoring, web analytics, knowledge management, database management, unified agent desktop, predictive analytics, contact center and CRM integration, and speech analytics.
These technologies aren’t necessarily new. But an increase in adoption rates indicate that more companies are understanding that these are must-have tools to successfully manage the various elements of CX programs.
3. Mapping the customer journey
More access to customer data means an increased reliance on social experiences in consumer decision-making. B2B and B2C audience behaviours are converging, as are marketing strategies.
Both expect more and better personalized sales experiences.
Effective omnichannel programs include implementing consistent and personalized customer interactions across all channels and managing the entire customer lifecycle.
Many businesses outsource customer journey mapping to a third-party CX consulting services provider. But customer journeys are dynamic, and customer behaviour evolves rapidly. Companies must have access into real-time customer journeys to map ever-evolving habits and tastes. Customer mapping is not a one-time endeavour.
Businesses also need to be aware of eliminating friction between channels so customers can seamlessly shop between channels. Getting the omnichannel CX right simply means developing a strategy that considers how customers interact across channels and takes the friction out of the buying process.
4. Delivering a strong emotional impact
In many ways—choice, speed of delivery, competition, communication with businesses—the customer has never had it so good, at least from the aspect of convenience. That’s why businesses need to look at delivering a strong emotional impact as a point of differentiation.
By tapping into their customers’ fundamental motivations and fulfilling emotional needs, businesses are more likely to connect emotionally. Emotionally connected customers are likely to buy more products, visit and recommend their favourite businesses more often, and pay more attention to the company. The customer experience is essential to building this connection.
With the right strategy, technology and information, businesses are poised to create better-than-ever customer experiences. Don’t let your company fall behind in the race to give your customers more than satisfaction, but an experience that will make them lifelong fans.