Tips for Improved Omni-Channel Customer Experiences Part 2

October 8, 2015

his is the second and last post in a two-part series exploring ways to improve omni-channel customer experiences. In the first part, we learnt how we first need to understand the buyer’s journey and how they transition from having a desire to making the purchase decision and the way we could influence the decision process by being responsive and determining the cross channel strategy to influence the buyer subtly without being intrusive. With the part 2, we will go deeper in understanding that even with the floating clichés like ‘customer is king’ and ‘our business is all about customers’, organizations are still grappling with a serious disconnect between them and their customers. The first step in order to have an improved customer experiences is by understanding the real values of customers apart from what can be counted through the analytics. Let’s dive in and check out the tips for improved omni-channel customer experiences. If you haven’t gone through the part 1 of the series, you might want to check that out here.

Be Consistent

Talking about his route to stardom, Bruce Springsteen, the American musician mused,” Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” New Jersey’s favourite son might be talking about his fabled success in American pop scene but his quote is just as appropriate for businesses when it comes to customer experience. Consistency may seem like a lacklustre topic, it is the secret ingredient of success especially when it comes to providing omni-channel customer experience. After you have determined your cross-channel strategies, ensure that whatever communication ensues on each of these channel has a consistency in tone and approach. Whatever you promise to deliver to your customers’ needs to come out through all your communication and channels.

Make it easy to contact customers on a personal level

When it comes to customer experience, you need to give the feeling of intimacy. Take for example, your local diner where the owner knows you by name and the server knows your order by heart and recommend specials which you would enjoy and they try their best to give you a good experience through good food and warm and friendly connection. You keep on going back to the diner even though other restaurants may be a stone’s throw from your home just because of the level of intimacy and connection. These kind of interactions and intimacy is what add values to an otherwise ordinary business transaction. Making it easier for your customers to get in touch with you and contacting customers on a personal level may make your customers feel special and that help sustain loyalty.

Leverage the potential of social networks

Go where your customers are! Many customers may be interested to talk to you through a social network and an interaction through social channel goes far beyond posting posts, tweeting or pinning something. Know that social is a huge part of improving omni-channel customer experiences. There are a lot of software which could be used for monitoring and interacting with the customers from one place however social is not something which can be taken for granted. You need to confirm that each social channel has set rules, clear policies and device supporting mechanisms to ensure consistency during all interactions. Also, with social media, timing is the key. You may have all the right content but if you are not replying to a customer’s query immediately, it will do more harm than good. Even though you don’t need to respond to all posts, you need to pick positive as well negative posts and show your presence by likes, share, et al. Remember the golden rule – personized responses are much better and more appreciated than scripted responses.

Develop Targeted Content

If all your messages start with, ‘Dear User’, you are doing a huge disservice to your company. Always ensure that whatever content goes out is user-appropriate. Preparing vanilla messages will get you no response or at least less response. Remember that one size fits all content doesn’t work anymore and you need to create content which is developed specifically for your target audience. Personalized content which resonates with your audience is what will take you places. Narrow down on your target audience and create content based on the buyer’s journey for each step of the journey. For example, if they have expressed desire to buy a product, create content which raises awareness and promote awareness. If you customer is in the last stage of purchase, inspire the buyer by providing specific information about the product that capture all buyer’s concerns. Using names and creating personalized content is significant for an improved onmi-channel experience.
Apart from the above pointers, build and nurture your customer community. Creating omni-channel customer experience is crucial for the success of any organization in today’s world. However, this is not a one-time project to be tackled but it is an ongoing efforts which every organization should strive to build and sustain. After all, customers are the lifeblood of any organization.