Just when you think you’re set with your customer experience plan….
Omni-channel marketing may be a new term for you; if so, you’re not alone. In simplistic terms, all this means is that the customer experience extends beyond the in store, onsite experience. Customers today expect more, and want to interact and do business with companies where THEY want – and often times lately that may not be in store. Omni-channel experiences allow customers to interact with your company seamlessly in a variety of ways, whether it be mobile, onsite, catalogs, apps, etc and have the same experience no matter what they’re doing. This differs from the multi-channel approach, where there are multiple ways to do business with a company, but you cannot conduct the same business at every touch point. Companies need to tie it all together so that a customer can get what they need no matter where they are or what device they’re using.
Between social media, online shopping, and now increased mobile techonology, businesses need to expand their experience to cover all aspects – thus the term omni-channel. Most companies these days have brick and mortar locations and online shopping available. This is a good start, but it’s time to consider mobile applications to allow customers yet another way to interact and do business.
One industry where this is true is banking. According to a study conducted by Cisco, bank customers prefer various methods to engage with their bank. Yes, they still visit the branches, but find that virtual options are also sought out. The study revealed that 78% of respondents prefer web applications to pay bills and monitor accounts, and video is also becoming a trusted source for bank customers.
Think about your company’s customer touch points – are they truly seamless, or do you make it difficult for customers to reach a certain goal or make a purchase from all types of contact? Omni-channel experiences will become the norm at some point in the future, so now is a good time to work toward that goal within your company.