Impress Customers with Omni-channel Digital Experiences

An omni-channel digital strategy is an expensive investment and payoffs do not always meet expectations. Conjuring impressive experiences all throughout the customer journey is key to winning an omni-channel eCommerce strategy.

Every enterprise irrespective of industry is marching toward a digital-first operating model – but for companies used to serving customers in person and over the phone, digital can prove to be an uphill battle. Despite the heavy investment and organization-wide reforms, ROI can still be negative. The missing piece to completing an omni-channel puzzle is the customer experience.

Creating an impressive customer experience requires organizations to plan changes in the way they view, treat and respond to customers. Customer experiences should be designed around the expectations of customers who have multiple Internet-connected devices within arm’s reach.

Focusing only on creating a desktop experience, a mobile experience or an in-store experience is a recipe for failure. A consistent customer experience should be available both online and offline and in every medium where a customer can potentially use the product or the service.

When it comes to crafting omni-channel experiences, there is no single blueprint that works for every kind and scale of business. Each business needs its own unique omni-channel strategy to match its unique business model and customer profile.

From a bird’s eye, the omni-channel strategy can be created around:

  • Operations
  • Marketing
  • Customer service

Operations

Operations has remained one of the primary targets for digitalization for all enterprises. Opportunities abound for digitizing operations for an omni-channel customer experience. From financial institutions that handle billions of customer transactions to coffee shops that sell instant Espresso, an omni-channel digital experience can be crafted using a mobile app, a desktop app or an in-store digital experience.

Bank of America (BofA), one of the premier banking institutions of the world, has shown how a critical everyday function like banking can be made delightful for customers. The bank was one among the first to roll out mobile and desktop apps which enable account holders to carry out routine banking transactions from check deposits to wire transfers with just a few taps on their screen. Today, an estimated 22 million account holders use the bank’s app daily.

Marketing

Seth Godin, the marketing visionary and influencer said: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” In the digital era, businesses cannot help but adopt digital means to weave magic that will surprise customers in multiple ways. Right now, businesses are able to deliver superior customer service through personalization and physical attention.

As early as 2020, 85% of a customer’s brand experience will occur without any human interaction (Centric Digital).

Nike, the global sportswear company was able to eliminate a serious business threat as well as increase its customer engagement by blending physical and digital experiences. The brand leveraged the immersive experience that Augmented Reality(AR) provides to sell its limited edition, premium range shoes.

Nike released an AR app called SNKRS. The prime purpose of the app was to defeat miscreants using bots to book premium model shoes faster than humans. The app allowed for orders only by collecting tokens that are embedded on Nike posters spread across physical spaces.

The app checked all boxes applicable for marketing including the surprise factor, a human connect and a high level of engagement. By placing a digital experience in an offline setting, Nike succeeded in delivering an omni-channel experience that customers could never forget so easily.

Customer service

Follow cost-effective measures to reduce the consumption of energy in you warehouse. Having an automated lighting system in place will help you save energy. Installation of windows wherever possible will help get more daylight, thus reducing your power consumption. LED lighting is yet another aspect that helps considerable reduction of your energy costs.

“One customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising,” said Jim Rohn, the well-known American entrepreneur and author. It is perplexing to see that companies spend millions of dollars to acquire new customers across new markets while doing nothing to keep existing customers.

There is always a pressing need to take care of customers in every possible channel that they use and are familiar with. In the digital world, these include social media, website, telephone, in-store or even at their own locations.

Take for instance, a customer who tweets a complaint. A brand which does not respond to the customer’s tweet is literally hanging up on the complaint while millions are watching.

Businesses need to embrace omni-channel customer service to create customer loyalty and grow it on a consistent basis. Such brands would be able to connect to customers better and enjoy a longer customer lifetime value.

Omni-Channel - The Future Landscape of Digital Experiences

The current state of commerce is bit of a chaos. Customers have umpteen number of resources to learn about a product, know more about its manufacturers and also to glance across the customers who have already used it. The resources they can tap into to know about a product or service spans across a friend’s Facebook feed, online product reviews, a mobile app that compares prices, and so on and so forth.

Customers get to experience products and services not just through a single channel but through multiple channels, all of which when integrated with each other to form a converged omni-channel medium, improves customer experience by leaps and bounds.

Brands need to deliver consistent omni-channel brand experiences in order to stay above competition. Nothing can earn and retain customer loyalty better than ensuring consistent brand experiences throughout the customer’s journey.

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