3 ways to ease the omnichannel gap

Published: 05 / 02 / 2019

With today’s customers using a whole host of different channels to make product enquiries and purchase goods, businesses who still rely on voice and email communication alone risk falling out of touch with their customer base.

As regular users of text, social media and online video, millennials are prepared to overlook price if a company communicates with them using these channels. Where businesses adopt these media, it encourages millennials to buy again, join a loyalty scheme or leave a glowing review. But not all businesses connect through these channels.

According to a study by Canam Research, customer experience executives consider voice (64%) and email (46%) very important in resolving customer issues. However, chat (24%), text (9%) and video (4%) are seen as less important.

There is clearly a gulf between what customers want and what companies provide. So what are the main barriers to digital transformation and what can you do to bridge the omnichannel gap?

1) Engage resources and end silos for greater integration

The route to integrated communications begins by recruiting the right talent and teams. When marketing, customer service and IT teams work together, it creates a more unified customer experience.

By applying your brand voice to everything you do, from hiring employees to developing new, integrated technologies, you can maintain communication consistency. To deliver this, task your chief customer officer to resolve cross-departmental obstacles and create streamlined customer query processes.

2) Recognise the channels your customers are using

With your customers constantly on the go, using multiple devices, it’s up to you to catch up with them and understand when and how they engage with your business.

In this environment, the only way to optimise user experience is through data. Using analytics on customer interactions and channel choice can inform your decisions – for example, when to use humans or bots to respond to enquiries. Despite the value of such digital transformation, research reveals many companies still do not use analytics. If you fall into this category, initiate a data-driven pilot project to help you identify customer channels of interest.

3) Focus on your cross-channel brand strategy

Buying products and managing services should be easy for customers to do. Faced with any barriers, customers will go elsewhere. Delivering clear, consistent messaging, and ensuring all customer-facing staff can confidently respond to queries, will help keep your customers on side.

Though omnichannel marketing is clearly beneficial, bridging any gaps takes time and investment. These golden rules will help keep you on track:

  • Outsourcing: Consider hiring a consultant or outsourcing new channel adoption – separating day-to-day tasks from specialist projects helps evaluate relative successes
  • Limit costs: Use self-service platforms and automated chat to reduce costs and improve customer control
  • Take your time: Implement new channels one by one – start with chat before moving onto text and video

Uniting customer expectations and business realities is a constant challenge for all companies. However, by closing the gaps between channels you can begin to elevate the success and competitiveness of your brand.

Contact Adare International today to find out how you can maximise your omnichannel business and give your customers what they want: hello@adareinternational.com.

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