Omni-channel Experience & its Impact on Customers

Date:   Wednesday , July 13, 2016

Headquartered in Gurgaon, Ameyo\'s customer engagement solutions help businesses to improve productivity & profitability and meet their overall goals of customer acquisition & retention, repeat sales & requisitioning and business process automation.

Digital transformation has radically improved the reach of enterprises across globe. Executives in different industry domains are using digital advances such as analytics, mobility and social media to bring about customer delight. The burning need of organizations to create customer delight has brought forward the necessity to increase technological capabilities, combined with the desire for ease of use. At present, it is not the product, but customers are at the forefront of any and every business. Research shows that the key drivers of digital transformation are profitability, customer satisfaction and increased speed-to-market. Organizations are focusing more towards creating strategies for improving the service level. But how many times do you think that a customer associates with a brand due to its top class service?

Previously, customer service only included the uni-channel mode of communication, where customers communicated with companies through a single channel. The new generation Customers today expects more and seek seamless and consistent customer experience online. According to Research by Lordhouse on 7,000 customers across seven countries, 67 percent of online shoppers have made purchases that involve multiple channels in the past six months.

Organizations need to provide exemplary customer experience to build the foundation for customer delight. Millennials have the option of seamlessly connecting with a brand either through a physical store or through online mediums. The demand proliferation of any brand completely depends on the level of satisfaction that the customers experience. Thus, the shift in consumer demographics and communications preferences has created an environment where multichannel communications are no longer ideal for optimization of customer experience. Over the past couple of years, it is omni-channel that has taken the world of customer communications by storm.

Omni-channel customer communication existed as an unfamiliar concept until it was introduced to the sphere of marketing in 2010 to portray customer experience that extends beyond multichannel. Nevertheless, with the incessant rise of social media, omni-channel has rapidly become a marketing necessity.

Customer Experience at the Forefront

The realm of customer service would have been satisfied with multichannel if only it could have been able to integrate all channels of communication under a single interface. Customers expect seamless and consistent online experience and won\'t tolerate being restricted to a single communication channel. Omni-channel customer experience reflects the ability of customers to be in touch with a brand through multiple options like social media platforms, mobile devices and mobile apps. These communication channels are augmenting and have become the center for serving customers from anywhere.

The Omni-channel customer engagement model also helps in tracking the entire customer\'s journey and thereby creates a consistent and optimized experience, something that the multichannel approach doesn\'t factor in. The Omni-channel allows customers to initiate communication on one channel and thereafter smoothly glide to another channel without going through the hassles of restarting the conversation. Thus, it puts the customer at the centre of its strategy rather than corporate silos.

What to Expect

With the advancement in technology and increased usage of social media networks, marketers have the option to communicate with customers via different mediums. Businesses are gearing themselves for the dive from a multichannel orientation to a more holistic omni-channel approach. Customers are expecting unified experience leading to the demand for customized offers. Thus, with the help of omni-channel, marketers have the option to track about their choices through omni-channel interactions.

The year 2015 can be touted as the year where the term \'Internet of Things\' (IoT) received great attention. According to a Forrester report, there has been a massive 89 per cent increase in retailers that integrate mobile technology into stores. Brands are adapting to the ever rising number of channels of interaction, customer touch points and wireless devices, as IoT is quickly becoming a reality. Furthermore, mobile commerce is predicted to grow by 33 percent annually for the next three years.

Omni-channel is no longer an option; it is a necessity, given the evolution in customer preferences and expectations. At the same time, it should be viewed as a superior way to interact with customers and to reduce the gap between companies and consumers. Also, with the help of a unified customer engagement platform, brands have the power to create optimal customer journeys consistently across all touch points, channels and interactions to turn customers into brand advocates, thus supporting the dynamic needs of organizations for providing proactive customer service by automating day-to-day operations to stay ahead of competition.