In the past, customer journeys used to be linear, but in modern times, customer journeys have become multi-faceted. People are discovering new products and new companies through numerous sources: Facebook and Instagram ads, Amazon and other marketplaces, product reviews, word of mouth, and more. They may learn about your brand on their laptop or mobile device.
As a result, consumers now have a multitude of ways of interacting with their chosen brand. It could be through email, social media, smartphone apps, a website form, or talking to a call center agent by telephone. The problem with having these multiple platforms is that customers’ interactions are isolated from other channels. For this reason, customers are more likely to repeat themselves every time they contact a company using a different channel. This is where omnichannel communication (sometimes spelled omni-channel) comes in.
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What is omnichannel communication?
Omnichannel communication means using different channels (or methods of connecting with customers) and integrating them so that clients will have a seamless experience regardless of the channel they use. It is letting your customers or prospects contact your company using different channels (such as phone calls, texting, websites, email, social media, or online chat) without losing the main context of their concern. This will allow your customers to switch between multiple channels yet still get a unified brand experience.
When there are so many different channels in place, it’s crucial that the information from each interaction is consolidated and readily accessible. Whatever the interaction or channel, the experience should be consistent and relevant to the customer. When you implement a well-executed omnichannel communication strategy, customers can reach out to you for help without explaining their issues over and over again every time they switch channels.
Omnichannel vs Multichannel
There is a lot of confusion regarding the difference between multichannel and omnichannel communication and through this article, you will learn that the key difference lies in the integration or lack thereof. Take note that they’re not interchangeable because they have clear differences. A multichannel approach starts with the company and moves outward to the channels. Meanwhile, an omnichannel approach starts with the customer and interacts between channels for a seamless experience.
When using multichannel communications, the customer has access to various communication methods that aren’t synchronized or connected. Having a multichannel approach means a company offers multiple consumer touchpoints but does not connect data across channels to unify the experience. With a multichannel approach, each communication channel operates in isolation from one another. This means customers will have different experiences depending on the channel they use.
On the other hand, having an omnichannel approach means these multiple channels are connected, so customers can move between them seamlessly. Omnichannel means all channels of communication are integrated to provide a cohesive customer experience no matter how or where a client reaches out. The omnichannel approach focuses on delivering a consistent message for clients across all channels and devices.
For companies that want to have an all-encompassing way of interacting with consumers, one option would be to choose an omnichannel contact center platform, especially those with unlimited calling and texting capabilities. It would be best to select a platform that provides a single interface for multiple channels so that your company does not have to maintain separate services. It would be best to pick a solution that gives you complete control of customer interaction data across all channels while providing a comprehensive omnichannel platform.
Benefits of omnichannel communication
Centralized communication can help your company have more meaningful connections with your customers and meet their needs. Now is the time to find gaps in your company’s communication strategy and offer your clients the best omnichannel customer experience. Here are some of the benefits of omnichannel communication:
1. Delivers consistent customer experience
An omnichannel approach enables consumers to begin their interaction with your company in one channel and continue it on another channel seamlessly. By integrating your multiple channels, you will have a positive impact on the quality of customer interactions and lead to greater customer engagement.
Modern-day customers expect a consistent, quality experience whether they are accessing traditional support channels (such as phone calls) or a digital channel (like email). Meeting these expectations is possible by choosing an omnichannel platform that can unite all customer touchpoints so that your agents can provide the best customer experience.
2. Improves customer satisfaction
When a customer switches from one channel to another, there is a chance that some information will be lost along the way and your client will end up frustrated because of the bad experience. When a customer needs to wait a long period for an answer, you lose the opportunity to establish a good relationship with them. All of these can be prevented by choosing the right omnichannel platform.
True omnichannel initiatives are customer-centric and they aim to make customers’ lives easier from start to finish, eliminating any friction they may face while engaging with a brand. When properly executed, this strategic transformation can result in long-lasting and productive customer relationships.
3. Boosts customer retention
Having an omnichannel approach opens many possibilities for meaningful engagement with your customers. Reward your long-term customers not just when they need assistance or want to buy something from you. Send a birthday greeting via SMS/MMS, or enroll them in customer loyalty programs. A little recognition goes a long way when it comes to turning your supporters into life-long customers.
Redefine personalization and retain customers with relevant communication. Retaining a client is always cheaper than getting a new one, which is why many companies are now focusing on nurturing and protecting their existing customer base. In addition, brands will be able to not only retain customers but attract new ones through content customization and improved word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Increase revenues
Omnichannel data provides you with all the necessary information about your customers, their purchasing behavior, and their preferences. You can use this data to personalize the buyer’s journey by delivering the right message to the right segment using the right channels.
Since having an omnichannel strategy makes each channel interconnected, it encourages customers to use other channels. Since it’s easier to use other channels through an omnichannel strategy, clients are more likely to use them more and increase the sales of the company.
Getting unified data from all omnichannel pipelines allows you to offer frictionless service to customers across various platforms and devices. For example, there is a customer who added an item to his cart and forgot to complete his transaction. You can remind the customer about his abandoned cart by sending him personalized emails, remarketing messages, and push notifications. A disconnect in communication could lead to failed conversions and missed opportunities. Having integrated omnichannel touchpoints with customers can also help increase their Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) which can positively impact your bottom line.
5. Provides a single customer view
In order to provide seamless user experiences, you’ll need to choose the right technology. Agents should be able to contact clients through multiple channels, depending on the customers’ preferred method of communication. You will also need to bring all of this data together in a single customer view. In this way, no matter the channel used by a client, your team can readily access the needed information to pick up exactly from where they left off.
By having a singular source of data, you will gain better customer insights that allow you to have a deeper understanding of consumer behavior. Take advantage of available analytics to study the entire customer journey across all touchpoints. For this reason, there is the need to integrate your processes around a central platform that supports improvements in agents’ efficiency.
Leverage Aloware’s omnichannel capabilities
By using omnichannel communication, you will be better able to provide your customers with a unified experience. Companies can benefit greatly from focusing on omnichannel efforts that can improve customer retention and lead to increased revenues.
The key to delivering a unified customer experience is to make sure that your agents have access to relevant information regarding customer interactions all in one platform. By having a central platform, they will be able to represent your brand consistently across all channels.
Try out Aloware’s omnichannel solutions for your business. Aloware is a customer communication platform that offers unlimited calling and SMS/MMS so you can foster customer relationships by contacting them on channels they prefer. By using this platform, you will empower your team to handle all customer interactions in one centralized location.
Provide your team with powerful tools to better support your customers. If you want to learn more about the company’s omnichannel capabilities, schedule a call with Aloware’s representative.