What is an omni channel experience?

An omni channel experience is a multi-channel marketing approach that offers customers a consistent experience across various platforms. For example, a customer could shop in your physical store, on your mobile app, or on your website and she would encounter the same branding, service, and products across all of these channels.

What do today’s consumers expect from brands?

Today’s consumers expect to interact with brands whenever and wherever they want through the channels of their choice. Also, they want the ability to switch platforms in the middle of a conversation and pick up exactly where they left off without missing a beat.

Companies need to deliver a consistent and seamless customer experience across various channels (e.g., phone, email, live chat, SMS and social media) to stay competitive. In fact, brands that do so are able to retain 89% of their customers. Those that don’t only retain 33% of their customers.

As a small business, you might think that “omni channel experiences” are for big companies. Not true. By simply incorporating the most common marketing channels, your small business can create great omni channel experiences.

Read on to learn how to deliver a seamless omni-channel customer experience for your business.

Look Good on Mobile Platforms

These days more consumers prefer to interact with brands and make purchases on smartphones and tablets. It’s more important than ever to create a streamlined mobile customer experience. In fact, 52% of buyers are less likely to purchase from a company that offers a poor mobile experience.

Visitors should be able to:

  • Easily find the customer service section
  • Locate your contact information on your
  • Search your website for specific products or information

You should leverage mobile-specific features such as:

  • location services
  • auto-fill
  • tap-to-call

These features make it more convenient for customers to complete web forms or get in touch.

Customers experience poor navigation from mobile search

Now most website platforms automatically adjust your website to whatever screen your customer is using.  One way to make sure that your customer’s mobile experience is excellent? Design your website considering mobile first, rather than starting your website design on a desktop.

Engage With Customers on Social Media

Many consumers prefer brands that provide customer service through social media. It’s important to understand customer expectations, especially response time, in order to deliver a satisfactory experience. For example, 32% of consumers want an answer within 30 minutes when they contact brands via social media.

Customer service response times on social media

In addition, you can use social listening to gauge customer sentiment and proactively reach out to those who may be experiencing issues so you can improve customer satisfaction and reduce churn.

Use SMS and Messaging Apps — Carefully

Texting and messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp are highly effective in establishing two-way communications with customers. In fact, 52% of consumers want the ability to contact brands via text messages and 90% of all incoming SMS are read within 3 minutes!

90% of all SMS read within 3 minutes

SMS and messaging is particularly popular among the younger generation, a majority of which prefers to avoid phone and voicemail as much as possible. They embrace SMS as a customer service channel and expect brands to provide timely responses through text and messaging apps.

Use Live Chat to Answer Questions

Live chat allows you to offer contextual support to website visitors, provide real time assistance to help them make purchases, and increase your conversion rate. It eliminates hold time and minimizes frustration, making it a preferred channel for many consumers.

Besides responding to customer queries quickly, your customer service agents should have extensive product knowledge and access to resources so they can resolve issues quickly and provide the most relevant information to improve the customer experience.

Email Prospects and Customers to Build the Know, Like and Trust Factor

This is the oldie but goodie! Email is still the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention and many consumers still prefer to use email for resolving simple customer service issues. Also, email gives you the opportunity to deliver a branded and consistent message that will strengthen customer relationships.

Keep in mind that consumers do expect a fast response time so always answer customers’ emails as quickly as possible.

Putting It All Together: Delivering a Consistent Customer Experience

With so many channels to juggle, it can be challenging to deliver a consistent and responsive customer experience across all platforms.

To improve efficiency while minimizing errors and delays due to miscommunications, you can implement a unified messaging app to tie all the different channels together.

It allows employees to handle phone calls, voicemails, messaging, emails, and more all on a single interface from anywhere using any device so you can ensure quick response time that meets customer expectations.

It also allows team members to use messaging apps of their choice and share customer communications with other departments. This can help break down internal silos and deliver a customer-centric experience to minimize frustration, increase first contact resolution rate, and improve customer satisfaction.