Giving customers reasons to stick with your brand is integral to building a thriving enterprise. There are a few different ways you can go about it, but in this post, you will see why switching to an omnichannel approach is great for your bottom line.
Consumers today want total control over their purchasing decisions. They want to buy products and services on their own terms, whenever they want, via a method that best suits them.
Your success as a retailer has moved beyond how great the customer service department is. In this day an age, it’s all about how well you track, and make use of, customer journeys.
One way of doing this is through omnichannel engagement.
Omnichannel engagement leverages a multi-channel sales approach to provide customers with an integrated shopping experience. For example, the customer could be shopping online from a mobile device, desktop, or even in a brick-and-mortar store and yet the experience is consistent.
That means ensuring your customers receive the same engagement, experience, and message across all the different channels and touchpoints.
Omnichannel customer engagement helps eliminate limitations because you can:
1) Serve your customers where they are
Consumers crave convenience, and that means delivering your offering in a method that best suits them, whenever or wherever that is.
And that’s exactly what Bank of America is good at. The brand takes omnichannel customer engagement seriously, understanding that customers may want to pay monthly bills through their mobile device, over a POS, or through desktop apps. Whatever their choice, they want to do it seamlessly and have the same ease of experience. Over the years, this has enabled Bank of America to connect with customers and grow a highly-successful brand.
Customers are more powerful today because they’re aware they have more options. Expectations have therefore changed, and it’s important to take this on board to improve your conversion rate and customer loyalty.
2) Gather customer insights
Every marketer knows the importance of customer insights and data to their business. They allow you to better understand your customers’ behavior and make informed decisions on how to deliver the best customer experience possible.
Since omnichannel customer engagement is a unified system, it’s a lot easier to assemble all the data in one dashboard to work with.
Ask yourself this question, “at what point are they leaving your shopping cart, and what are they clicking the most on your website?”
Having this data in one place enables you be proactive and create effective strategies for business growth. It all boils down to the power of customer insights, which are so important when deciding the direction of your marketing operations.
3) Enhance the shopping experience
Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, computer vision, deep learning, and machine learning are redefining customer engagement as we know it.
The power to capture and use offline marketing and customer engagement is dramatically improved thanks to them.
For example, AI-powered bots can interact with customers through their mobile devices in store, acting as a shop assistant and bringing a whole new level of engagement to customers by improving their shopping experience. At the same time, valuable real-time engagement data is being captured. This data can easily be accessed via your omnichannel application center for further study, analysis, and to be used to better communicate your brand message.
AI can also use deep learning and machine learning to bring personalization into your customer service.
According to Gartner, by 2020, smart personalization engines, used to recognize customer intent, will enable digital businesses to increase their profitability by up to 15%
AI Business also found that:
“a project being tested at USAA uses this technique. It involves an AI technology built by Saffron, now a division of Intel.
Analysing thousands of factors allows the matching of broad patterns of customer behavior to those of individual members.
The AI has so far helped USAA improve its guess rate from 50% to 88%, increasingly knowing how users will next contact and for what products."
A graphic from the Saffron website explains.
4) Engage with customers in real-time
Customers’ are becoming more demanding every day, and marketers are having to put in effort to keep up. Customers want, and expect, their needs to be met now.
If you fail to deliver real-time answers to queries, you’re indirectly encouraging customers to leave.
Most omnichannel platforms allow you to engage with your customers in real-time via chats or video, and even through screen sharing and cobrowsing.
Customer engagement is an important consideration if you want to reach your business goals. By providing real-time solutions, your customers become attached to your brand, and feel actively involved with your products or services. Provide the best customer service possible, and, as a result, you will grow your brand.
There are some handy tools out there to help you integrate both live chat and chatbots into your website — Acquire is one of them.
With Acquire’s chatbot solutions, you have the power to delight your customers. A study by Business Insider revealed that about 44% of U.S. consumers prefer chatbots over humans for customer communication.
With a new chatbot, you can easily solve customer queries and create a positive image of your brand.
There are a number of powerful tools for brands to communicate with their customers:
Video calling is useful for customers to share their challenges visually — making it easier for customer support to solve their problems.
With cobrowsing, customer service agents can share a customer’s browser to help solve their issues. For example, if the customer is having a hard time navigating a website or completing an order, the agent can step in to assist them by sharing their browser.
Even a chat section gives you the chance to provide visual engagement — you could have a video call with your customer, whilst still having access to the text feature to communicate.
5) Improve customer service
Customer expectations are increasing day by day as new and innovative solutions become available in the market. Focusing on customer needs means gathering customer data and feedback, and turning these into insights and actions. Your processes, strategy, and technology, should all be properly aligned to meet the company’s goal and fulfill customer expectations.
Collect appropriate data and learn more about your audience using omnichannel marketing. These insights will help you identify a range of customer behaviors, such as how they respond to email promotions. As a result, you will generate more leads.
In this digital era, maintaining a brand presence across all possible channels boosts your credibility and connects you to your customers in a more robust fashion.
Research shows that 90% of customers expect their experience with the brand to be consistent across all platforms. Omnichannel marketing allows customers to engage with, and buy off, a brand, however they see fit. Empowering customers in this way is key for retention rates. By focusing on retention, you nurture the emotional connections between customers and company.
The last word
Every forward-thinking brand will need to embrace this approach if they want to create customer satisfaction, generate more conversions, and increase their revenue.
The need for omnichannel customer engagement in modern marketing cannot be overemphasized.