Omnichannel customer experience: Turning chaos into community

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An omnichannel customer experience can best be described as chaos when it comes together without much thought or strategy. For some brands, this cohesion is serendipity. (“It’s just the way customers like to interact online!”)

But a poor omnichannel customer experience strategy quickly eliminates channel attribution effectiveness, and then deteriorates a brand’s ability to predict effectiveness in new channels or launch there before the opportunity window closes. 

Yikes. 

One of the most important abilities for a leadership team to develop for a brand to gain traction is the ability to predict, according to EOS. Without proper attribution, prediction is near impossible. 

Besides, you won’t be able to delegate tasks, build a proper business structure, or systemize work to continue to build upon an omnichannel customer experience without defining it, measuring it, and understanding which levers you can pull to accelerate or decelerate it’s impact on the business. 

It’s true: Customers interact with your brand just about everywhere. Sometimes you can control that interaction. A lot of the time, you can’t.

Even so, many of the variables that launch a brand to a leader in their industry comes from turning the chaos that is mindless interaction on the web into a powerful community – a community that by their existence alone drives more revenue for the brand. 

Let’s get our bearings about us before we begin. 

What is an omnichannel customer experience?

An omnichannel customer experience is an experience that takes into account all of the multi-channel touch points a consumer could have with your brand. 

The number of channels this could be increases often. Only five years ago, Facebook was the primary channel of a brand’s concern. You couldn’t even advertise on Instagram yet. 

Now, Instagram is the brand leader in channel focus, and TikTok is taking over more and more of a brand marketers thoughts daily. 

Beyond social media channels, however, an omnichannel customer experience also includes your own website’s UX, lead flow, sales process, and customer service. 

Simply: Any aspect of your brand that touches a customer or a potential customer is part of your omnichannel customer experience. 

Omnichannel customer experience statistics

For most of us, there’s a gut feeling telling us that a brand’s omnichannel customer experience is important. But, internal policies and strategies don’t get changed based on gut feelings.

So, here’s the data:

  • Omni-channel customers spend 4% more in store and 10% more online than single-channel customers. For every additional channel they use, customer spend more money. *Harvard Business Review
  • 9 out of 10 consumers want an omnichannel experience with seamless service between communication methods. *UC Today
  • 84% of customer-centric companies focus on the mobile customer experience. *Vision Critical
  • 71% of consumers want a consistent experience across all channels, but only 29% say they actually get it. *Gladly
  • Our consumer pulsing survey revealed that more than 80 percent of consumers would be willing to pay more if a brand raised its prices to be more environmentally and socially responsible or to pay higher wages to its employees. *Deloitte

This last bullet might be a bit of a surprise inclusion on this list for you. It’s here, though, because a brand’s publicly perceived interaction with larger issues (sustainability, mental health, closing the gender pay gap, diversity) matters to consumers.

Even these issues and how your brand addresses them (or not) play into your overall omnichannel customer experience strategy. 

Omnichannel strategy framework

Here, I offer up two frameworks for shoring up your omnichannel customer experience through strategy. 

The first is a mental model; a way to think through the way consumers navigate our world today.

This is important because without this context, you can build a strategy that completely alienates consumers. After all, consumers today prefer brands they view as authentic, transparent, and honest.

These values do not have to be at odds with your business growth goals, and this mental model can help you understand how best to frame new ways of thinking internally about an omnichannel customer experience. 

The Human Values Compass: An Omnichannel Mental Model

This is the Human Values Compass developed by Deloitte. Unlike a typically four quadrant map, you don’t need to always be up and to the right. 

Everything on this compass matters. Your goal as a brand is to think through which of the values every single one of your multi-channel touch points engages.

For instance, maybe your Instagram account is one that shows behind-the-scenes company culture. Great! You’ll want each one of your Instagram posts to properly show how working at your company does either:

  1. Helps people try new things, engaging their curiosity and ambition. 
  2. Helps people share with others, engaging their curiosity and belonging. 
  3. Helps people care for others, engaging their need for belonging and control.
  4. Helps people learn new things, engaging their need for control and their ambition. 

Rarely will one single asset engage all of these. Instead, you want to build a well-rounded account that shows each of these aspects individually. 

This compass can be used to help you determine what gets on the account, and what does not. 

An Omnichannel Strategy Framework: Attribute, Track, Grow 

OK, now, let’s get into how to build an omnichannel customer experience framework. First things first, let’s solve for attribution. 

Depending on your tech stack, you should be able to drill down into which channels are driving the most sales from a last-touch and first-touch attribution model. 

If your software does not do this, you will want to find a tool that can. You can go with something more basic like the above, or you can ensure that the tool can easily calculate and visualize the following (by both first and last touch attribution)

  • Number of sessions by channel by a specified date range
  • Number of contacts by channel by a specified date range
  • Number of qualified by channel by a specified date range </span
  • Number of sales by channel by a specified date range

Now that you are attributing the effectiveness of a sale, you need to make every single touch point shoppable. 

Let’s take our Instagram example again. You don’t just have to set up ads to try and make sales through the channel.

Instead, encourage followers to DM you if they have any questions, to talk to someone, etc. Then, arm that Instagram channel with both social media managers as well as MDRs to properly qualify folks. 

Tools can help put all of this information in the same place for your teams so they aren’t having to toggle between a variety of screens to check in a message has come in.

Even your customer service or experience team can log in to these dashboards and handle any tickets while easily seeing each individual’s customer’s last contact and communication. 

Turning chaos into community via omnichannel customer experience

With a new mindset model, attribution, and omnichannel customer experience platform, you can set your team and your brand up for success – you’ll be able to measure what works and what doesn’t.

You’ll be able to systemize the purpose behind each asset and each response. And you’ll grow a community from the chaos that can be omnichannel. 

By 2020, your customers will manage 85% of their relationships online.
Learn how omnichannel CX can help to provide everything they want
– and more.
 

Tracey Wallace
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Tracey Wallace

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