Omnichannel is a mega trend defining everything from marketing, to finance, IoT, and everyday life.
While it may seem like everything is omnichannel – is it really? When there’s popular buzzwords like this one, everyone jumps on the bandwagon and the real meaning behind the trend gets lost.
Read on as we uncover what omnichannel is, is not, and how it came to be.
But that doesn’t mean ‘every channel’ is “omnichannel”. Frost and Sullivan describes omnichannel as “seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experiences that occur within and between contact channels”.
That’s because there is so much more to omnichannel than just having many channels – and to dig deeper into that, we should start with what omnichannel is not: multichannel.
In essence, all omnichannel experiences include multiple channels. But an experience on multiple channels is not always omnichannel.
In the not so distant past, businesses wanted to be present on as many channels as possible so customers could reach them for support or to buy products on their preferred channels. Every business could be multichannel if they wanted to:
Multichannel examples of multiple “contact channels”
Multichannel Retail: Department Stores released mail order catalogues as far back as the early 1800s – so customers could buy in store, or through the mail.
Multichannel Finance: A bank has physical branches, ATMs, phone banking, online banking, mobile APP banking, and a call centre.
Multichannel Communications: Businesses that relied on email and phone for enquiries started talking to customers on Facebook, SMS and more.
Each industry has different variations of channels, whether it be for communications, points of sale, or managed internally or through a third party.
That being said, in the long run there are many downsides to multichannel:
And while omnichannel is different for each industry, we will analyse it from the broad perspective of omnichannel customer engagement – which is a hybrid of retail, marketing, sales, communications, and technology.
Due to challenges faced in the multichannel environment, omnichannel puts the customer first for an immersive brand experience on every channel. There’s 3 key elements to omnichannel:
With a multichannel approach, the product is at the centre, and each time a customer interacts with the product, it is within the confines of that channel – as an independent opportunity for purchase.
Omnichannel is an immersive experience that puts your customer, not your product, at the core.
To be omnichannel means communicating with a consistent message across different channels, and understanding through data where a customer is at in their individual stage of their journey.
From Purchase Journey, to Customer Journey: Customers are able to purchase wherever they are, because omnichannel considers overlap between channels and how they interact, rather than treating channels as independent silos.
A customer can move between channels without noticing the difference for a seamless experience, and marketing becomes hyper personalised to push only the most relevant content and products to customers at the right time and channel depending on their status in the customer journey. The omnichannel customer journey also considers post-sales experiences to build loyal brand advocates and repeat purchases, rather than just focusing on getting the customer to purchase.
While all customer engagement software uses ticketing systems as a way to support customers, CINNOX puts the customer first with a unique chat room approach, to deliver truly omnichannel customer engagement.
1 individual customer has 1 chat room with a business, instead of multiple tickets for different enquiries across different channels.
Ticketing Systems solve 1 problem at a time: In a traditional multichannel approach built around ticketing systems, communication is centred on the problem the customer is facing or the product they showed some interest in, rather than the customer.
CINNOX’s Chat Room puts the customer first: Omnichannel communications means putting the customer first to provide hyper personalised experiences – where you can have one conversation with your customer across channels instead of starting again every time.
Here, Paul is receiving a highly personalised, quality service that creates long term brand advocates. This kind of seamless interaction across technologies is the key to great omnichannel experiences. Instead of looking at a purchase journey, Paul is in an immersive customer journey with repeat purchases and engagements.
The key difference between multichannel and omnichannel communications is that the customer comes first, with a high-quality, personalised and convenient experience on his preferred channel. He didn’t have to repeat his problem, and was able to get a solution right away.
Converting your business to an omnichannel strategy seems like a logical choice, but it is not so straight-forward.
Selecting the wrong technology will result in experience remaining disconnected, and businesses need to allocate resources to ensure experience, messaging, and branding is consistent at every touchpoint, including those not managed exclusively by your business.
Consider this checklist when deciding the move to omnichannel:
Click here to start a demo with us today to learn more about how CINNOX can make your business the next omnichannel success story. You’ll be connected with one of our omnichannel experts for your industry.
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Hi Ferdinand, great to hear from you. Thanks for reading our blog about omnichannel!
If you are interested in having a live demo or consultation with one of our experts about the benefits omnichannel can bring to your business, you can connect here: https://www.maaiiconnect.com/request-demo-blog
If you have any specific questions, I am more than happy to answer them here as well.
Happy Friday! Peter
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