Consumers are using social media as their new search engine, with interest in the metaverse surging. As many as 43% of customers look for information on a brand’s products and services across social networking platforms.
Comments by users, paid advertising, recommendations, and updates on brands’ social pages are other places consumers look for information about a brand. Not just that, but most customers want their queries resolved on social media platforms instead of traditional customer support.
Though this rise of the social customer is taking place across all age brackets, the millennials and Gen-Z (those 35 and under) are most influenced. This spells good news for brands willing to evolve from single-channel to omni-channel customer experiences.
In our experience, successful brands focus all their attention on building a solid social following they can retain. Their social media interactions are relevant, genuine, and contain personal touches. Besides, they also leverage other channels, such as email, telemarketing, events and podcasts, etc., in tandem to connect with customers at every touchpoint.
So, how can businesses offer an omnichannel customer experience? Growth Jockey has some insights to share.
From our practice, we have observed that most businesses today connect with their (potential) customers across different channels. They believe this is all that is needed to deliver omni channel experiences.
But, connecting with customers across different channels makes for a multi-channel experience. The key difference between such a marketing model and an omni-channel one is the level of connectivity. The same can only be called an omni-channel experience if different channels are well-connected.
Let's take an example of a retail store website. A customer sees an attractive advert for a pair of shoes on Facebook. They click on the ad to learn more about the shoe and its other features. The link directs them to the Facebook page. From there, the customer clicks on the link for the store's website to buy the shoes. Unfortunately, they find their size is not in stock, so they enquire about the same.
But the customer had to search for the company's contact number elsewhere because the same was unavailable on the same page. The agent replies that the size is available in a nearby store but needs to reserve them for the customer.
The next day, the customer visits the store only to find that the last pair in their size has sold out. The customer journey ends here (rather unsuccessfully). Not to mention the brand losing out on marketing efforts and time.
The retail owner ensured interactions through multiple touchpoints. But the customer experience still needed improvement because each touchpoint required a better connection. The importance of an omnichannel experience to increase customer acquisition and retention stems from this point.
We understand that simply knowing the importance of omni-channel experiences is not enough. Here are six valuable tips compiled by our team to help brands meet client needs for well-connected multiple touchpoints.
Like any other successful marketing endeavour, start this with an intimate understanding of your target audience. Delivering an omni-channel experience is about what, when and how your audience wants it.
Growth Jockey's team likes to begin by considering the client's TAM. We look at the demographics to truly understand the balance needed between online and offline channels. This heavily depends upon the type of products and services in which the company in question specialises.
For instance – if the company's demographics mainly comprise younger generations like Gen-Z and millennials, more importance is given to online channels like social media and paid adverts. In the case of older generations like Baby Boomers, branded website ads in tandem with direct marketing are used.
In some cases, the brand may have a varied and mixed audience. We recommend developing several customer personas to build a unified strategy that targets each demographic.
Once the brand's target audience has been clearly defined, our experts map the customer journey. Every customer takes a unique path to purchase, but there are always standard routes to look out for.
Growth Jockey has observed that doing so often brings to surface areas where omni-channel experiences can be introduced or enhanced. For instance, a company could notice that most customers will likely leave the purchase cycle at the ‘Review Your Basket’ stage.
One reason could be that they need help to review and edit their baskets, so they abandon the process altogether. A good solution would be to offer the 'live chat' option at this stage/page so that customers can immediately seek assistance if they feel stuck.
Since the support is real-time, customers are more likely to continue the purchase. A solid roadmap helps identify critical areas for growth and opportunities to deliver exceptional omni-channel experiences.
We believe that well-optimised content and successful omni-channel experiences go hand in hand. After all, the purpose is not just to gain traffic but to redirect it so seamlessly that most visitors end up taking some call to action, such as contacting for more information, purchasing, or signing up for newsletters.
Customers wish to have such fluidity that enables them to interact with brands across channels and devices. However, many brand websites must be optimised for all screen sizes. This dramatically disrupts customers' online buying journey.
No customer says they love a website because they need to zoom the screen 400% to press a button. This forces the customer to abandon their purchase journey and never use that website again.
So, Growth Jockey's experts ensure that the brand's website is optimised for all devices.
Once a company has started offering omni-channel customer experiences, the next step is to ensure relevant support services are also available. For instance, customers should find an agent to speak with on the channel they're currently interacting on.
One example is live chat, which can be available across any page for instant support. The customer advisors should be well-equipped to offer the proper support for the particular communication channel.
Ideally, we recommend integrating as many contact channels as possible for a seamless omni-channel experience. These include live chat, video chat, web calls, and more.
Growth Jockey has often observed that many brands offer a seamless omni-channel experience during the early stages of the customer's buying journey. But, they fail to do so towards the end, some not even offering after-sale services.
Let's take the former retail store as our example again. Suppose the customer purchases a pair online this time but encounters sizing issues. Knowing there is a nearby store, they visit it for an exchange.
To their disappointment, they're told that the shoes cannot be exchanged in-store because they were purchased online. The customer will naturally be frustrated and decide to return the pair and get a refund instead of an exchange.
This is why we recommend maintaining an omni-channel experience through all stages of the buying journey, especially after sales, to avoid such a pitfall.
If the company has a physical store, Growth Jockey always includes it in the picture. Though digital sales are rising, this does not diminish the importance of brick-and-mortar.
Brands must realise that customers are never fully online or offline but always prefer a balance. As seen in the previous example, customers may often find a physical store more convenient and try before buying, exchanging a product, etc.
So, if the physical store is separate from the omni-channel experience, you’re missing out.
We live in an era of digital transformation. Growth Jockey believes that brands that leave seamless omni-channel experiences into the hands of fate will soon discover that they're left at the mercy of competitors.
Besides encouraging omnichannel connections, we also emphasise the importance of choosing the right channels. This is because too many (wrong) channels will only invite more noise instead of good traffic.
The aim is not to increase interactions but more the number of customers. The tips mentioned above should help you build an omnichannel strategy that caters to customer needs whilst cutting all unwanted noise.
At Growth Jockey, we are committed to helping businesses achieve organic growth through tailor-made strategies that address the specific challenges they face across diverse industries. Regardless of the scale of your company, whether it's a small-scale enterprise or a large corporation, we can provide you with the expertise and insights needed to drive sustainable growth.
Take a proactive step towards unlocking new opportunities for your brand by reaching out to us today!