Involved in a mobile environment, customers expect personalized and consistent experiences across all different touch points. As a consequence, an omni-channel customer experience isn’t just important - it’s essential to differentiate from competitors. Dealing with empowered customers, brands are not judged for what they make or sell, but for the overall journey they create to connect products and clients. So, if omni-channel is the rule, what are the foundational elements of your innovative strategy?
The explosion of social media, together with the merging of physical and digital, is changing the game for companies looking to build effective relationships with customers. Logic tells us that brands that offer an amazing experience will enjoy improved engagement, increased loyalty and repeat purchases. As the voice of clients continues to get louder, ‘omni channel’ becomes more than just another fancy marketing term; it is a reflection of how customer’s life has evolved.
Awareness - consideration - decision - purchase: the digital customer experience is now a sequence of online moments built across more and more different touch points. Given that you’re not confined in the four concrete walls of your office/store, traditional marketing funnels don’t work anymore. You need to adopt a more complex and multifaceted point of view. In a few words, you need to think and act mobile first, going from multi-channel to omni-channel. What does this mean?
- Seamless Experience: when attention is hard to retain, consistency is the key to get customer’s loyalty. Users can now search for product info on a website, then look for reviews on social networks, engage with a company in the point of sale, and receive push notifications on their smartphone. Each piece of the journey should be consistent and complementary, so marketers need to provide a seamless experience, regardless of the channel or device used.
- Customer Journey Map: a recent study says that 89% of customers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing a poor customer experience. An omni channel strategy operate across different channels simultaneously: what you need, then, is a map that depicts how clients connect with your brand and product at every step of the process. 'Where' and 'How' become more crucial than 'What'. A customer journey map acts as a complete framework that enables you to understand how to plan an efficient strategy and adapt in real-time.
- Clear Key Metrics: different touch points mean that marketers are armed with an armory of customer data, gathered through mobile apps, wearable technology, social media, fidelity cards, E-Commerce and websites. You can leverage these insights to develop a deeper understanding of how customers interact with you and make purchases. To get real results, though, all functions must be aligned on innovative key metrics: data itself is useless if you can’t capitalize on it to determine where you’re starting from and measure the progress you’re making. Data mining becomes mandatory, and analytics dashboards a necessary backup to help you 'shape the unshaped' mass of information.
In the Age of the Customer, the main challenge is to attract clients and retain their loyalty. Easier said than done: thanks to the Internet, customers can find all the information they need, and choose from a potentially infinite set of suppliers. As a results, price is not the main reason why clients drop out a brand. Nor the products itself.
Looks like a conundrum, but the answer is at hand: if you aim at relevance, the first step is to create a powerful digital customer experience, converting on every possible channel.
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