In customer experience, leaders are challenged to meet growing user expectations, which are evolving faster today. A good omnichannel CX program gives customers the ability to jump from channel to channel based on their preferences and is integrated into a unified experience where agents can manage all channels.
What Is An Omnichannel Digital Experience?
When the omnichannel experience first became popular, the meaning of omnichannel was: a perfect cross-channel experience for the customer. In terms of digital customer experience channels, it mainly included chat and email. But the next generation of digital channels encompasses much more, including a channel mix experience via SMS, social media, WhatsApp, live chat, email, and whatever new app or social channel becomes popular.
Keeping up with a rapidly changing digital world means designing an omnichannel customer experience is not always enough. To address today’s CX hurdles and prepare for the future, it is important to distinguish and plan for what is known as “digital-first” omnichannel.
- Multichannel: in multichannel call centers, the customer receives support in more than one channel that has little or no interaction between them.
- Omnichannel: the customer receives assistance on any channel with a seamless experience from one channel to another. Voice is prioritized and digital channels are mostly limited to chat and email), where some agents may specialize in digital channels.
- “Digital-first omnichannel: the customer receives support on any channel with a perfect channel-to-channel experience. It prioritizes a much broader spectrum of next-generation digital channels (email, live chat, messaging, mobile apps, social monitoring) where all agents are digitally fluent.
Digital omnichannel prioritizes CX across digital channels and unifies the experience for users and agents.
How To Design An Omnichannel Customer Experience Program
1) Knowing The Expectations Of Your Customers
The first step towards the success of digital omnichannel is to have a comprehensive understanding of your customer, knowing: Who are your customers? What are their preferred channels? And what are their expectations?
2) Mapping The Customer Journey (Customer Journey)
What motivates a user to send a message to customer service? This support interaction may be the fourth or fifth interaction the customer has had with a company, and their sentiment may not start out positively. Consequently, the complete customer experience doesn’t just include the first interaction with an agent. To understand how you support your customers’ needs from inception to resolution, it helps to work through a customer journey mapping exercise.
3) Evaluating The Agent’s Experience
If agents waste time switching between many screens and customer information is not connected, the user can become frustrated when it comes to resolving their query. It is a situation of helplessness for both the agent and the client, which results in an avoidable decrease in KPIs. Digital omnichannel is not just about ensuring that the customer experience is unified. A crucial component of digital omnichannel CX that many contact center leaders overlook is the agent experience; who need training, processes and tools to deliver excellent CX.
4) Performing SWOT Analysis To Develop The CX Vision
With the groundwork done to determine customer expectations, customer journey, and agent experience, the CX vision for the business can be designed.
To prioritize, it may be helpful to summarize the findings in a quick SWOT analysis:
- Strengths: What is being done well? These factors are the ones that can be maintained, built on or exploited in the action plan.
- Weaknesses: What is being done wrong? The action plan should include how to remedy these weak points.
- Opportunities: What could be done to get more out of the customer experience?
- Threats: What are the possible obstacles for the future?
Therefore, the action plan should address:
- Channel requirements: Including what you need today, what you might need in the future, and what happens when you need to add channels.
- Technology integration: How these channels will be unified for the customer and agents (for example, automatic routing to the correct agent on the customer’s preferred channel, a unified interface for agents, and visibility into all customer data).
- Implementation: How you will incorporate the program operationally: internal hiring of agents and managers, training, and engagement tactics.
- Performance metrics: What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) will be used to measure omnichannel success, how they will be measured and the development of a plan for continuous improvement.
Why Is It Important To Get The Right Omnichannel Customer Experience?
Digital omnichannel is the future and a great opportunity to differentiate your offering from that of your competitors:
- 91% of consumers expect a perfect experience.
- Only 24% of companies give themselves an excellent rating for their ability to support seamless channel sharing.
For this reason, companies must properly plan an omnichannel customer experience program.