“Borrowed from the retail sector, the term Omni Channel, when applied to customer service, is all about seamless customer engagement. As pressure increased from online sales, businesses faced a greater push to connect stores and branches to other customer channels. They were encouraged further by the increasing mobility of modern consumers,” – SAP.com
Commercial expansion and business growth in the modern world is premised heavily on a number of factors. One of these is customer satisfaction. Consequently, business enterprises in every industry strive to serve the consumer through multiple methods in pursuit of market domination and commercial success. This is significant because consumers are exhibiting marked changes in their behaviour patterns. For instance, the modern consumer may adopt multiple channels when paying for online and offline purchases. These channels include credit cards, debit cards, payment apps, online banking systems, and the use of fiat currency. In response, brands must adopt Omni Channel strategies in order to engage with customers and construct a ‘forward’ public image designed to capture enhanced market share. We will examine some of the Omni Channel strategies that can help modern enterprises to boost customer satisfaction.
Market surveys indicate that modern shoppers may choose two (or more) channels to conduct research before arriving at a purchase decision. This fact indicates that consumers are informed entities that are highly aware of market offerings. The modern consumer may peruse online product comparison websites and multiple shopping apps before settling on a purchase decision at a traditional retail outlet. Businesses must therefore, implement an effective Omni Channel approach to make it easy for their customers to select, buy, and take delivery of merchandise irrespective of their channel. Experts concur and note, “A consistent service quality across multiple channels will significantly impact company revenue. Companies that provide a consistent service quality across multiple channels retain 89% of their customers, whereas companies that do not provide a consistent quality are only able to retain 33%.”
As commerce evolves and electronic technologies gain an all-pervasive presence, traditional brick-and-mortar stores are facing greater financial and competitive pressures. This stems from the fact that modern consumers are increasingly migrating to an Omni Channel customer journey that hinges on customer engagement. This trend reflects a major shift in consumer behavior from traditional consumer shopping habits. In response, retail enterprises must craft digital in-store shopping experiences designed to boost customer satisfaction. In addition, businesses must infuse interactivity in trade practices by deploying staff that are skilled in customer conversations and have deep product knowledge. This strategy can create a distinct impression on customers, thereby boosting repeat business opportunities.
The modern customer makes an effort to combine multiple channels into a single shopping expedition. Market research confirms the fact, “Shopping across multiple channels is now the norm with 73% of shoppers researching online before buying in-store and 54% researching in-store before buying online.” In other words, the modern customer aims to have the flexibility to place an order from their connected consumer devices. They may pick up the merchandise at a local store or retail location. Alternatively, the consumer may wish to check product reviews by market experts (and other consumers) on social media platforms before proceeding to place an order at an e-commerce website. We note that such behavior underlines sheer convenience on the part of customers. It also indicates greater exercise of consumer choice. Businesses that combine these elements through Omni Channel strategies ensure that greater customer satisfaction.
The marketing team of a large footwear business can work to create a true Omni Channel experience by removing barriers that encumber a customer’s brand experience. They may instruct digital channels to gather and retain information on customer preferences with a view to craft a better end-user experience. For instance, customers that consistently seek a certain size of footwear on the business website can encounter past search results every time they visit and surf the shoe retailer’s website. This is possible through the use of modern Internet technologies. In addition, the website may offer suggestions that indicate the nearest brick-and-mortar business outlet that stocks products that conform to the customer’s choice of shoe size. Further, the website may deploy geo-location technologies to display relevant local events or create a focus on new product arrivals that may interest a particular customer. We note that these aspects of the Omni Channel experience are made possible through the use of web analytics, page views, and time spent by the customer on each page. An expert survey of these streams of information allows the marketing team to draw inferences about user behaviour and customer preferences. This instance clearly illuminates the business significance of using Omni Channel strategies to create customer delight.
Trade pundits opine that brands and businesses must ideate to develop a comprehensive Omni Channel presence in the interests of boosting customer satisfaction. This attitude should be cultivated across the business organization of an enterprise because it helps companies to gain higher rankings in customer satisfaction. We note that brands and businesses can attain these goals by paying attention to customer communication, effective data management practices, and implementing the requisite levels of modern technology. The expert melding of these initiatives empower businesses to create a “flexible customer experience that delivers the experiences consumers expect through the channels they choose to use.”
Omni Channel strategies can help fashion industry retailers to enhance customer satisfaction and create significant streams of repeat business. We note that leading players in this industry are working to unite “physical and digital locations” into a common network designed to serve clients and customers. The nuts and bolts of an Omni Channel strategy can include, inter alia, unified stock management practices that impart speed and scale to business operations. This helps to create seamless shopping experiences as customers transit various channels. For instance, a fashion retailer may host a number of distinct clothing lines at a brick-and-mortar location. The website of said retailer may experience (temporary) server outages or disturbances, thus disrupting the customer experience for online shoppers. However, an expert implementation of Omni Channel strategies ensures that online shoppers can quickly engage chat bots on social media handles and inquire about various products. This interaction closes the gap created by the server outage and assures customers of product availability at the traditional business outlets. This instance clearly demonstrates the sheer utility of an Omni Channel marketing strategy.
Designing an optimised mobile-friendly website is a primary condition for an Omni Channel business enterprise. This assertion stems from the fact that significant numbers of customer complaints center on sub-optimal experiences when interacting with a typical company’s website through a smartphone or connected tablet. Slow web page loading times, inadequate website search outcomes, incorrect displays, and difficult site navigation represent some of the aforesaid problems. We note that this issue springs from an earlier age when desktop computers dominated consumers’ online shopping habits. Happily, the widespread use of mobile apps enable brands and businesses to vault the stated problem. Modern apps offer many functionalities that guarantee consumer satisfaction of a high order. The phenomenon of modern e-commerce is premised solely on mobile apps because these represent the proverbial last word in consumer convenience.
Businesses can combine and refine these techniques in a bid to create their own success stories centred on Omni Channel customer service experiences.