Understanding the consumer's wants and needs extends well beyond your offering product, service, or brand name. Even experienced brands have quickly learned that understanding a consumer's mindset requires more than a "help" or "contact us" page, or perhaps solely relying on review feedback.
Customers no longer exist behind a wall where they used to wait for companies to throw over new products; in fact, today's society bridges the gap between customer and company in various ways. Put, customers have innumerable options or channels for them to communicate through. The mobile phone age has brought with it a catalog of digital marketing channels, but without the understanding of these channels, some companies could risk losing customer loyalty.
What Exactly is the Omnichannel Experience?
An omnichannel experience suggests that consumers will experience various touchpoints that your brand has set up on various platforms. For example, a customer may experience your marketing while shopping at the mall, browsing social media, navigating your website, or shopping at a wholesale location. Unfortunately, many companies fail to blend this experience into one solid, uniform experience.
While much of the marketing experience has become modern and digitized, the offering and support structures that companies give this shift are often too archaic and inconsiderate of the consumer's needs and misunderstanding.
How to Strengthen the Omnichannel Experience:
In this article, we are going to look at a way that companies can better understand the wants and needs of their customers by strengthening their online support system. We begin this example with Barry... now, Barry recently had a poor shopping experience, and he wants to contact your customer support team to reach a potential settlement for the dissatisfaction.
So, Barry signs on to your website, scrolls down to the bottom of the page, and to his dismay... the Contact page has led him to a self-serving FAQ page that is more confusing than it is helpful? Why is that? Several companies believed that their support systems should be self-serving through the digitization of society - but this is far from the truth. Consumers may be tech-savvy in some cases, but they may lack the understanding of how to solve their issues in others. The question, however, remains: How can we help Barry solve his issue?
1. Create an Omnichannel Experience via Our Support Team:
Step 1, we need to make sure our support structure has a human element at play. We can accomplish this via a live chat functionality, utilizing a call center, or providing a well-kept email address. Through this contact point, we need to make sure that we move the customer across channels efficiently.
2. Keep Things Consistent Across the Digital Marketing Channels:
Companies are made up of a collection of departments... if marketing is up to one thing, support needs to be aware of it. If the customer brings up the existence of some deal that the marketing team made, and support has no idea of its existence, then this is problematic. If Barry's query concerns more than the support channels, we need to be able to move the customer across channels efficiently and as consistently as possible. Relay the chat logs, relay Barry's problem to the next agent... nobody likes repeating themselves.
3. A Solved Problem Benefits from Thanks and Encouragement:
Once you have officially solved Barry's problem, thank them! Please provide them with a direct communication line should they encounter another problem and ensure that your company feels human. In essence, you are providing your consumers with an experience as they shop digitally... just because you can't feel or smell a digital channel doesn't mean it needs to feel inhumane.
In conclusion, you provide the consumer with touchpoints, map out their route for them as they request support, and move the customer across channels as necessary prevents hang-ups and fixes issues. Remember, to provide the omnichannel experience and understand what your consumer wants, you (the company) need to communicate as if you genuinely want to help them.