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How the omnichannel customer journey builds empathy and wins customers.

March 16, 2022 By: Alex Torres

The omnichannel customer journey includes the multiple touch points that a customer experiences while engaging with a company or brand during the customer lifecycle. In other words, the omnichannel customer journey begins with a consumer’s first interaction with a brand and ends after their last interaction ever.

Interactions begin and end in different channels, from televisions ads to mobile apps to brick-and-mortar stores. Customers want a seamless end-to-end customer experience, whether they are browsing t-shirts on their mobile devices or trying on shoes in person. But with customers moving between channels so frequently, delivering a consistent shopping experience is no easy task. 

Empathizing with customers on their omnichannel journey.

Throughout the entire journey, brands need to develop empathy with their customers. But empathizing with the customer looks different at each touch point, and at each unique stage of the customer journey. 

No matter what, you should always be prioritizing speed, convenience, friendly customer service, and helpful resources for when a customer gets stuck. 

What are the stages of omnichannel customer engagement?

Awareness.

Today’s customers are confronted with a flurry of touchpoints from countless brands each day: Google ads, organic social media posts, podcast commercials, bus signs, billboards, websites, content marketing articles, word of mouth referrals, and more. 

In this phase of the journey, brands must make themselves and their products known to customers who might not know they exist. This phase is known as discovery.

Acquisition.

When the customer shows intent to convert–whether that means signing up for a checking account, buying a t-shirt, booking a flight for their Hawaii vacation, or signing a multimillion B2B software contract–they enter the acquisition phase. 

At this point, brands need to offer a seamless digital experience to ensure that customers feel supported, especially when they’re offering sensitive information, such as credit card numbers or even social security numbers. 

During the initial acquisition phase, businesses also have ample opportunities to throw in a sale or promotion and encourage costumes to sign up for their loyalty programs.

Onboarding.

For retailers, onboarding might look like prompting customers to download their mobile app or creating a shopping profile. For financial service institutions, onboarding involves teaching new clients how to navigate complex digital products. 

For airlines, onboarding customers looks different: they need to prompt passengers to check-in online and review safety regulations 24 hours before boarding.

No matter how you onboard customers, it’s important to provide them with enablement content so that they can become familiar with all components of the digital experience, including websites and mobile apps.

Continuous engagement.

Once customers are familiar with your brand, they will continue paying attention to ads, emails, push notifications, and other parts of the omnichannel experience. Whether this is through perks offered by customer loyalty programs, weekly email updates, or new in-store experiences, keeping your customers engaged across the channels that matter most to them, at the right time, is crucial.

Continuous support.

After your customers complete a purchase, you still need to keep them happy. Maybe they need to return a pair of pants that’s one size too big. Or perhaps they have questions about the new Roth IRA they just opened. 

Continuous support can come in the form of nurture emails, contact center support, push notifications, and more. 

Creating an integrated omnichannel journey analytics experience. 

Customers take dynamic and varied paths throughout the customer journey, which makes it difficult for businesses to offer a cohesive customer experience. 

To remedy this, businesses should consider investing in platforms that integrate all of their communications together, as well as leveraging customer experience analytics tools that give you insight into how customers navigate across all channels.

To best understand your customers, you need tools for channel attribution. You will also need more robust quantitative and qualitative analytics tools that help you to understand where customers encounter friction or other conversion-blocking issues. 

Segmenting the omnichannel journey.

One of the most challenging aspects of understanding the omnichannel user journey is realizing that people are connecting across not only unique channels, but also different devices and operating systems (including different versions within each operating system). 

Android users might be encountering a problem that isn’t impacting those with iPhones. Browsing on Safari can lead to a different user experience than browsing on Google Chrome. More importantly, many of these user experience issues can’t be understood using traditional analytics tools alone.

How focusing on omnichannel bridges the in-person and online shopping experience. 

There’s no question that the pandemic reshaped how we travel, banked, and shopped. Digital-first and online shopping may be reigning supreme, but that doesn’t mean that the in-person experience is dead.

In fact, your digital channels should enable your customers to move seamlessly between in-person and online experiences. Brick-and-mortar locations should be an extension of your digital channels, and vice versa. 

Maybe your customer bought something online and needs to return it at their local branch. Or maybe your customer made a purchase online and wants to pick it up in-store that day–to save time on shipping or avoid out-of-stock issues. In an ideal world, your customers should be able to look up whether an item is in-stock at their local branch, right from their mobile devices. 

The best customer experiences are focused on the omnichannel journey. As consumers continue to spend more of their time engaging with brands on digital, we can expect them to browse, build wishlists and shop from multiple channels. Today it is primarily desktop and mobile, but tomorrow it could be social selling or a marketplace in the Metaverse. 

Omnichannel excellence in the travel industry. 

One of the most important aspects of digital airline transformation has been embracing omnichannel. Now, passengers can accomplish so much more from their mobile devices: storing boarding passes, ordering in-flight meals, booking flights, and browsing potential hotels. 

For airlines, kiosks and tablets have also been crucial channels for creating a contactless passenger experience. 

When all of these channels work in tandem together, airlines are able to deliver a seamless passenger journey, even when unexpected turbulence arises along the way. With an excellent omnichannel strategy in place, airlines can step into their passengers shoes and ensure they are getting the support they need.

Quantum Metric can boost your omnichannel strategy.

If your customers are experiencing user experience related issues, such as confusing designs and poor copy, as well as technical issues, such as broken links and 404 errors, Quantum Metric can help. 

With Quantum Metric, teams across the organization can gain more insight into the omnichannel customer journey with the help of quantitative tools like anomaly detection, as well as qualitative UX tools like heatmaps and session replay to understand what went wrong.

Interested in giving your omnichannel customer journey strategy a boost? Request a demo today.

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