Omni-Channel Communications Strategy
Omni channel is a harmonized operation model of serving customers, in which the company channels are aligned into a single face, along with one consistent way of doing business. The companies replace the many views of the customer they often hold today with one unified view of the customer across all the channels. It enables you to respond in a consistent way to the customer’s constantly growing needs.
An Omni channel strategy involves giving a consistent and seamless experience via technology, customer service and the retail space. Your customers experience the same from all points. For example, a customer can purchase a product online and when he encounters a problem, can return it to the physical store for a replacement or repair with ease. An Omni channel strategy is most useful to communication service providers e.g. call centers that are facing intense competition fromother emerging companies.
What spurred this dynamic transition? The customer has changed significantly; he is now more connected, his journey with you is now vibrant, nonstop and easily reached.
- Vibrant – this is powered by technology, customers no longer follow the traditional purchase model – of awareness, then consideration and evaluation and lastly purchase. Today’s customer checks around several online stores before making a purchase.
- Non-stop – the customer journey is continuous because the devices he uses i.e. mobile phones, tablets and computers are always on and can find the information they are looking for at all times.
- Easily reached – customers have access to information like never before. Many sources (articles, blogs post and websites) of this information are not in your control.
What steps can you take to adjust to these changes? Your aim is to offer customers a consistent experience across all the channels, such that they feel like it is a continuation of a previous interaction from whichever channel they initiated the process.
Leverage digital to gather insight
You cannot make any meaningful changes without knowing what you are changing and how you are changing it. There is a huge data pull online that when utilized will generate the necessary insights, not forgetting what can be gathered from the physical channel. These insights drive your marketing efforts.
Knowing your dynamic customer, gives you the basis of personalizing their experiences at their channel of choice while remaining relevant.
Integrate the channels
As stated above, Omni channel is about creating a single channel, your next step should be to integrate all your channels into one. The current multi channels operate independently with their own strategies, the physical store, the call center, the social media management team.
Integration means that, if a customer wants to make a purchase or payment, they can do it from any channel without any challenges and they leave satisfied. They can go to the store, or through the e-commerce enabled website or by calling the call center.
For example, when you run a promotion on your social media platform and website, customers should be able to enjoy the same in your retail space. They should not see the promotion still running online yet the products are out of stock.
We understand that customer service is no longer a marketing function only; all departments that interact with customers offer it. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to integrate the new Omni channel approach across all the functions, from the technical team, sales and marketing team, the other staff and management.
For example, when a customer speaks to an agent about a device problem he is experiencing, and the agent advises taking the device down to the service center, the customer shouldn’t go there and have to start explaining his problem all over again. A simple customer number should suffice. This integration offers the customer a seamless experience and he will be satisfied with the service.
Leaders need to encourage faster and easier implementation of the Omni channel communications strategy.
Integrate the business units
In summary, Omni channel communication is the way to go because of the connected customer challenge, the same customer whose journey with you is vibrant, non-stop and easily accessed. Your role therefore, is to respond to the customer and offer a unified consistent experience that begins with you leveraging technology to gather insight and then integrating it across all business units and channels.
This blog was first published on LinkedIN