Blog Post

The Omni-channel Customer Experience Trifecta – Accuracy, Speed, Service

December 12, 2018
Author: Shawn Salta

Shawn Salta

In an era of technology when smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices enable instant access to a nearly infinite number of customer choices, it's vital for all organizations to be at their best at all times. If you want to keep your customers' attention, you must focus on three key benefits: accuracy, speed and excellent service – the omni-channel customer experience trifecta.

An omni-channel marketing strategy is one that provides customers with a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Whether shopping online, by telephone or in a physical location, true omni-channel marketing seamlessly integrates all channels of communication for the customer. This creates a harmonious customer experience and ultimately increases engagement.

Breaking Down a Broken Omni-channel Strategy

Anybody who knows me will tell you that I am probably one of the world's most impatient individuals. For me, it's all about the ability to connect quickly and seamlessly. If I have to call a switchboard and go through multiple menu prompts, I'll start pounding numbers until a human being picks up the call. I want simplicity and speed… and I'm not alone.

Many organizations have well thought out, online omni-channel strategies. They use traditional landing pages, offer chat functionality and provide an email address to "get in touch." This is a great way for customers to quickly and easily get what they want. Some organizations have embraced an all-encompassing omni-channel philosophy that includes other departments, such as customer service or order fulfillment, to serve their customers the way the customers want to engage.

Knowing the Right Choices to Offer

According to the Pew Research Center, 95 percent of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, with 77 percent of those being smartphones—up from just 35 percent in 2011. The smartphone is no longer just a communication tool; it is a window to the world and a shortcut for consumers with increasingly shorter attention spans. The mobile device has empowered consumers like never before and given them many different choices.

Retailers have led the way in leveraging a comprehensive omni-channel experience for their customers. They have adapted from strictly brick-and-mortar shopping to a bricks-and-clicks environment where shoppers can easily pull out their phones; find the brands they want (or something similar) from half a dozen retailers locally or across the country; compare prices, sizes and colors of multiple options; and make purchases without leaving the comfort of their homes.

This same omni-channel philosophy can be used to help associations drive memberships and nonprofits find fresh donors. However, many of these organizations aren't taking advantage of the available technologies and resources to optimize their efforts.

A recent analysis by insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) found that nonprofit organizations lag behind when it comes to taking advantage of tech solutions. MMA noted that although 93 percent of donors reported that they use a smartphone or tablet, a shocking 84 percent of nonprofits don't have a website optimized for mobile devices. However, MMA found that 88 percent of nonprofit organizations expect their digital footprint to grow over the next decade, with digital fundraising moving from just seven percent to over 20 percent of total fundraising.

Catering to Unique Preferences

Offering customers the right choices can be challenging. Nearly everyone has a unique preference, especially when it comes to communicating with vendors. Some may want to do everything by chat, while others prefer to be contacted differently based on the issue at hand – chat for general questions, email for concerns about a delivery, or phone for financial issues.

Deploying a variety of communication choices as part of your omni-channel marketing strategy is necessary, but you must make sure they are the right channels for your customers. Very often, these aren't the tried-and-true, last-touch tactics that make the sale. They are the near-silent middlemen that bring your customers into the conversation and help them find the exact product they need.

Without a definitive conversion, it can be incredibly difficult to track and analyze these tactics. Clear multi-tier attribution tools, such as unique URLs, QR codes and tracking phone numbers, can help to determine which tactic or channel is the most effective for driving customer activity and engagement before they buy.

With the right tools and communication channels in place—tracked properly and optimized to provide the omni-channel trifecta of accuracy, speed and service—marketers can prove return on investment (ROI) for their marketing expenditures and ensure a seamless, effective omni-channel customer experience strategy.