What is omnichannel CX (customer experience), and why is it such a big deal lately?
Omnichannel CX provides customers consistent service and support via multiple channels, the top five being voice, social media, email, chat, and SMS.
Done right, omnichannel allows customers with seamless, personalized experiences, when and how they want them, across every channel and device. It also helps brands:
- increase sales and marketing reach and impact,
- reinforce brand equity, and
- build better relationships with their customers.
- The use of omnichannel increased from 8% in 2016 to 31% in 2019.
- Customers use three to five different channels—and can switch among desktop and mobile channels nearly six times—in a single customer journey.
- Organizations that use AI with omnichannel show a massive 104% improvement in customer ratings, compared to just 37% for AI without omnichannel.
- Among organizations with top metrics in using AI for customer engagement—revenue increase, cost decrease, and rating increases—50% use omnichannel.
Despite its clear impact, relatively few companies use omnichannel. Among those that do, many have responded to the excitement of emerging technology by simply adding more and more channels, with varying degrees of success.
Why? Lack of focus, slow progress, and the costs of implementing a ‘perfect’ omnichannel solution are enormous challenges. Every new channel creates more touchpoints, complicating the customer journey and decreasing the likelihood of the first-contact resolution, especially when some channels are hasty, ad hoc additions.
A critical key is a consolidated approach, on both organizational and individual, pre-engagement levels. For CX to be truly omnichannel, instead of merely multi-channel:
- All customer interactions need to be integrated, with relevant background and historical information available to agents across every interaction and channel.
- Agents must be equipped to move between channels and touchpoints quickly.
71% of customers want a consistent experience across channels – but only 29% get it. While this may seem challenging, it also means that opportunities are still wide open. Omnichannel excellence might be painstaking to achieve—partners with the relevant expertise can undoubtedly smooth out the learning curve—but the results are well worth it.