In today’s competitive business landscape, building customer relationship is no longer dependent just on how great your customer service department is. It’s determined more by how you track and simplify your customer’s journey; as they crisscross different channels to make up their mind on your product. Deliver a coherent and aligned experience across all platforms and they will cozy up to you. The out of the world experience offered by Disney to its visitors — starting right from the pre-experience engagement, their arrival; first contact at the airport, check in at hotel and of course experience in the actual parks – is a great example for all of us to emulate. It underscores the importance of customer experience MAPPING in making customer experience delightful if not outstanding.
If you are a retailer, the questions that the Disney example brings to the fore are:
- Can your customers look for a product in-store, scan it with your app, and include it in their cart to purchase it later with different specifications?
- Can your customers browse your online store for new fashion arrivals, explore them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and even avail an in-store coupon to redeem?
- Do loyal in-store customers get notified via messages when a product of their liking is released online or off?
If your customers are not able to do all these and may be more, it’s time for you to work towards delivering an omni-channel experience right away. Below is our take on the best approach:
Analyze Channel Requirements
Don’t be under the mistaken impression that increased presence across multiple channels will up your chances of delivering great customer experience. You first need to discover where your audience is, else you may end up serving low-value customers through high cost channels. To start with, verify the touchpoints that your customers are most likely to use. Based on this understanding, you need to evaluate how these channels can benefit your business, and then prioritize, optimize and synchronize them to map customer journeys. In case, you aren’t quite sure about the touchpoints, you can rear them till they mature, and pick the relevant channel over time.
Google Analytics will help you identify the popular channels among your customers. Peek under the “acquisition” reports you’ll know where the engagement is happening.
Make Shopping Possible at All Touch Points
Making all your customer touch points shoppable helps your customers hop from the product discovery to the conversion stage with ease. What this means is that you should not make product information fragmented and channel specific. Likewise, you should keep product information updated at all touch points. This helps the undecided customer get a consistent experience across channels. Also, it helps you reach out to all types of customers, because the appeal of some touchpoints among customer varies according to demographic and the stage in their journey.
Update product information across channels and across all applications used by customer service with the help of automated tools
Make the Shift from Online to Offline (Vice-Versa) Shopping Seamless
If you have an offline presence along with an online footing, bridge the gap that exists between the two channels, so that your customers experience a seamless transition between transactions happening on both channels. Fashion brands that allow customers to choose products online and try them out at home for choosing the best fit, offer customers the most ideal shopping experience. When you engage the customer in a virtual world and thereafter draw them into the real world, you make sure you have a chance of collecting wholesome data that can be mined for future trends.
If you don’t have an offline store and yet wish to combine the two to your advantage use posters, banners, leaflet, and direct mail to build your offline presence.
Consolidate all the Channels
Linking multiple channels/platforms to one common interface is the most critical requirement for bringing connected, clean and consisted customer data for real time viewing. It helps integrate different data sources with different data types referring to an individual buyer, and establish cross-channel identity. These insights can be leveraged to deliver efficient services across different channels. You can store this data in a single data repository after excluding, replicated conversions and mine them continuously to identify new insights.
Employ automation to link platforms. Leverage master data management technology to integrate data. You also need the support of BI specialists & Data Analysts to distinguish and interpret data variables.
Delivering an omni channel experience should not be an end in itself. It should be backed by robust business rules and a strategy for continuous improvement. It’s because of this neat synchronization and relentless efforts to improve experience, that Disney has been able to enrich and redefine customer experience altogether.