OMNI-CHANNEL AND WHY YOU SHOULD STOP THINKING LIKE THAT
Updated: May 5, 2020
To be quite frank, I’m sick and tired of the term Omni-Channel, for several years marketeers and agencies have banged on about omni this and that, and I confess I used to be one those people. Being able to connect a customer to a brand via their preferred channel is important. Do you want to connect through social media, web chat, call centre, face to face or post? Do they want to buy online, instore or over the phone?
So, what exactly is omni-channel? An article What is omni-channel? By Cambridge Consulting Services has some interesting information. Omni comes from the word Omnis which can mean all or universal.
The omni-channel allows your customers to move from one channel of choice to another with their history and preferences moving with them, consumers expect this to be a seamless journey with those brands and companies they interact with the most. So the marketeer ensures that they have all these touchpoints and channels available to the consumer, but the thing is the customer doesn’t care, they just want to buy, have their queries answered and their comments acknowledged, channels don’t matter it’s about the experience and connection the customer has with the brand.
From a customer first perspective they don’t think about it, they just reach for the channel of choice and interact with the brand. Which is why customer insight is so important in defining the experience.
Channels will blend together, allowing customers to seamlessly switch from one channel to the next. Instead of adding more channels to the omni-channel, brands will begin to rewrite the customer experience by blending channels to better the experience. Think about the way in which chat bots are now handing across to live chat, think how this could extend further.
Consumers are not seeking omni-channel experiences they are seeking brands that are channel-less, making it easy for the customer to engage.
If we start from the customer first perspective we see where can adopt the channel less experience, as a customer we don’t want to be handed from one channel experience to another we want to move seamlessly from one to another and sometimes simultaneously. Using machine learning we can begin to join these channel experiences together and begin to determine next best action for the customer and delivering a better overall customer experience. Through machine learning we can begin to determine when a customer wants to engage, interact or buy even before they know they have a need.
Think about the longer and more complex purchase journeys – car buying, financial products and using algorithms and a blended customer journey we can reach out to these buyers at the very moment they enter the buying cycle, influencing brand choices and purchase more than ever before.
Allowing brands to make a connection, a seamless channel-less experience.