Business leaders need to offer clients an omni-channel experience that comprises all the touch points that a consumer could have whilst interacting with a specific brand. It’s now time to focus on the customer interaction and to exceed consumer expectations.
Banks have set the bar high by offering clients an omni-channel experience with the ability to interact in the physical or digital realm using any device. These channels could include mobile devices, ATMs, call centres and even branches.
Beyond this, however, an omni-channel customer experience also includes the website user experience (UX), sales processes, lead flow and customer support e.g. live chat. This means a new client opening a bank account could be offered other products or services that touch on financial wellbeing.
Offering a meaningful experience
Besides the normal day to day transactions like payments, transfers, opening new accounts or applying for loans, banks should craft a richer, more meaningful experience for the client.
If the client is just starting out on their financial journey, they should offer some guidance and then present another set of products or services that complement what would have been a once-off standalone transaction.
Enhancing those interactions requires a total mind shift, especially considering that traditional business people are used to sitting face-to-face with clients in a controlled environment.
This method was unfortunately extremely time consuming, especially when there are several touch-points in the process.
The biggest challenge for most traditional businesses is to transfer that same face-to-face interaction into a digital setting. This has proved to have the inherent benefit of streamlining processes.
Although technology is available and the data capabilities are there, they still need to alleviate the mistrust in the digital ecosystem so that they can offer complimentary products and services.
There are many challenges in designing a smooth digital experience that replicates the physical interactions.
Businesses need to build an ecosystem that uses the client’s perspective as a starting point and then use innovative technology to ensure a secure environment to do business and to deliver new products and services.
Catering for all devices
To offer a true omni-channel experience, businesses need cater for all devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
Clients are demanding to access brands on any device that’s convenient for them, not only what’s convenient to the company.
Research shows that omni-channel customers spend about 4 percent more in-store and 10 percent more online than single-channel customers. This means that for every additional channel they use, they spend more money.
Also, 90 percent of consumers want an omni-channel experience with seamless service between communication methods.
Since the lockdown, many businesses have put new online retail and omni-channel transformation high on their agendas. But where should one start?
Popular brands have certainly had an edge during the pandemic, especially this that already had a strong online presence. They have been rewarded with many new online opportunities but stock shortages have also forced consumers to use less-known brands.
Brands that have recently embraced the online world will have to work harder to retain long-term customer interest.
Exploring new channels
The pandemic has forced retailers to focus on channel integration, to diagnose their omni-channel capabilities and then develop road maps for new channels. This is always the first step for businesses that are looking to achieve omni-channel transformation.
It’s now the time for businesses to commit to creating a diverse range of online and offline touch-points to get in-depth insights into their customers and their shopping habits and personal preferences.
They should use the data they’ve accumulated during the pandemic to streamline the shopping journeys of different consumer groups and uncover the challenges they’ve faced.
This information can then be used to address those challenges in future omni-channel developments to provide an outstanding shopping experience.