A quick question! How many internet-capable devices are there within 5 feet of your current position? I am sure the answer is more than one.
Technology is embedded in our lives completely. Today, a customer will research a product in 4 different places before making the decision to buy it, and to the frustration of marketers all over the world, the customers rarely buy the product in the place that they did the research. When people are making these buying decisions, nothing is more important than a seamless digital experience, and because of this, businesses are challenged more than ever before to adopt an “Omnichannel” strategy and solutions.
While more and more businesses have already put this technique to use and are capitalizing on its potential, many are vulnerable to the challenges that haunt this exercise.
By carefully planning out your omnichannel strategy, you can surpass these challenges and reap the myriad benefits that you were promised!
Here are 4 of the biggest challenges that most businesses face while implementing an omnichannel customer experience:
Brand promise drives the way an organization creates strong and meaningful connections with people. It is critical for employees to know what their brand stands for and what is the underlying value proposition conveyed to the external world in order to generate a consistent and exceptional customer experience across all touchpoints. A brand should integrate its brand promise into its messages, actions, products, and experiences-be it physical or digital.
Customers’ preferences and behavior keep changing with time and advances in technology. Simply adhering to the traditional ways of doing business can slowly force your customers to switch to a competitor who resonates with their choices better. It’s imperative to FIRST understand the target audience and their liking thoroughly and THEN design the omnichannel customer experience strategy.
Implementation of an omnichannel strategy requires a merging of all business functions to support customers seamlessly and allow them to connect however they want, wherever they are, on any device – all while maintaining a seamless communication process between channels. However, to achieve this, businesses must establish a new way of thinking within employees that removes siloes between departments and encourages them to work hand in hand to maintain complete transparency. Creating synergy across business functions is possible only if companies implement the idea of customer centricity from the top down: designing a reward structure which aligns the organization and employee KPIs that incentivize delivery of top-notch omnichannel experiences.
Managing the human side is the most daunting aspect of moving towards an omnichannel approach. More often than not, employees are unfavorable to change which involves moving away from the regular routine tasks. Successfully implementing an omnichannel strategy requires proper operational planning that ensures everyone is on the same page. For example, if an in-store customer asks for a particular model of a product that is unavailable at that location, can the sales representative use the online medium to order it and get it delivered to the customer’s preferred location?
The entire organization-from top down, should be aligned with the business vision and adopt the omnichannel culture. Having an effective training, review and feedback system and maintaining complete transparency can ensure a comfortable transition for employees.
Omnichannel experiences can be incredibly complex. Most organizations focus too much on the technology required to assist in the transformation to omnichannel, leaving out one of the most important variables to change; the people. Organizations that have seen the most success place the customer at the center of every business decision, made from the CEO, down to the call center agent, and then align their technology around that mindset which is shared throughout the organization. A change in technology alone will not solve your omnichannel problem!
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