What is Omnichannel Customer Engagement & How to Improve It
In a world of endless digital communication channels, an omnichannel customer engagement strategy can help you deliver consistent, high-quality experiences across multiple channels.
Instead of forcing your customers to choose a channel, this strategy enables you to engage with customers regardless of their preferred engagement channel, thus enhancing their experience and encouraging brand loyalty.
In this article, we’ll examine the omnichannel customer engagement strategy in detail. We highlight the benefits and challenges of the strategy and discuss how you can create one for your SaaS business.
- An omnichannel customer engagement strategy unifies your messaging and interactions with customers across different channels.
- It provides you with data that enables you to deliver personalized customer experiences, exceed customer expectations, and boost customer loyalty.
- One of the biggest challenges organizations face when adopting an omnichannel strategy is with data silos. Merging segmented data of different formats from different departments is resource-intensive.
- Likewise, maintaining a presence and consistent messaging across a variety of communication channels requires extensive staff training and technological integration.
- Your first step to implementing an omnichannel strategy is to identify the preferred channels of your target audience. Knowing where they spend their time will tell you where to reach them.
- Next, you need to map the customer journey and understand how customers move from one channel to the next so there are no gaps.
- You also need a marketing strategy that’s suited to each channel. Although the message format for each channel may differ, you need to deliver the same messaging and experience across channels.
- Finally, you need to invest in your marketing team. This means hiring the right people, creating the right structure, and adopting the right omnichannel engagement platform to aid their cause.
- Userpilot provides you with customer data from real-time interactions and in-app surveys. Book a demo to learn how Userpilot can help you to deliver delightful customer experiences.
What is omnichannel customer engagement?
Omnichannel customer engagement is a marketing strategy that focuses on delivering unified messaging and interactions to customers across multiple channels and touchpoints and throughout the customer lifecycle.
Why is an omnichannel customer engagement strategy important?
Adopting an omnichannel customer engagement strategy enables you easily manage disconnected customer interactions from different channels on a single platform.
There are many advantages to be had when you streamline customer interactions, including:
- Personalized customer experience: Integrating data from different touchpoints gives you a comprehensive view of your customers. It enables you better understand customer profiles and deliver personalized experiences and recommendations based on their preferences.
- Exceed customer expectations: Today’s customers expect information to be only a few clicks away. An omnichannel customer engagement strategy ensures you’re always within touching distance of the customer, regardless of their adopted channel.
- Build customer loyalty: Empowering customers to connect with your brand through their preferred channels increases customer satisfaction. This seamless, consistent experience plays a big role in driving brand loyalty.
- Increased customer retention: Customers appreciate when brands take the time to improve the user experience. When you consistently engage customers, you form a bond with them that increases retention and reduces customer churn.
The challenges of building an omnichannel customer engagement strategy
Despite its obvious advantages, building an omnichannel customer engagement strategy is not all smooth sailing. Some challenges organizations face when developing this strategy includes:
Unifying customer data without creating data silos
Siloed organizations are organizations with compartmentalized collections of data. In these organizations, data held by one department cannot be easily or fully accessed by other departments.
Data silos hamper the flow of information across departments, making collaboration and coordination across teams, such as the customer service, marketing, and sales teams, more difficult.
Unfortunately, merging the data from different teams into a single channel isn’t straightforward. Data from CRM platforms, data analytics tools, and communication channels come in different formats, making integration resource-intensive.
Facilitating effective communication
With the many communication channels available today, maintaining a presence on multiple channels requires careful planning and organization.
Each communication channel may require dedicated resources and serve a unique audience. Switching to an omnichannel communication system requires technological integration and staff training.
If your conversations are not aligned, customers may have to repeat information across different channels, leading to customer frustration and dissatisfaction.
Creating consistency across channels
Many businesses find it challenging to create a consistent experience across every customer touchpoint within their brand, but such consistency is vital.
When customers have a great experience on your website, they expect to enjoy a similar experience on your social media channels (TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
Unfortunately, many businesses struggle to deliver a consistent customer experience across channels while adapting to each channel’s unique functionalities and audiences.
How to create an effective omnichannel customer engagement strategy?
Now that you understand both the benefits and challenges of implementing an omnichannel strategy, here are six key points to help you create a winning strategy:
Determine the preferred channels used by customers
Your omnichannel model doesn’t need to incorporate every channel out there for it to be successful. Instead, you need to find the channels your customers use extensively and invest in them.
The best way to do this is by examining (or creating one) your buyer persona to understand where customers spend their time. This will help you determine where they’re more likely to encounter and interact with your brand.
E-commerce brands, for example, recognize that Gen Z shoppers are 2-3 times more likely than others to shop through social channels. A good e-commerce brand, therefore, aims to engage customers via these channels.
Likewise, you need to identify the channels your customers use and your most effective acquisition channels. This will help you identify the channels that are best suited for your strategy.
Map the customer journey to understand customer expectations better and optimize their experience
From website to email, live chat, social media, etc., your customer is spoiled for choosing how to interact with your brand. Understanding the customer journey and how they move from one channel to the next is, thus, important.
Customer journey mapping makes it easy to understand what customers want. It helps you understand customer expectations and deliver personalized interactions to customers.
Your goal here is to leave no gaps in your strategy as customers move from one channel to another. So, ask yourself:
- How does each channel stand on its own?
- What is the connection between each channel?
- How does each channel ultimately get the customer to stay?
- How can you create omnichannel engagement without disrupting the customer experience?
Create a marketing strategy across multiple channels
Now that you know how customers progress through your pipeline, it’s time to define your marketing strategy. A good SaaS marketing strategy aims to attract, nurture, and retain leads.
Note that not every marketing strategy is suited to each channel, so you must match your strategy to your channel. For example, you need to be more actionable and quick when marketing in-app but can provide longer tips via email.
Likewise, every channel has an audience base expecting a specific content type.
For example, long-form videos are excellent for YouTube, shorter-form videos for TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, long texts for emails and blogs, short texts for Twitter, and images for Instagram and Facebook.
Ensure unified messaging and consistent customer experience across channels
Although your messaging style may differ across channels, it must all work together to help you achieve your goals. For that to happen, you need consistent messaging and customer experience across all channels.
This means that your message should sound the same, regardless of the channel or format. Although you may not repeat the same words, the message should sound like it was written by the same person.
Another way to achieve consistency in messaging is by delivering a personalized experience across channels. Messages sent via email, for example, should be consistent with the customer’s in-app behavior and experience.
Invest in your marketing team
To successfully implement an omnichannel customer engagement strategy, you need an excellent stack of marketing tools.
These tools should integrate all product and customer data, including customer purchases, interactions, etc. into one central location. By helping you stay organized, analyze data, and track your goals, these tools will drive your growth as the business scales.
Equally as important is your marketing team structure. SaaS businesses, for example, must invest in digital marketing and customer retention strategies to drive acquisition and reduce customer churn.
Use an omnichannel customer engagement platform
The most important tool necessary to hold your omnichannel strategy together is an omnichannel customer engagement platform. This is a one-view platform that bridges the gap between your customers and customer service teams.
An omnichannel platform enables you to efficiently collect and store data, glean valuable customer insights, and apply those insights across unique customer journeys.
Let’s explore how in the next heading.
How customer engagement platform can help you create a seamless experience
A good customer engagement platform like Userpilot can greatly supercharge your omnichannel strategy. In addition to helping you track omnichannel engagement, it also helps you:
Trigger email campaigns based on real-time customer behavior
When integrated with your app, Userpilot helps you collect real-time in-app customer data. The data is then automatically transferred to your app or designated third-party systems via a powerful webhook.
In addition to notifying your backend that an event has occurred, Userpilot’s webhook enables you to send a series of emails triggered by pre-define in-app customer behaviors and interactions.
The trigger event for your webhook can be any interaction with a flow, checklist, NPS survey, form, feature tags, or button event.
Use Hubspot data to set in-app experiences
Boost new user activation and drive growth at every customer journey stage by taking advantage of Userpilot’s integration with Hubspot.
Userpilot enables you to build custom segments based on your users’ tracked in-app activities, making it easier to understand customer behavior and needs and create the best possible experience for them.
For instance, you can design contextual Hubspot email campaigns that target specific user segments based on their in-app behavior.
Collect customer data to build user segments and provide personalized experiences
Userpilot empowers you to learn more about new users and create user personas with welcome surveys. A welcome survey tells you who your new user is, where they come from, and why they need your product.
Using this information, you can identify their user persona, segment them accordingly, and personalize their experience.
Welcome surveys can also provide you with valuable information for engaging with customers in different channels.
Use in-app surveys to learn what customers expect from your brand and optimize your omnichannel strategy accordingly
You aren’t limited to just welcome surveys with Userpilot. Indeed, Userpilot provides an extensive library of in-app survey templates (including product research, user experience, customer satisfaction, etc.) to help you gather valuable customer insights.
Choose a ready-made survey or create one from scratch and trigger it at any customer touchpoint of your choosing. For instance, you can trigger a new feature survey to help you understand what users like/dislike about the feature.
As you learn what your users expect of your product, you can refine the product or service to improve their experience in different channels.
In addition to delivering a more personalized experience, surveys can also help you improve customer communication across channels.
A successful omnichannel strategy can be very rewarding for your marketing and customer support teams. Although it may be challenging to set up at first, it keeps the customer experience consistent, helping you acquire loyal customers.
Thankfully, with a customer engagement platform like Userpilot, you can get all the data necessary to deliver value to your customers every step of the way. Book a demo today to learn how Userpilot can help you achieve your business goals.