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Omnichannel customer engagement is no longer a nice-to-have — it’s a necessity. In today’s digital world, customers expect a seamless, personalized experience across all channels, and they will take their business elsewhere if they don’t get it.
Channels have converged, and customers move freely from one to the other, often using multiple channels simultaneously. They might start researching a product on its website, then ask a question on social media, before finally making a purchase in-store. Omnichannel customer engagement is the key to meeting these expectations and ensuring customers have a smooth, consistent experience with your brand, no matter how they choose to engage.
Here are 13 ways to create an omnichannel customer engagement strategy that will keep your customers coming back for more:
Related: Omnichannel Customer Experience: Why It Matters More Today Than Ever
1. Get to know your customers
Omnichannel customer engagement starts with understanding who your customers are and what they want. What are their needs and pain points? What motivates them? What channels do they prefer? Traditionally, businesses would attempt to infer these insights from third-party data. But today, there’s a better way: Zero-party data.
Zero-party data is data that you collect proactively from your customers through quizzes, surveys, calculators, forms and other interactions, which can be done easily with tools like involve.me. This data is explicit, voluntary and collected with the customer’s knowledge and consent.
Because it comes directly from the customer, zero-party data is far more accurate and reliable than third-party data. It will give you a much deeper understanding of your customers, which is essential for omnichannel customer engagement.
2. Define your customer journey
Once you have a good understanding of your customers, you need to define the different stages of their journey with your brand. What does the customer experience look like at each stage?
Map out the customer journey from start to finish, including all the different touchpoints and interactions with your brand. This will help you understand where omnichannel customer engagement can make the biggest impact.
3. Identify key moments of truth
Moments of truth are key customer interactions that have a major impact on the relationship between a customer and a brand. They can be positive (a moment that delights the customer) or negative (a moment that frustrates the customer).
There are many different moments of truth in the customer journey, but some examples include first impressions, purchase decisions, customer service interactions and post-purchase experiences.
To create an omnichannel customer engagement strategy, you need to identify the moments of truth in the customer journey and design specific omnichannel touchpoints for each one.
4. Create a consistent brand experience
Customers should have the same experience with your brand, no matter which channel they’re using. This means creating consistency across all channels in terms of messaging, tone, design and overall experience.
Your website, social media channels, physical stores and customer service interactions should all feel like part of the same brand. This will help create a seamless omnichannel customer engagement strategy.
Related: Redefining Omnichannel: How To Be Where Your Customers Are
5. Use data to personalize the experience
Zero-party data collected from quizzes, surveys, forms and other interactions can be used to personalize the customer experience across all channels.
This data can be used to segment customers into different groups, customize messages and content and provide a more personalized experience at every touchpoint.
6. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile
In today’s digital world, it’s essential that your website is optimized for mobile. More than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, so it’s important that your site is easy to use and navigate on a smartphone or tablet.
Mobile optimization is essential for omnichannel customer engagement, because it ensures that customers can interact with your brand seamlessly, no matter which device they’re using.
7. Use mobile apps to engage with customers
Mobile apps can be a powerful tool for omnichannel customer engagement. They can be used to send push notifications, offer loyalty programs and rewards, provide personalized content and much more.
Plus, mobile apps help you collect zero-party data that can be used to personalize the customer experience across all channels.
8. Make sure your social media channels are aligning with your brand
Social media is a powerful channel for engaging with customers, but it’s important that your social media presence is aligned with your brand.
Your social media channels should have the same look and feel as your website and other channels, and they should share the same messages, tone and overall experience.
Related: Your Customers Are Using Multiple Devices. You Should Be, Too, With Omni-Channel Marketing.
9. Use social media to provide customer service
Social media is a great channel for customer service. In fact, more and more customers are expecting brands to provide customer service through social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Social media provides a quick and easy way for customers to get in touch with your brand and receive a response. It’s important to respond to customer service inquiries quickly and efficiently to create a positive omnichannel customer engagement strategy.
10. Use chatbots for customer service
Chatbots are computer programs that can simulate human conversation, and they’re becoming increasingly popular for customer service.
Chatbots can be used to answer common customer questions, provide recommendations and even process transactions. They’re available 24/7, so they can help you provide excellent customer service around the clock.
11. Use AI for real-time personalized recommendations
Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to provide real-time personalized recommendations to customers across all channels.
For example, if a customer is looking at a pair of shoes on your website, AI can be used to recommend other products that might interest them, such as socks or a bag to carry the shoes in. This type of personalized recommendations create a more engaging omnichannel customer experience.
12. Integrate your physical and digital channels
In today’s omnichannel world, it’s important to integrate your physical and digital channels. This means using technology to connect your online and offline channels and using data to create a seamless experience for customers, no matter how they choose to engage with your brand.
For example, you can send push notifications to customers’ mobile phones when they’re near your store, or use QR codes to provide digital content in physical locations.
13. Use location-based marketing
Location-based marketing is a great way to engage with customers in a relevant and timely manner. It allows you to send messages and offers to customers based on their location, which can be used to drive foot traffic to your store or encourage online purchases.
Location-based marketing can be used in combination with other omnichannel strategies, such as personalization and integration, to create a top-notch customer experience.
By understanding your customers, defining the customer journey and creating consistent, personalized experiences across all channels, you can create an omnichannel strategy that will keep your customers coming back for more.