Creating an ecosystem of relationships between marketing channels requires a thorough analysis of sales processes. The review of their elements of the greatest importance will help to make it seamless from both the consumer and business perspective. Considering the communication, you need to ensure the quality of service and offer customers tools and opportunities that reflect their needs. I will point out several aspects of the omnichannel strategy in sales processes that are worth considering.
The Importance of Seamless Customer Experiences
Seamless customer experiences are essential for businesses looking to succeed in the competitive world. Customers today have more options than ever before, and their expectations are higher than ever. If businesses cannot provide a smooth and consistent experience across all channels, they risk losing customers to competitors who can. One of the key benefits of a seamless customer experience is increased customer loyalty. When customers have a positive experience with a brand, they are more likely to return for future purchases and recommend the brand to others. This can have a significant impact on a business’s bottom line, as studies show that acquiring new customers can be up to five times more expensive than retaining existing ones. Additionally, a seamless customer experience can lead to increased sales, as customers are more likely to make a purchase when they can easily find the information they need and complete the transaction without any obstacles.
Omnichannel Approach to Sales
In addition to the sales process itself (and within it: communication in various media, transactions in a physical store, on-line or in a marketplace such as Amazon or Ebay), it is equally important to pay attention to areas such as: collections, returns, complaints, post-purchase support, and additional benefits accompanying transactions (e.g. loyalty cards, forms of cross-selling).
Leverage Data for Personalized Experiences
Monitoring and analytics of purchases made in the online channel is a standard activity. However, the challenge is to collect consistent information about all activities and transactions made by a given customer, also in traditional channels. Various methods of identification can be indicated: from loyalty applications, customer cards, through QR codes, linking to the payment tools used (credit cards, Pay Pal). Creating a 360-degree view gives you the opportunity to better understand customer behavior, use up-sell and cross-sell mechanisms (also taking into account the geographical aspect, e.g. directing to the most visited store), optimizing the dates of communication or creating product proposals based on previous choices. Planning specific actions, taking into account all the data we have about a specific person, is possible thanks to the extensive tools included in Salesforce Marketing Cloud and Salesforce Service Cloud.
The pandemic has influenced changes in the form of delivery most often chosen by consumers. According to the report “E-Commerce in Poland. 2020”, the most frequently chosen form (indicated by 61% of respondents) is delivery to a parcel machine, followed by delivery directly to home or work by courier (55%) or postman (33%). Next, consumers use delivery to a partner point (19%), post office (10%) or store (click&collect form – 8%). Although collection at a branch or point of sale is only gaining popularity among consumers, it is definitely an option worth paying attention to. It directly reflects the idea of omnichannel and can be used not only in the context of orders, but also in the handling of returns and complaints. To handle it, it is necessary to implement a system that integrates data from POS applications, e-Commerce engines or ERP class systems. Thanks to this, it is possible to create processes that are partially carried out in various tools, but are managed as a whole in the Salesforce platform. From the procedural point of view, each of the above forms of delivery should be equally available to the customer both in terms of choice and cost (and optimally – not entail the need to pay additional fees). Each should also guarantee high-quality experience, both in terms of waiting for the parcel, the form of its packaging, as well as in terms of controlling the stage of order fulfillment and communication in this area.
Pursuant to the letter of the law, purchases made via remote sales channels are subject to return within 14 days minimum, without giving a reason. According to a report prepared by ‘merce, based on data from 2019, e-commerce stores estimate the cost of handling (not including the shipment) of one return in the range of $ 0,5-1. Therefore, it is mainly a valuation of the amount of work put into correspondence with the customer, accepting the return, cataloging it, etc. Some of these activities can be automated, which on the one hand translates into faster execution of the process and greater certainty as to its constant quality. The more intuitive the process is, requiring fewer steps and incurring minimal costs (including those related to commitment, effort and communication), the more it can improve customer satisfaction.
Real-Time Customer Service Through Various Channels
Providing real-time customer service through various channels is essential for creating a seamless customer experience. This may include offering customer support through channels such as email, phone, live chat, and social media platforms. By providing customer service through multiple channels, businesses can ensure that customers can easily access the help they need, regardless of their preferred method of communication. Additionally, offering real-time support can help resolve issues quickly and efficiently, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. To provide effective customer service through multiple channels, businesses should invest in technology and tools that enable them to manage and respond to customer inquiries efficiently. This may include customer relationship management systems, chatbot technology, and social media monitoring tools.
When it comes to handling complaints, it is worth considering both tools:
- enabling the customer to self-service (knowledge bases, Q&A lists, discussion forums, communities), using prepared scenarios (e.g. chatbots, automated application forms)
- requiring interaction with a specialist (e.g. call center, chat).
It is also necessary to take into account in the process various forms of handing over the product to the service and collecting it again by the customer after performing the necessary actions. In this regard, as in the case of ordinary delivery, several options should be prepared, each of which will be characterized by equal availability.
I mentioned earlier about apps and customer cards as one of the potential tools to identify a specific consumer. The possibilities related to relationship building mechanisms are much wider, they can, for example, encourage taking ambassador activities, motivate more frequent purchases or increase the value of the basket. Well-designed and automated loyalty mechanisms increase not only purchasing commitment but also deepen the relationship between the consumer and the brand.
Conclusion: Customer Journey in Omnichannel
The customer journey in omnichannel is a complex and ever-evolving process. With the rise of digital technology, customers now have access to more information and choices than ever before. This has led to a shift in the way customers interact with brands, with many now using multiple channels to research, compare, and ultimately purchase products. In order to create a seamless customer experience, businesses must first understand the various touchpoints that customers may encounter along their journey. This includes online channels such as websites and social media platforms, as well as physical stores and customer service interactions. By mapping out the customer journey, businesses can identify any gaps or areas where their processes may fall short. This information can then be used to develop strategies that help create a more seamless and cohesive customer experience, ultimately leading to increased sales and customer loyalty. In Think Beyond we design all the above issues (as well as many others reflecting the needs) at the level of consumer path analysis and automate thanks to the use of appropriate tools available in the pool of solutions prepared by Salesforce.