How to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience

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How to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience

Omnichannel customer experience is critical — here’s how to improve CX across both physical and digital touchpoints.

The customer’s journey is no longer confined within the walls of physical stores or bound by the limits of digital platforms. Today, both these worlds have converged, creating an omnichannel customer experience, a combination of digital and physical touchpoints that consumers interact with before completing a purchase. According to McKinsey, over 50% of consumers engage with three to five different channels across their customer journeys before finalizing their purchase — whether that’s by browsing a brand’s website or app before heading to the store for curbside pickup or completing the transaction in person. That’s why figuring out how to improve the omnichannel customer experience is a competitive advantage across industries — one that sets apart leading organizations from the rest.

In this post, we’ll share three key strategies to elevate your omnichannel customer experience, backed by Medallia research, McKinsey, and Gartner, and real-world best practices from leading brands like Walgreens, Rent-A-Center, UMB, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Advantages of Establishing an Omnichannel Approach

Before diving into the strategies, let’s first understand why an omnichannel approach is crucial for businesses looking to enhance their customer experience.

1. Stronger Revenue Growth

A Medallia Institute study of CX leaders finds that CX leaders are 2.55x more likely to prioritize creating frictionless cross-channel experiences and 2.73x more likely to prioritize managing human and digital interactions across channels — and there’s clear ROI for those that focus on these tactics. CX leaders are also 26x more likely than laggards to experience year-over-year revenue growth of 20% or more.

2. Efficiency in Time and Cost Savings

Brands like Walgreens are achieving operational efficiencies and cost savings by using AI and customer data from across sources to analyze and optimize omnichannel experiences. 

In addition, unified customer experience orchestration platforms that work seamlessly across channels help organizations optimize the cost of serving customers. Plus, some of the other benefits of omnichannel customer experience orchestration include reducing marketing spend by determining which campaigns are effective at advancing customer journeys (and which aren’t). 

3. Enhanced Insight into Customer Interactions

An omnichannel approach allows businesses to gain a better understanding of their customers by analyzing data from every interaction. This invaluable insight can help provide a holistic view of the customer journey, pinpoint opportunities for improvement, drive personalization efforts, and more.

4. Amplified Brand Strength

When customers have a consistent experience across all channels, they are more likely to develop trust and loyalty towards a brand. A strong omnichannel strategy can enhance brand perception, leading to increased customer satisfaction, retention, and advocacy.

5. Improved Experiences for Staff Members

An omnichannel approach not only benefits customers but also staff members. With access to a best-in-class omnichannel customer experience management platform and omnichannel contact center solutions, employees can provide consistent and efficient experiences and service across all channels, leading to higher job satisfaction and productivity.

3 Ways to Improve the Omnichannel Customer Experience

 #1. Collect and Analyze Customer Feedback Across Channels

Collecting and analyzing customer feedback across the channels where individuals are engaging with your brand — from digital touchpoints to in-person interactions — will offer insights into how you can improve the omnichannel customer experience. 

Consumers were engaging in hybrid shopping behaviors — interacting with both digital and physical touchpoints with companies along their buying journeys — prior to the pandemic. That said, the consumer behavior trend has only increased in frequency and complexity since then, and it appears to be here to stay. The latest 2024 consumer trends reveal that omnichannel journeys are the new normal.

The buying behavior of B2B customers has also become more omnichannel, with a shift towards digital resources like business websites. Gartner has found that B2B buyers rely on a mix of personal interactions (such as product demos) and digital resources (like reading product documentation guides) to make software purchase decisions. 

Managing this new reality of the omnichannel customer experience across B2C and B2B journeys requires the right infrastructure and synchronization of data across internal systems. Per Medallia’s research cited above, customer experience leaders are more likely to undertake this practice compared to laggards.

 Spotlight: Rent-A-Center

Capturing omnichannel customer experience feedback and insights along the customer journey, across in-store, online, mobile, and customer support channels, is a strategy Rent-A-Center, a leader in the United States rent-to-own industry, has put into practice. And it’s paying off, too. Since implementing this approach, the company has seen NPS® increase by 54% and customer growth jump by 19%.

#2. Increase the Quality and Consistency of Customer Support Experiences

Customer support is a critical part of the overall customer experience, one that impacts long-term customer loyalty. According to a Medallia Market Research study, more than half of consumers say negative customer service experiences would impact their likelihood to recommend brands and 66% say negative experiences make them consider alternative products and services from competitors. 

Many brands recognize the value of investing in the customer service experience across channels, but not all. Ensuring consistency and quality in customer support is a top priority for over 65% of leading CX organizations, Medallia Institute researchers have found. 

In addition, contact centers challenges, such as hiring difficulties, high agent attrition rates, and workload issues, make it harder to maintain high service standards.

So what can contact center managers do to ensure customer service experience quality and consistency and help improve the omnichannel customer experience? Here are three steps they can take:

  1. Upskill contact center agents and make sure they have the technical skills and knowledge to address complex customer inquiries.
  2. Make sure that customers are using the right channels to address their support needs in a process called “right channeling.” While this approach leverages the omnichannel presence of the brand, it also ensures support experience quality by routing customers to the channel that is best suited to address their support needs.
  3. Ensure omnichannel support channels are fully integrated. Consumers use a mix of support channels — self-service as well as digital and physical channels — and expect a connected experience. Businesses that don’t deliver this lose out: Consumers find it frustrating to repeat themselves in multiple channels, and are likely to take their business elsewhere as a result.

Spotlight: UMB

It used to take the personal and commercial banking subsidiary of UMB Financial Corporation, UMB Bank, seven days to respond to 58% of customer issues. Since investing in the Medallia Contact Center Suite and leveraging our AI capabilities to improve the customer support experience across channels, the team has been able to resolve 95% of customer service issues within two days — resulting in a 15% increase in NPS®, a 20% increase in first-call resolution, and millions in cost savings.  

#3. Personalize the omnichannel customer experience

A 2023 Medallia study on how consumers feel about personalization finds that most customers (61%) are willing to spend more with companies that offer a customized experience — and even more (82%) say personalized experiences influence their brand choice at least half of the time when shopping. 

Companies that use customer feedback to personalize omnichannel customer experiences are able to:

  • Take targeted action relevant to specific customers and touchpoints along the customer journey.
  • Drive a culture of testing and innovation by listening to and acting upon customer feedback in real time.
  • Uncover key consumer insights and use these to foster meaningful connections that drive customer decision making and loyalty.

Investing in technologies that support personalized customer journeys is crucial, as Medallia Market Research has found that CX practitioners who self-rate their brands’ personalization capabilities the highest are 2x as likely to achieve major revenue growth (10%+) than brands that self-rate their capabilities lower.

Spotlight: Dick’s Sporting Goods

As part of their expansion into ecommerce, Dick’s Sporting Goods uses personalized customer feedback surveys to understand their customers’ digital experiences better. This practice has helped the company increase conversions and decrease exit and bounce rates

Measuring the Success of Your Omnichannel Strategy

To measure the success of your omnichannel strategy, it’s essential to monitor important customer experience metrics and  key performance indicators (KPIs) . Additionally, customer feedback plays a pivotal role in refining and improving your omnichannel initiatives. 

KPIs for Omnichannel Success

Monitoring KPIs, such as customer retention rates, conversion rates, and customer lifetime value, is crucial in gauging the success of your omnichannel strategy. These metrics provide an in-depth understanding of how well your initiatives are performing and are helpful in identifying areas for improvement. 

For instance, a high retention rate,  indicates satisfied customers and a n upward trend in conversion rates could indicate that changes you’ve made to improve the omnichannel experience are working.

Leveraging Customer Feedback

Feedback from customers is invaluable in shaping your omnichannel strategy. Using effective feedback collection methods, such as surveys, customer interviews, and social media listening, you can glean insights into customer preferences and pain points. Analyzing this feedback allows you to identify areas needing improvement, enabling you to continuously refine your strategy, optimize customer interactions, and ultimately, enhance the overall omnichannel experience.

Transform into a Leading Brand with the Best Omnichannel Customer Experience

Customers benefit from smoother experiences across online and offline channels, and businesses do, too.

According to the Forrester Consulting Total Economic Impact™ Study commissioned by Medallia, organizations that use Medallia’s customer experience management platform to optimize their omnichannel customer experience can achieve a sizeable $35.6M in value and an ROI of 591% over three years by using the platform’s customer experience insights to break down silos and drive product improvements, customer retention, NPS® scores, and contact center efficiencies.

Becoming a leading brand with top-notch experiences across physical and digital touchpoints isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the effort to make the transformation. Customers will embrace the seamless experience provided between channels, connecting them and your brand wherever and whenever they prefer. Ready to take your customer experience to the next level? Contact us to learn more or explore our features today!