Creating the best omnichannel customer experience is now what customers expect.
While customers may not realize what they’re looking for is referred to as omnichannel experience, the seamless nature of modern shopping transcends the customer-retailer boundary.
Unfortunately, creating an experience that blends every channel is still difficult for companies.
According to Retail Customer Experience, “companies often struggle to get to the root of the difference between omnichannel and multichannel customer service. True omnichannel grows from a tacit acknowledgment of modern customer service expectations. In a mobile world where people are always on the run, customers need options: Where email works for one context, chat works for another, and phone for yet another.”
As a result, shippers, 3PLs, and logistics service providers (LSPs) need to know a few tips to improve the omnichannel experience.
Enable Real-Time Inventory Visibility
Real-time inventory visibility is perhaps one of the most obvious ways to improve omnichannel experiences.
Without real-time inventory data, companies cannot fulfill the cross-channel purchases and help customers stay informed. Omnichannel is about giving customers options right now, not tomorrow.
So, implementing real-time inventory management systems that consider the whole network of inventory is key to success.
Give Customers Multiple Shipping or Fulfillment Options
Another factor to consider involves shipping options.
Remember your omnichannel customers expect to have items delivered anywhere, while still also having the ability to see the physical items in brick-and-mortar stores. The variety of buy online, pick up in-store and ship-to-home make managing omnichannel more challenging.
Thus, companies should focus on creating a diverse fulfillment strategy that leverages brick-and-mortar locations as order fulfillment centers—capable of handling in-store, online, and blended fulfillment as needed.
Address Customer Experience Complaints Immediately
Customers expect a resolution to any issue immediately. However, the omnichannel customer experience is not solely reliant on one form of communication: email, chat, or in-person service.
Customers want to choose how they connect with the store. Retailers must implement multi-faceted service strategies that consider the variety of communication channels. Take advantage of online resources to boost chat customer service—including the use of robotics process automation (RPA) to “talk” through issues by chatbots.
Meanwhile, automation within inbound freight management can handle your complaints to suppliers and manufacturers too.
Offer Personalized Options for Certain Products
Personalized service is the key to successful omnichannel customer experience.
Customers want personalized options for certain products—ranging from color through size and beyond. The level of personalization depends on the product. For instance, apparel sizes can vary widely, and the ability to view colors can only go so far on an online device.
The key to success lies in building those personalized experiences. Use augmented reality, custom options, increased visibility into manufacturing capabilities, and other tools to keep customers in the know.
Connect Supply Chain Systems to Give Omnichannel Customers Access to the Widest, Most Informed Selection of Products
The whole supply chain is a living organism. It needs to work together to deliver on its purpose—pleasing customers and maintaining profitability.
Connecting all systems also yields the biggest opportunity to catch customers. This must include a level of self-service customer service options.
As reported by McKinsey & Company, “to understand what such companies got wrong in their omnichannel strategies, one needs to look no further than digital leaders. For example, some companies built self-service and e-care capabilities, but with a key difference. Because self-service has thus far largely proven inadequate—that is, customers still often seek out a live agent on the phone—[a major e-commerce reseller] steers customers to the channels that are best suited to their preferences while also offering digital live interactions and company-initiated contact.”
More information means access to a larger product selection and less risk of ordering the wrong product or creating an upset customer.