Omnichannel engagement

Legendary omnichannel customer engagement: 3 brands that are doing it right


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    Kayleigh Karutis
  • Feb 23, 2021
TLDR

Countless companies struggle to grasp what omnichannel engagement even means, let alone provide it to their customers. Let’s look at a handful of organizations that are crushing it on the omnichannel front, and explore what omnichannel is—and isn’t—in today’s landscape.

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The data and trends are clear: companies need to provide an omnichannel customer experience if they want to succeed in 2020. 

Yet, countless companies struggle to grasp what omnichannel engagement even means, let alone provide it to their customers.

Let’s look at a handful of organizations that are crushing it on the omnichannel front, but first, we’ll explore what omnichannel is — and isn’t — in today’s landscape.

Omni- v. multi-channel engagement

Fundamentally, omnichannel means a multi-channel approach to customer engagement that is integrated. That means that whether they are interacting with your business on social media, your website, via an AI-powered chatbot, in-person at a brick and mortar store… their experience is seamless and connected, and they are recognized as the individual they are at each of those touchpoints and beyond.

A multi-channel customer experience, on the other hand, may include wonderful experiences at each of the touchpoints mentioned above, but they aren’t integrated and they don’t “talk” to one another, meaning your customer or user is getting a disjointed, disconnected experience when they jump from one channel to another.

All omnichannel customer engagement uses a variety of channels, but not all multi-channel experiences are also omnichannel. Your social strategy, marketing campaigns, and in-person agents at your store might all provide incredible experiences, but if they aren’t integrated and working together, you’re not omnichannel.

Three brands doing it right

Sephora

This make-up giant nails the omnichannel approach by providing a customer experience that feels (and indeed, is) truly customized to each unique customer.

With your user account, you can rack up points to be used online or in one of their expert-staffed brick and mortar stores; and no matter where you’re shopping, they’ll know who you are and be able to access your purchase history, preferences, point status, and more in the blink of a perfectly mascara’d eye.

Emails from the company highlight a customer’s points status and users can easily click into their customized email to learn more about what they can get with their points—and that doesn’t even include all the extra freebies the company offers loyal customers as their points go up.

Sephora connects its customers’ online purchases to in-store interactions like beauty makeovers and workshops and recommended buys for a seamless online-to-in-person experience. 

Their ‘Beauty Bag’ feature lets shoppers virtually ‘try on’ a new product for size, add them to their bag, and purchase it all with a click, and thanks to expedited shipping or “pick-up in store” options, you’ll have access to your goods in no time.

Speaking on the National Retail Federation’s Retail Gets Real podcast, Sephora’s EVP of Omni Retail Mary Beth Laughton said, “It’s about creating an attitude and a mindset around putting the consumer at the center of everything. We coined this term ‘omnitude’ and it’s this idea that we’ll do whatever we can to delight our consumer wherever she’s shopping with us.” 

ING

Banking and financial services providers face a unique challenge when it comes to omnichannel customer engagement.

They need to stay at the forefront of what customers demand, providing a seamless omnichannel experience that delights. That means facilitating “conversations” between platforms and channels, making it easy for a user to access their information when and where they need it, and to request help if need be.

But, they also need to provide the utmost security, ensuring user data is never compromised. It’s a tricky balance to nail, and ING continues to innovate to do just that.

They have partnered with leading providers (including Twilio!) to ensure customers can make payments via the method that works best for them, seamlessly and with a couple taps of their finger, thanks to ING’s mobile-first methodology.

Those mobile-wielding customers also receive meaningful, custom recommendations based on their spending habits; for example, a customer who buys a vacation package or flight via his or her ING account may get an offer for travel insurance from the global banking provider.

Customers can customize their accounts based on their unique spending habits and goals, and ING offers recommendations, tips, and insights based solely on each users’ unique data. They do this by enabling a global contact center that provides agents with a single pane of glass view of their customers; meaning that when a customer calls in, an agent can pull up their unique data in a single click. That makes for a seamless, delightful customer experience in an industry where relevancy and security must go hand in hand.

Disney

As a company that capitalizes on happiness, nostalgia, and magical moments, it makes sense that Disney as a brand would lead the way in omnichannel customer engagement, providing delight (custom to you!) at every turn.

To start, the entire Disney digital experience is mobile responsive and optimized to be used on every device; that’s huge in an age where customers will immediately bounce if they can’t easily navigate your site on their mobile device.

Say you plan to book a Disney resort visit. You can do so and then customize virtually every aspect of your trip, from park visits to resort stays to menu options, via the My Disney Experience tool.

Once in the park, you can find your favorite ride via their app, and even see if Space Mountain has too long a wait for you to easily make your 5 p.m. dinner reservation with Mickey.

Logistically, the company crushes it with its Magic Band program, allowing visitors to unlock their rooms, check-in to FastPass lanes and skip the line, and make every. single. purchase. when inside Disney properties with the band itself. It’s all integrated with custom messages, recommendations, and tips for getting the most out of your Disney experience. Take a bow, Disney: you’re doing omnichannel right.

That being said, you don’t have to be a massive brand like Disney, or a specialty retailer like Sephora, or a global banking provider like ING to provide your customers with delightful, exciting omnichannel engagement opportunities

We hosted a webinar on customer engagement best practices that are free and available on-demand. In it, you’ll learn tips for creating delightful, seamless experiences, no matter what size company you have, and the big no-nos that drives customers away.

Get the webinar on-demand now

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Kayleigh Karutis