How to create a consistent cross channel customer experience

With digital innovation at its peak, customer expectations have increased. Customers look for a consistent experience whether they use a preferred channel or switch between different channels, in their purchase journey. With this in mind, it has become crucial for businesses to offer a seamless and consistent customer experience across different channels to increase brand awareness and achieve a higher conversion.

Customer experience today is a top priority for businesses. Being mobile, customers demand services from a range of touchpoints, like smartphones, computers, social media and retail kiosks. They enjoy the freedom of starting the buying process from any touchpoint, doing the research from anywhere they like and finally buying the product anytime, using any device. Through it all, customers expect the journey to be personalised, providing them with all the answers as they jump from one channel to another.

According to Forrester’s research, 95% of customers use three or more channels for a single service interaction, with 62% using more than one device. However, an Accenture research found that 65% of customers were frustrated with inconsistent experiences across channels.

To provide consistent and personalized customer experiences, companies need a solution that

  • Connects all brand interactions irrespective of the channel that customers are using

  • Drives integrated marketing campaigns that engages and persuades customers to buy

  • Adapts the displayed products according to the type of device the customer is using

  • Personalises search results

  • Provides tools like recommendations and knowledge management capabilities to help customer make the right buying decision

  • Keeps the customer interested and engaged beyond the initial transaction

  • Helps to build long-term customer loyalty

There are different methods that can be used to provide a consistent customer experience, irrespective of the channel they choose. Here are some tips that can be included in a strategy when designing a cross-channel experience to boost engagement, conversions, and loyalty.

  • Locating the customers and connecting

    This is an important step in the cross-channel building process – building a presence on the channels where the customers visit frequently. Next is to develop a communications strategy to efficiently interact with customers. Merging the cross-channel communications with a single platform helps to stay on top of all customer queries.

  • Following brand voice guidelines

    Irrespective of the channel, the brand voice and characteristics should be consistent and prominent in all communications. Staff should be trained to always maintain the brand voice when interacting with customers and go beyond customer expectations. This will build brand loyalty, increase profitability and directly boost the company’s ROI. It helps to recognise and reward high-value customers.

  • Customer Focused

    The challenge usually is to design different channels in a way to provide one seamless experience for the customer, without losing focus of the business objectives. For this, it is important to map the customer journey with user research and work towards improving the journey.

    This means unifying customer interactions across all channels and delivering customised content and offers. This also enables companies to create a rich customer profile by combining profile information, transactional data, social interactions, etc, to create a rich customer profile and offer a dynamic, personalised experience for the customer.

  • Channel specific characteristics

    Consistency across channels does not need all channels to be copies of each other. Every channel or device with its characteristics and opportunities have its own target audience and the designs should be an extension of the particular channel. So, while the overall message should be consistent, it is important to adapt it to characteristics of individual channels to keep the message powerful.

  • Complementary functionalities

    A cross-channel user experience design is powerful when different channels and devices complement each other. There are things that are possible on one channel but not on another. With the same message and the same visual branding across channels, it is a successful cross channel campaign only if the channels are communicating with each other and complementing each other’s activity.

    It is important to personalise the journey by delivering targeted promotions on the basis of a customer’s immediate inquiry, profile and history, consistently across all channels.

Finally, it is vital to guarantee the same experience across all channels to ensure customer loyalty and business growth. While it is understood that the bigger a company grows, the more difficult it gets to stay consistent across all channels, a strategic approach with people and processes in line will ensure a lead over the competition with the ultimate customer experience delivered.