It's Time To Get Serious About Continuity Of Experience! Let's Talk Omnichannel!
Let's face it, fragmented anything isn't good. It could be a broken cookie (yes the broken ones don't taste the same), a dropped baton during a relay race, or a disjointed movie plot; everyone appreciates a smooth transition and most consumers are starting to expect a contiguous experience from top brands; enter Omnichannel.
"Omnichannel is about true continuity of your experience. But what’s key is that it extends beyond a single brand’s universe. Being omniscient is perceiving and understanding all things. Not all things at Best Buy. Not all things at Target. Not all things at Gucci. Omni is perceiving all things. And the best way for a customer to perceive everything is to allow them to own their data and experience, then give them the ability to use it to guide creation and context of every future experience." - CloudTags
Marketing and Customer Experience is undergoing a colossal change, driven by the digital revolution, where customers are demanding better control and more seamless experiences across multiple modalities. In the past, operating multiple engagement channels at the same time was enough but today, those companies that pay special attention to the seamless handoff between these modalities (both online and offline) are sure to come out on top.
Driven by customer analytics, 2016 will be the year of Omnichannel where investment in continuity of experience across all facets of interaction is paramount; with a goal to interact with the customer as seamlessly as the life that they live.
By focusing on continuity, new opportunities to collect customer data abound and new ability to map the customer experience appear.
Julie Bernard, Group VP, Customer Centricity Direct Marketing & Loyalty at Macy's says, “We can now measure success in terms of the response of real people over time, in addition to measuring individual campaigns. We have enough data at the customer level to see how she interacts both online and in the store, so we can tailor messaging and offers to her appropriately by channel.”
By collecting and responding to the customer across each touchpoint will empower companies to more closely visualize and monitor the customer story and better tailor one to one experiences. Whether it's an online interaction, an in person purchase, or a little of both (think online event tickets and attendance in person), continuity is not only expected but critical to keeping tabs on the full customer story.
Many companies are taking it a step further and embracing new technologies, like iBeacons, that promise to further digitize and quantify the in person customer exchange, which translate into increased physical data collection opportunities and fuller deck of customer metrics.
With most companies offering a solid base of channels to engage the customer, the attention will be re-focused on continuity of experience and the transcendence of the brand. In the end, whether your customer engages with your brand online, in person, at your retail location, or a re-seller's location; you want to know about it, and the customer expects your brands quality, value, and tailored experience to follow.