What is Omnichannel Customer Experience?

Customer experience is how a customer feels about the customer service your company provides before, during and after a purchase or use of your product or service. It is the product of all interactions between a customer and a business over time.

Increasingly, omnichannel customer experience is becoming the norm. No longer do customers just expect to have an 800 number to call. Customers today expect to engage in omnichannel interactions with a business that may involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbots, SMS, messaging, social media, voice and other channels of communication. Omnichannel customer experience then is how a customer feels about interacting with a business across multiple channels.

In fact, research finds that Generation Z and Millennials have a clear preference towards next generation digital channels when communicating with companies. And, companies are starting to invest in supporting both agent-assisted as well as self-service digital channels. The highest growth is expected in the areas of messaging and artificial intelligence (AI) driven self-service, offering consumers more ways to connect with companies so they can select their channel of choice given the type of problem/issue to address.

Omnichannel is differentiated from multichannel in that a single contact center agent may manage the interaction across the various communication channels and, most importantly, the total experience is seamless and continuous as it moves across channels.

What does it take to excel at omnichannel customer experience?

The first thing companies need to do in order to excel at omnichannel customer experience is to embrace and support digital channels. Which channels you need to support—from SMS to WhatsApp to Facebook Messenger and more—depends on your customers. You may find age, geographic and other factors that dictate which channels are preferred.

Next, you should centralize management of all channels within your customer service organization. The trained customer facing employees in customer service are equipped to deliver exceptional customer experiences, so you want them managing the omnichannel customer experience across all channels.

As the contact center agent is the key customer facing employee, empower them with the tools to manage omnichannel interactions holistically and provide them the training to do so. You need to ensure that they have access to customer context and interaction history as they move across channels in support of customers.

Once the agents are fully enabled, you need to provide your customers with the ability to seamlessly move across voice, digital and messaging channels as they seek to engage with your company.

You’ll also need to ensure that you’re providing holistic omnichannel management across all contact center operations—ensuring that your workforce optimization, analytics and automation capabilities are all supporting your digital-first omnichannel initiatives.

How can NICE help deliver omnichannel customer experiences?

NICE CXone is the market leading omnichannel customer experience platform. It delivers the capabilities companies need to excel at consistently delivering exceptional customer experiences. It unifies omnichannel routing, workforce optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in a single cloud platform to empower companies to manage omnichannel interactions with their customers.