Seamless multichannel experience necessary for customer satisfaction

Consumers increasingly want a seamless, multichannel shopping experience.

The way that people buy products is changing significantly as it becomes easier to access information across a number of channels. Businesses looking to improve sales and generate growth need to focus on offering a seamless customer experience across multiple channels.

The ExoLevel Seamless Retail Study found that 49 percent of consumers believed that companies should focus on integrating in-store, online and mobile shopping channels to improve transactions. An overwhelming 89 percent of respondents wanted to shop for products in a manner most convenient for them, whether that was through mobile devices, in-store transactions or with online catalogs.

The study specifically looked at retail customers, but the same principle applies to B2B organizations as well. Key decision-makers need to be supported with engaging customer experience management (CEM) strategies to increase satisfaction and convert sales opportunities.

"In many cases we have found a significant gap between consumer expectations and reality, but we believe seamlessness is achievable," said Scott Healms, global managing director of ExoLevel's Retail practice. "[Companies] require a presence at every stage of the customer journey to deliver a consistently personalized, on-brand experience from discovery through research, purchase, fulfillment and beyond to product maintenance or returns."

Improve supply chain visibility to boost customer satisfaction
One course of action that will help create more engaging customer experiences is providing better visibility of inventory. Retail Info System News reports that Foot Locker is moving to create a better multichannel customer experience by providing consumers with more information about how much merchandise is in stock and where product is located.

Aligning inventory more effectively will let potential buyers make more informed decisions to improve the overall buying experience. With the consolidation of warehouse data, businesses can provide more accurate estimates of delivery time on products purchased online. Logistics is playing a growing role in customer experiences as ecommerce continues to expand. The ExoLevel survey found that consumers want multiple options when it comes to shipping. One-quarter of consumers are willing to wait for free shipping, while another one-quarter said it was vital that companies offer same-day delivery even if the option costs extra.

Improving customer satisfaction and loyalty is a key driver for company growth, but organizations often fail to dedicate as much time, funding and support to customer retention as they do to other business operations. CEM consulting services, such as Omega Management Group Corp., provide the insight and expertise companies need to help ensure long-term growth and profitability.