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Six Behaviors of an Omni-Channel Customer

Posted Jan 7, 2015
In today's retail environment, the buzz word is "omni-channel", where a business provides a seamless customer experience on all channels their customers use, as if each touchpoint is part of one whole interaction with the customer.

Although the customer's expectations are the same across the board, regardless of what channel, customer behavior is different for each channel. The interaction you provide should be adjusted accordingly, while keeping the same level of personalization and knowledge of customer data.

Below are six ways that customers behave, depending upon the channel they're using.

1.  Product researching is mostly done via smartphones because it can be done while on-the-go, waiting in line, in the store, or any time the urge strikes. Neilsen’s “Mobile Path to Purchase” study found that 42% of consumers rely exclusively on mobile devices for pre-purchase research. Now, obviously people don't want to go in too deeply with information while on their mobile device, but they want the most pertinent facts and they need to access them easily. So streamline their research with automated guides that are easy to tap and find (larger buttons, simpler layout). Furthermore, turn those browsers into buyers by making the check-out process easier with fewer taps.

2.  Smartphone users have that always-on mentality. Keep that in mind as you implement an online experience that caters to the mobile mindset. For a deeper look into the instant gratification psyche of a smartphone shopper, go here.

3.  How do you call customer service while shopping on your smartphone? While it can be done, it's a confusing concept for most people to be simultaneously online and on the phone, on the same device. It might be easier for the customer to wrap their head around the concept of an online chat with customer service. Equip your mobile site with a mobile chat solution that enables the customer to see your web page and the chat session at the same time. (Hint: place a click-to-chat button on the bottom right corner of the screen - prime real estate for mobile.)

4.  More customers make purchases on tablets than on smartphones. The larger the screen, the more likely they are to buy. So make your checkout process tablet-friendly. (Tablets are mobile devices, so this means streamlined!)

5.  Large-purchase customers save their transactions for desktop. There’s something about the size of a traditional PC that says “security”. These consumers will more likely have questions or concerns while making the decision to make their large purchase. With that in mind, equip your contact center with live online chat agents that can walk customers through the process and increase customer satisfaction.

6.  Customers who CALL are usually looking for immediate interaction in order to find solutions. Unfortunately, they will be quickly reminded that they'll be put on hold to wait their turn. Show these customers a more efficient way to get answers. While you have them on the phone, take them through an online tutorial through the self-service guides or point them to your click-to-chat button that will immediately put them in touch with a live agent for their next visit.

Of course, these behaviors may vary from one company to another, depending on the nature of the product or service. Study your customers and find out how their online behavior influences the way they buy on each channel. The more you know, the more you grow.