Before the internet, buyer journeys were simple and straightforward. A customer hears about a product through word-of-mouth, or perhaps through print advertising. They then go into a brick-and-mortar retailer to make a purchase.

Today’s tech-savvy consumers go through a much more complex journey. Before making a purchase, they may interact with a business through a variety of channels, like websites, social media marketplace, teleshopping, targeted ads, etc. And they expect a consistent experience across these channels.

If the communication channels you offer are not in sync, you run a risk of your customers facing a ‘broken’ or inconsistent experience, causing precious leads to fall through the cracks.

This is where an omnichannel strategy helps.

Let's dive in.

Omnichannel CRM

What is Omnichannel

 

What is Omnichannel?

The prefix “omni” means “all” or “every kind”, so “omnichannel” literally means “all channels”. An omnichannel sales or marketing strategy involves multiple customer touchpoints (email newsletters, social media ads, etc.) or purchase channels (online stores, brick-and-mortar stores, or third-party sellers). 

An omnichannel customer experience is about offering a customer seamless experience by connecting multiple channels into a single buyer journey. 

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel

 

Omnichannel strategies are customer-focused, not channel-focused. They use multiple complementary methods to drive the customer towards a purchase decision.

While multichannel sales may seem similar to omnichannel sales, the two are not exactly the same. 

Both involve selling to customers across different channels. However, multichannel is a more general term, while omnichannel sales refers to a specific type of highly integrated strategy.

In multichannel sales or marketing, each of the channels—social media, website, brick and mortar—is siloed, having little or no connection with the other channels. On the other hand, in omnichannel, the sales channels are connected to deliver an unbroken, integrated experience to the customer. 

Omnichannel vs Multichannel

For example, a multichannel sales strategy might involve offering the customer the choice of shopping at either a brick-and-mortar store or an online store. But an omnichannel strategy would take this a step further. A customer who walks into a  brick-and-mortar store might be served geo-targeted advertisements on their phone after they leave. Later, this might lead them to engage and shop at the company’s online store. This is how companies that have an in-depth understanding of customer behavior can integrate their sales and marketing strategies across channels. 

 

Laura Simis, Digital Marketing Manager at Hum, explains the difference between multichannel and omnichannel strategies with an analogy: “It's like a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle is not a square. An omnichannel strategy uses multiple channels, but not all multi-channel strategies are omnichannel.”

In Simis’ opinion, omnichannel strategies may be the best choice for brands that have the resources to execute them successfully.

 

“As consumers use more channels and shop on multiple devices, brands that are executing an omnichannel strategy to put the customer experience first are going to have an advantage—but an omnichannel approach can be difficult to implement and maintain.”

She adds,  “You need the people, time, and processes to be active and effective on the channels where your audience spends their time. You need to be able to align products, sales and marketing, customer support, and customer success towards your goals, and have a firm understanding of who your audience is and what they need throughout their journey.”

How an Omnichannel CRM Can Help Your Business

 

Managing multiple channels is essential for businesses operating in the digital era, but it isn’t always easy. It can be challenging to keep track of customer actions across various marketing and sales channels. However, today’s companies must create a fully integrated strategy or else risk losing customers through inconsistent messaging.

Misalignment between channels can lead to mistakes and missed opportunities. To align different departments and build a successful omnichannel strategy, it’s key to have all your information centralized in one place. 

A CRM platform can help you organize and centralize your data. The all-in-one CRM omnichannel software will act as a single source of truth, connecting all your customer experiences in one place. You’ll have a 360° view of the customer, enabling you to deliver a personalized customer experience and drive conversions.

Using an omnichannel CRM solution will also make things easier for your sales and marketing staff, allowing them to stay on the same page and avoid conflicts. 

Web forms

One key component of a digital omnichannel strategy is web forms. Many businesses use web forms to capture leads, sometimes through a lead magnet (for example, a free ebook). Keeping track of these leads is essential, so they can later be nurtured through an email newsletter or a sales team follow-up.
With an omnichannel CRM, you can ensure these website visitors never slip through cracks in your system. By connecting your website to the CRM, you can

  • Design visual and intuitive web forms without needing a web designer or developer
  • Automatically capture lead information into the CRM
  • Auto-enrich your leads’ profiles, so your sales team can better understand and engage with them successfully
Web forms

Live Chat

Live chat allows you to engage your website visitors by delivering intuitive messages at exactly the right time, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Chatbots can help you automate marketing, sales, and support tasks, streamlining your process and decreasing your costs. Using chatbots, you can automatically:

  • Trigger messages after specific customer actions
  • Engage in intuitive conversations with website visitors
  • Guide users on your product to drive adoption, monitor usage, and reduce churn
  • Route chats to the correct sales or customer support team for quick and easy resolutions
live chat

Telephony

Many omnichannel CRMs offer in-built telephony software. This helps businesses monitor their team’s performance on sales calls, without having to shift tabs or use separate software for calling. Sales reps will be empowered to:

  • Route calls: Direct support related issues for existing customers to the support team
  • Record and log calls: Sales reps can listen over their sales calls again and make improvements to their pitch
  • Connect with mobile app: An omnichannel CRM with a mobile app also allows sales reps to easily take calls from anywhere
telephony

Email

Sales teams frequently use email to communicate with customers. It’s helpful for a CRM to offer 2-way email sync, so these emails can be accessed directly from the CRM. Omnichannel CRMs can also help sales reps:

  • Send out campaign emails instantly using well-crafted emails templates
  • Reach prospects at the right time with scheduled and automated emails
  • Increase the open and click rates with email performance metrics
2 way email sync

Website and CRO

Finally, businesses can use an omnichannel CRM to get the most from their website. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is the process of analyzing how visitors are interacting with your website and using this knowledge to increase your number of conversions. An omnichannel CRM can help with many different aspects of CRO. These include:

Landing Pages

Landing pages are the best way to get the word out about your campaigns, attract leads and boost conversions. Many omnichannel CRMs offer drag-and-drop builders to help you easily create landing pages automatically, without needing a web designer or developer. Ideally, these landing pages should also be mobile-responsive, since mobile devices now account for over half of global website traffic.

Heatmaps

Have you ever wondered how visitors are interacting with your website—where they’re clicking, tapping, and scrolling? A heatmap, provided by an omnichannel CRM, can tell you just that. You can use heatmaps to understand your visitors better, identify any usability roadblocks they may be facing, and optimize your pages for conversions

A/B Testing

To optimize your landing pages for success, you’ll need to understand what’s working and what isn’t. That’s where A/B testing comes in. With an omnichannel CRM, you can create different versions of your landing pages and test them against one another. This way, you’ll be able to test customer interactions on each of these pages and create maximum impact. You can also use the CRM to optimize for revenue, target different segments of your audience, and understand how your tests are performing in detail.

Complete the Circle with Omnichannel Integration

 

A professional CRM system will enable you to seamlessly share data across different departments. To execute your omnichannel strategy and boost customer engagement, your marketing, sales, and customer support teams all need to have access to the same information.

 

Marketing Automation

You can help break down sales and marketing silos by offering both departments a unified view of your customers. Aligning sales and marketing pays off! Organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions have 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher sales win rates. And businesses without highly aligned teams are twice as likely to experience a revenue decline.

An omnichannel CRM is a great tool to help you align your sales and marketing functions. It provides a single source of truth for both teams to consult for information on leads and customers.

With an omnichannel CRM, both teams will be able to:

  • Understand what resources and marketing materials your leads view before entering your sales funnel
  • Increase the MQL to SQL ratio by having contextual conversations with sales leads, based on their prior engagement with the marketing team
  • Gain visibility into the status of MQLs and SQLs
  • Easily find upsell and cross-sell opportunities


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Helpdesk

Not only is it important to align marketing with sales, it’s also important for both these departments to collaborate closely with customer support.

Sales and marketing staff have a very in-depth view of customer needs, pain points, and use cases. Customer support staff often lack this essential context. By helping support agents understand the requirements of the customers, they will better be able to resolve customer issues. On the other hand, sales reps can also benefit from access to customer support information, which can help them develop upsell and cross-sell strategies.

An omnichannel CRM can enable you to achieve this outcome. By integrating your CRM system with your customer support system, you’ll give your support agents complete context about a customer’s requirements, as stated on the contact landing page. All departments will have access to the same customer contact information, as well as support details and marketing/sales data. 

 

Customer Success Tools

By integrating your omnichannel CRM with your customer success tools, you’ll have visibility into customer satisfaction - whether they're happy or likely to churn soon. This can help your teams understand customer loyalty, and how you can strengthen the relationship to boost customer retention.

 

Key Takeaways

By implementing an omnichannel strategy, every department will have access to the same centralized customer data, leading to more efficiency, and better results. With an omnichannel CRM system, you can break the silos and empower every department to truly personalize the customer journey.

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