Today’s customer journeys are complex. As customers make their way through their interactions and tasks by engaging in a variety of touchpoints – both offline and online – companies are finding it increasingly difficult to deliver a seamless multi-touch experience.
We explored this topic at our recent webinar “3 Rules for Optimizing Cross-Touchpoint Journeys” with guest speaker Tony Costa from Forrester, Inc.
Offline and online customer touchpoints are blending, making the distinction irrelevant in today’s context. For example, 51% of consumers start researching their purchase options online but end up purchasing in-store; 17% visit a store first and then purchase online; and 32% go back and forth where they might search online, then go to a store to view the product, and then return online or even make another trip to the store to purchase the product.1
“It’s how we integrate and manage the transitions across online and offline transactions that are key to making it a holistic and seamless experience for customers,” shared Tony. “We tend to think about experiences as being a clean process, which you designed from top-down of how go through the experience, but the reality is customers are stitching together different touchpoints to meet their needs in the moment for the specific task or goal at hand.”
Unfortunately, few companies have a good understanding of their customers’ interactions and many fail to integrate touchpoints across channels – and customers expect these touchpoints to be integrated. “This is a problem because 68% of customers in the US and UK said they expect the information they give an organization at one place to be available in another one2,” said Tony.
Hear Tony explain in this 4-minute video the issues that many companies experience when they don’t integrate their various customer touchpoints.
Essentially, customers see the companies they interact with as a single entity and they expect them to behave that way. When companies fail to support this perception, it creates a few issues:
- It forces customers to use a specific channel or touchpoint in a way they don’t want. It requires customers to tailor their behavior, making it difficult and inconvenient.
- It interrupts customer progress by requiring them to constantly repeat themselves (e.g., when they call and speak to various company representatives who don’t have access to their call history). This can come across to customers as being disrespectful of their time and effort.
- It degrades brand value and negatively impacts customers’ perceptions of the company. Companies run the risk of losing their customers – and revenue.
How do your customers perceive you – as a single entity offering a seamless experience or as siloed and disjointed leaving them unfulfilled? Read our next blog to find out how to overcome these issues with three rules for building cross-touchpoint experiences.
1 Source: Ipsos OTX/Google 2012 Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey Wave 1: (Q11). In which of the following ways do you think you’ll approach your Holiday shopping?
2 Source: “The Autonomous Customer 2013,” BT and Avaya, February 2013