Regardless of your target market, building omnichannel services is becoming an essential requirement for 2020 and beyond. It is no longer enough to simply have a website and a bricks-and-mortar store. Nor is it enough to use social media to showcase your products and then send customers to a marketplace like Amazon to buy them. Consumers don’t have time for inconvenience. So, if you’re not offering a seamless and enjoyable experience across your brand, you can expect your customers to move to a provider than can.
What Are Omnichannel Services?
Omnichannel services focus on ensuring that every touchpoint in your business offers a fantastic and seamless experience so that it all feels connected. From your physical shops to website, social media platforms to marketplaces, every interaction a consumer has with your business must be an enjoyable experience.
There are so many ways to describe omnichannel services such as seamless integration, contextual, overarching, sophistication, an ecosystem, in harmony or cohesive.
Ultimately, if you have one aspect of your customer experience that is working well, you need to ensure that all other touchpoints for your business offer that same level of excellent service.
The Demands Of Omnichannel
Due to its nature, omnichannel requires a wide range of skills and has a large number of processes. It is not enough to simply set up omnichannel services. From there, it requires constant maintenance and continual improvement to keep delivering what the customers want.
The ultimate goal is to create incredible experiences which deliver the emotional connections that consumers crave.
However, to achieve this, it requires almost every department in your business to work together. So, here are the essential skills that your business needs for each aspect of your omnichannel services.
In the beginning, you need a team of individuals who are enthusiastic about the future developments of omnichannel services and can think outside of the box for the direction of your business – from AI to automation.
Problem-solving and critical thinking are essential so that your strategists can remove hurdles and implement improved solutions throughout the process. Strong technical understanding is also a bonus, as it will help to build better relationships with the developers in the business.
In terms of experience, those with product management experience, especially with fulfilment technologies, will be highly sought after.
Market Research and Customer Service
To build effective omnichannel services, you need to know exactly where your customers are and where they want your services to be. This can require extensive market research as you look to have an in-depth understanding of your target market and detailed customer profile.
Those with customer service experience will also have an understanding of what customers need and want and how to implement this into your omnichannel services to deliver the best service experience possible.
Innovation and Product Development
This extensive department will need a huge range of technical skills as it is likely to comprise of key aspects such as;
- Architecture and system design
- User Interface and app development
- Agile prototype development
- User Experience (UX) developers
- AI and Technology Officers
- As well as experts in any systems and software you are currently deploying.
All of these skills are high-level technical skills that need to be balanced out with important soft skills such as communication, prioritisation, logic, problem-solving and teamwork. This team will largely be responsible for building a solution with a central hub and complete functionality. Furthermore, to be truly omnichannel, every aspect should be seamless, which means all of the team must work together to create a solution that is consistent across every platform.
Testers and Programmers
Ensuring a smooth and seamless experience is the major benefit of delivering omnichannel services. As such, you need the high-level team of software testers in place which can ensure your systems and solutions are ready to be launched. You’ll also need testers from a UX point of view to ensure you are delivering the three critical aspects of omnichannel: convenience, speed and experiences.
Omnichannel services need to remove challenges and inconveniences rather than create them. This is where your team of testers can help you to improve.
IT, Security and Privacy
While firms with customer data must have a Data Compliance Officer due to GDPR requirements, this aspect of omnichannel services really does require security and privacy experts due to the complexities of omnichannel services and the number of touchpoints that could lead to a breach.
With automation and AI soon becoming an essential part of omnichannel services, having the team who can ensure the ethics and security of such emerging technologies will be critical.
Finance And Legal
A significant aspect of omnichannel services is the fact you are offering consumers a number of different ways to pay for goods and services. From cash to credit card, PayPal and credit solutions such as Klarna or PayPal Credit. You may also accept cryptocurrencies and, of course, a variety of currencies from all over the world. There are also regional preferences of preferred payment which need to be addressed too.
Your finance team will need to ensure that you are giving customers the best payment options to suit their needs while ensuring your business has the processes in place to ensure every payment option you offer is safe, legally compliant and user-friendly.
With PPC, SEM, SEO, social media and PR to consider, your team need to excel in capturing data, tracking conversions and always delivering compelling target messaging. A key aspect of omnichannel services is to create a truly personalised service. This could be thanks to tailored onsite offers, for example.
Again, you need marketers that will look to future trends with their methods to ensure that your business is always a step ahead of competitors.
Supply Chain Management
With potential orders from a range of different touchpoints, your supply chain and logistics team need to be ready for every option. Furthermore, the demand for urgent deliveries will be something that will need continual review, to ensure you can get products to consumers as quickly as possible while also in the most environmentally friendly way.
Organisation skills and fulfilment strategists will help your team to become a success at omnichannel delivery.
With the broad nature of omnichannel services, it can help for businesses to look for candidates who have a varied background and that can bring experiences from a wide range of industries and departments to give your omnichannel services a cohesive strategy. Those who can easily build partnerships and connections will be essential in creating a strong team with a clear, consistent goal of creating the best customer experience across every platform.