The misconception of omnichannel

By Anders Björklund

The misconception of omnichannel

A few years ago, I was frequently asked about my thoughts on omnichannel. The other day, a friend asked, "Why are you against us using the term 'omnichannel'?" referring to a previous meeting where I had expressed my desire for them to discontinue using that phrase.

What is omnichannel?

When our friend asked me, I googled the definition of omnichannel. I got answers like: 'Omnichannel is a cross-channel content strategy companies use to improve user experience'. Another phrasing was: 'Companies use of omnichannel contends that a customer values the ability to engage with a company through multiple avenues simultaneously'. I need clarification on what this means and question the logic of the formulations.

Just packaging by IT companies 

IT companies also market their software and consulting services using the term " omnichannel. " Typically, omnichannel is portrayed as a formidable technological hurdle presented to give customers a sense of novelty. The implication is that if these companies only possessed the correct platform, tools, and customer data, they could foster more profound and more meaningful relationships with their customers.

My advice

Customer expectations, engagement, and satisfaction are typically straightforward. Customers would like a quick response, convenience, informed assistance, and amicable service. Furthermore, they determine the timing, location, and party involved.

A customer's reasoning for maintaining a relationship with your company is often overlooked. Please ascertain what the benefits for them are and invest effort in your approach to them. Can your company exceed being purely transactional, unlike many others?

Technology is increasingly becoming a fundamental requirement. Both prospective and existing customers anticipate being able to interact with your company via their chosen channels and trust points. They expect a seamless experience across these channels and trust points. Failure to meet their desires or inability to remember them - despite having their data stored legally - can result in substantial frustration.

Like many others, your company likely has significant work to meet these basic expectations. External marketers and salespeople frequently discuss the delivery of omnichannel customer experiences with you. Nonetheless, much of the actual implementation is multi-channel or cross-channel at best.

Your company is present across various channels and trust points, and I am confident that the experience is fragmented. Many companies suffer from disjointed customer engagement channels due to numerous legacy silos that don't communicate with each other. B2B businesses need help synchronising their channels and trust points based on customer knowledge, hindering consistent, seamless experiences.

Even in a world where companies manage to bridge the technology gap, authentic customer engagement is still a reward to be earned. Customers aren't concerned about their placement within a company's marketing and sales funnel. They expect and seek personalised, effortlessly simple, and relevant experiences.

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Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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