The consumer's buying journey is no longer linear: it’s “omnichannel”. From in-store purchases to unified commerce, merchants need to adapt: today, your customers interact with you through a multitude of contact points.
Are you sure you are taking full advantage of all your communication channels? Too many brands still view customer services as nothing more than cost centers.
This is why Axialys, a cloud telephony software provider, works with the best CRM and payment tools to optimize your revenue.
In this article, discover how to build a complete, seamless, and efficient omnichannel purchasing experience.
Understanding the omnichannel buyer’s journey
What is an omnichannel buyer’s journey?
The buyer’s journey is evolving to better fit the multichannel behaviors of consumers. Creating an omnichannel purchasing experience means merging all the sales channels the customers use: in-store, website, marketplace, mobile application, social networks, MO/TO… but it also encompasses the elements of the buyer’s journey that influence customer satisfaction and loyalty. Therefore, it includes payment and delivery methods, as well as return and refund options.
Let's take the example of someone whose interest in a product or brand is piqued due to an advertisement on a social network. The consumer visits the brand's website to look for the product. They may even create an account to bookmark items or add them to their shopping cart, but that's as far as it goes. It is only a few days later, with their smartphone, that they place their order with the Click-and-Collect feature.
Why choose an omnichannel shopping experience?
According to Shopify’s “Future of Commerce” 2022 study, 54% of consumers notice products in-store and order them online afterward. Conversely, 53% will scout the web first before purchasing in a local shop. The same report reveals that 49% of consumers say they are more likely to buy a product if they know they can order it online and return it in-store. Indeed, the omnichannel approach brings greater flexibility and convenience to consumers. They can easily interact with retail and e-commerce companies, or seamlessly move from one channel to another. The challenge for merchants is to create a coherent and simple customer experience to maximize sales.
These multiple interactions require information that is standardized and easily accessible, as well as a seamless buyer’s journey. You could take advantage, for example, of a single CRM software to centralize all of your teams’ data, or a stock management software connected to every business tool (PoS solutions, call center software, etc.) to avoid any error. Out-of-stock items lead to frustration, and push 46% of customers towards other brands or websites (Commerce Trends 2023 Report, Shopify).
The importance of a quality customer service
Using customer service to attract sales
With AI and the digitization of customer interactions, it is crucial to maintain the human and emotional factors. Customers, even online or “connected”, still seek human contact. Indeed, the quality of the customer experience greatly influences the purchasing process, whether it is to learn more about a product, save it for later, or to make a purchase. The latest results from BVA’s Observatoire des Services Clients 2022 for the Election of Customer Service of the Year are quite revealing:
- 49% of French people will try to reach remote contact centers before going to a point of sale,
- On average, they use 3.7 different channels before successfully joining a customer relation center,
- 58% of French people still contact customer services by phone, despite the rise in use of emerging channels (chatbots, mobile messaging, social networks),
- Finally, for 91% of them, the quality of customer relations influences their choice to proceed with the purchase or not.
Optimizing customer relations over the phone with Axialys
While digital channels are often perceived as “cold”, telephony is the channel of emotions. Our voice allows us to recreate the human experience we have in-store: warm welcomes, active listening, empathy, customized advice, etc.
The telephone creates a unique and privileged relationship, provided you avoid irritating incidents, such as:
- having to wait too long to speak to an advisor,
- feeling like an anonymous number,
- misdirected customers or the lack of an exchange history, forcing customers to repeat what they said,
- basic, non-appropriate information that does not meet the customer's specific needs.
How can we avoid these issues?
Axialys’ voice communication solutions allow companies to create environments that can more easily lead to customized interactions and strengthened emotional bonds. The call center software’s features reduce the waiting time of customers, and automatically redirects them to specific queues, based on information they have provided to the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system (reason for calling, VIP status, etc.). This is called ACD, for “automatic call distribution”. In addition, the brand can be open about the estimated waiting time. If necessary, it can offer callback solutions or transfer the customer to another channel (“call deflection”). This way, it can consider the omnichannel dimension of customer relations, and rely on other features, such as self-help ones (chatbot, dynamic Q&A, callbot, virtual assistants).
Axialys, expert in VoIP telephony, has built an ecosystem of partners who focus on these other channels. APIs or CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) connectors enable integration with all business tools. This means each advisor can have their own call interface, and an automatic feed with the customer's history directly implemented into the CRM software. The telephone advisor is then able to provide what the customer wants in a more effective way.
Simplifying payments with HiPay
Payment-related challenges in an omnichannel buyer’s journey
As mentioned before, a good omnichannel buyer’s journey must be simple and flexible. However, these expectations have also reached the payment methods, and it has become a real challenge for brands to streamline transactions by synchronizing payment data across all channels. They need to manage online orders with Click-and-Collect, as well as in-store refunds for internet orders. Similarly, with digital and telephone payments, managing fraud risks or sensitive data leakage is a real issue. Companies need to comply with PSD2 standards without overcomplicating the buyer’s journey. According to the LSA study for HiPay, 67% of consumers say the lack of personal data protection is the main obstacle to a purchase. On the other hand, 2 out of 3 customers have already abandoned a purchase because of the cumbersome 3-D Secure protocol.
HiPay, the omnichannel payment platform
Thanks to its secure platform, HiPay provides merchants with the means to create a seamless experience for the customer: it’s way more than just a transaction.
HiPay integrates 220 payment methods, including:
- credit card payments (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, etc.), which are the most popular with customers,
- e-wallets, such as PayPal,
- mobile payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay.
In addition, the current inflation episode directly impacts the purchasing power of the French population. As a result, consumers think twice before purchasing.
So, how do merchants using HiPay’s solutions manage to reduce the volume of abandoned baskets? Well, they offer more flexible payment methods, such as:
- payments in installments to spread out the costs, including the “3x payment without fees” option,
- deferred payments, useful to make the best out of promotional periods (sales, Black Friday, etc.).
By including Axialys and HiPay in your omnichannel strategy, you can guide your customers throughout their purchasing experience and provide customized support. This complete overview of their journey can increase your sales: the data collected by your agents over the phone or your omnichannel payment platform help you learn more about their habits and needs. This creates opportunities for additional sales and for building customer loyalty.