CX Roadmaps to Omnichannel Customer Engagement 

Key Takeaways from the Retail Bulletin Omnichannel Futures Summit

When we help clients improve their digital customer experience (CX) strategies, we often see a common problem: a lot of focus on top-line growth and not enough on the importance of customer service and engagement, especially in retail. The need to balance chasing sales with omnichannel customer engagement has never been more important to the industry.  

During a showcase panel at Retail Bulletin’s Retail Omnichannel Futures Summit, I was fortunate enough to address this topic and share the room with some brilliant thought leaders in the retail and CX space.   

We addressed some of the common pain points typically seen in retail as brands look to transform their digital CX strategies and shared a few factors that lead to a successful omnichannel customer engagement model.  

Here’s a breakdown of the thoughts and insights from the session, with some bonus takeaways that retailers of all sizes can consider.   

Organizational Alignment with Customer Service

Often, retail leaders responsible for e-commerce and top-line growth have a seat at the executive table, whereas those overseeing customer service do not. This discrepancy can lead to an undervaluation of the impact that overall customer satisfaction can have on business success.   

Successful retailers distinguish themselves by integrating digital CX strategies into their core operations, ensuring that both e-commerce and customer service receive equal attention and resources. These companies understand the importance of analyzing customer interactions to identify and eliminate non-value-adding tasks, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores.   

Takeaway: The direct correlation between high CSAT scores and increased revenue is undeniable and should serve as a compelling incentive for retailers to prioritize—or at least focus on better understanding—the value of CX from a top-down level.   

Leveraging Data for Omnichannel Customer Engagement

Through my observations and analysis of the industry in recent years, I’ve identified that the strategic employment of data stands as the pivotal element in a successful digital CX transformation. It forms the cornerstone of achieving genuine omnichannel customer engagement success. 

Retailers now have more data than ever on what customers like and how they behave. But surprisingly, this hasn’t made things much better. The problem is that this data is messy and kept in separate places, making it hard to get a full picture. This also makes it tough to create omnichannel customer engagement strategies that really meet what customers want. 

Understanding how customer interactions differ across various channels is crucial. It’s not about homogenizing the experience across in-store and online platforms but ensuring that the transition between these channels is frictionless for the consumer. If a customer needs to step out of the journey for any reason, getting back into the process, regardless of the channel, should be intuitive and not feel like starting over.  

Poor CSAT scores can highlight the impact of getting this wrong. The detractor effect of a disjointed customer journey is substantial and detrimental to the brand and the bottom line.   

Takeaway: For retailers that possess vast amounts of data, analyzing it is futile if they don’t leverage it to design customer journeys effectively. Brands must aim to transition from relying on third-party data to harnessing and activating their first-party data lakes. The goal should be to use data to differentiate their service with a seamless, integrated experience across all touchpoints.   

Speed and Agility: Key Drivers in the AI Revolution 

Generative AI (GenAI) is undeniably a game-changing technology, but it’s also a challenging time for retailers in the throes of digital transformation.  

By deploying GenAI at various stages of customer engagement—before, during, and after contact with customer service advisors—retailers can significantly enhance advisor capabilities and improve the customer journey, making it more seamless and satisfying while streamlining operations, reducing costs, and increasing the efficiency of digital CX operations.   

The ones who get this right are those who fully embrace GenAI as it evolves. Retailers need to be fully clear on the use cases they want to apply it to, have the know-how to test it in safe environments, and understand the value that it brings to CSAT.  

Takeaway: As long as GenAI appears frictionless and seamless from the customers’ perspective, retailers will no doubt see the advantages. Yet, there’s a need to adopt a strategic, early approach to GenAI, carefully selecting use cases that are guaranteed to enhance customer interactions and operational efficiency.   

Success in the Modern Retail Industry 

Success in the modern retail industry demands a balanced strategy that values customer service as much as it does traditional growth metrics, recognizing the integral role each plays in building a resilient and responsive business.  

In your own CX transformation journey, you’ll need to leverage digital innovation. Being able to navigate the complexities of new technologies like GenAI can help ensure their integration delivers on the promise of a frictionless, efficient customer engagement model.  

Find out more on what GenAI can do for your customer experience. 

Mark Guest

Mark Guest

Mark Guest, Managing Director of Retail at Concentrix, LinkedIn


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