Tips & Resources

4 Best Practices in Providing a Unified Customer Experience

Jenna Bunnell
By Jenna Bunnell
21 June, 2024

This practical guide for businesses explains how to provide a unified customer experience to boost customer loyalty, including technology solutions.

unified customer experience

You don’t need to be told that customer experience is crucial to any successful, customer-facing business. This means that the customer journey – from the very first interaction to the very last – needs to be as strong as possible to reach the increasingly high expectations of consumers and create a base of loyal customers.

But achieving a great customer experience is much easier said than done, especially when customers interact with your brand through a number of different touchpoints throughout the customer lifetime. Creating consistent experiences regardless of whether the customer is using social media, your website, or talking to your customer service agents is a challenge. 

That’s why more and more companies are focusing on producing a unified customer experience: this system ensures that your customers receive the same standard of interaction regardless of how they’re coming into contact with your brand.

What is a unified customer experience?

There is no doubt that digital technology is transforming customer experience, from AI customer service to automated customer emails. But one of the most significant impacts comes from the fact that customers now interact with brands through a range of different services and marketing channels. This changes how we must think about customer experience.

Put yourself in the shoes of one of your customers: you’d expect a seamless and consistent journey throughout your interactions with a brand. This means that a unified customer experience is a customer journey that revolves around one single and strong brand identity. 

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This unified experience is one that also grows out of the specific needs of each customer. We all know that personalized experiences are one of the hottest trends in customer experience at the moment. This also means analyzing customers’ favorite channels and providing them with seamless opportunities to communicate with your brand across those.

For example, you may notice that a particular customer segment prefers to interact with you via Instagram, but it also reads your weekly blog posts. In that case, offering a unified experience means enabling them to move from those favored touchpoints in the most streamlined way possible. 

Including an option to share your blogs to their Instagram pages, for example, could be a great way to enable them to communicate with you – and share your content – quickly and easily.

Why is a unified customer experience important?

So, how do we know that a unified customer experience is the right thing to be aiming for in your organization? Companies that have put in place a unified experience have seen huge benefits such as:

Higher customer satisfaction

One of the biggest things that we learn from customer feedback is that a lack of consistency across different channels frustrates many customers, especially with customer expectations of a seamless omnichannel approach. This is because it makes it harder for them to know how to navigate your services effectively. 

If you want to boost customer retention, it's therefore crucial that you’re able to put in place a seamless experience across all customer engagements. 

Stronger internal collaboration 

Unified customer experience isn’t just about making life easier for your customers. Instead, ensuring a consistent approach across all of your marketing channels will support collaboration in your organization. 

This is because different teams will now have a shared language and brand identity with regard to customer experience. This will help to streamline communication and data sharing as different teams won’t have to worry about the customer experience approach of other teams.

Better customer loyalty

In addition to improving customer satisfaction, unified customer experiences are also a great way to boost customer loyalty. This is partly because a satisfied customer is more likely to continue doing business with you.

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But it’s also because unified customer experiences tend to strengthen brand identity, as each touchpoint will have a clear association with your brand. This means that customers will have a clear mental link between good customer service and your brand image, helping to strengthen customer retention.

Cost-efficient savings 

This is a slightly technical thing to get your head around but it’s absolutely crucial. Unified customer experiences all derive from a single source in your data storage. By bringing customer information from multiple channels, you’ll then store this data in one location that anyone in your organization can access.  

This will generate a range of exceptional advantages, including enhanced consistency, better personalization, more targeted marketing efforts, and a more standardized way to craft new offerings and provide customer-facing services such as complaint handling.

In turn, all this will lead to one, shared benefit: increased cost savings. With less redundant data to store and process, your overheads will be lower. In parallel, your employees – from your marketing teams to your customer support experts – will also be able to find and access this data much more quickly and easily, helping to boost productivity.

4 best practices in providing a unified customer experience

The upsides of providing a unified customer experience should be compelling for any business. But how can you start to implement a consistent approach to omnichannel customer experience in your organization? Just follow these four customer experience optimization strategies to start seeing the benefits of unified customer experience in your business: 

1.   Create a plan using customer data 

It should be obvious that you shouldn’t embark on any significant changes to your operations without a comprehensive plan about how to achieve those changes. When it comes to unified customer experience, this plan should use customer orientation – it needs to be fully focused on the needs and preferences of your customers.  

Start by using a customer data platform to collect as much information about your customers as possible. Why do they come to your brand? What channels do they use to interact with your organization? What are their demographics? 

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This sort of information is crucial if you want to create accurate customer profiles that you can use to better understand the customer journey. You should then use the profiles to produce a customer experience plan – what are all of the touchpoints customers will use to interact with your brand?  

Evaluate your offering over these multiple touchpoints and work out what needs to be improved to make sure that you have a consistent offering regardless of where customer interactions are happening. 

2.   Ensure a clear brand vision 

You might have invested in the best online ordering system you could afford or developed your own app to encourage customer loyalty. And these are excellent implementations. But your customers won’t have a strong and unified understanding of your brand if your brand vision doesn’t come across on all of these platforms. 

Begin by stripping everything away and asking yourself – what are your brand values? What makes your organization different from your competitors? Why should customers come to you?  

These brand values should then be translated into something more concrete, such as core messaging, aesthetics, and tone of voice. These should be present and obvious in every single channel and platform. 

Don’t be afraid to rip things up and start again if your ideal brand values are not clear in your existing materials. This might include using technology like OnlyDomains to create new domain names that better reflect your updated brand messaging, for example. This will ensure that all customer experiences have a similar understanding of your brand. 

3.   Leverage the right technology

You will need to make sure that you have access to the right technology in order to produce unified customer experiences. As we said above, a customer data platform is critical if you want to have a good understanding of your customers. 

This can be supported by a customer experience platform which monitors your customer experience in real-time and identifies any inconsistencies that you can solve. Similarly, you could use a digital experience platform to tweak content design to follow your brand messaging or aesthetics. 

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You might also want to consider using AI process automation systems such as chatbots. These can be trained to follow your brand details and can then complement quality human customer support, helping to boost productivity while still maintaining your unified customer experience. 

4.   Upskill your team 

The final step on the road to a unified customer experience across multiple channels is training your teams. Many of your employees might be used to working in siloed departments, each with its own approach to customer experience and customer support. You can’t expect them to automatically know how to provide a brilliant unified customer experience or integrate AI customer support tools into their standard routine. 

This means that you need to invest in upskilling your team members. This will largely be technical training – they will have to be able to use any new customer experience platform effectively and make the most of associated technologies such as an email checker to stay in touch with customers across the omnichannel experience.  

However, you should also spend time changing your organization’s culture, especially if they are used to working in disparate departments rather than having a consistent brand-centered approach to customer experience. 

A great way to do this might be by collectively producing brand values before you start making any changes, ensuring that everyone buys into your brand identity. This will make sure that everyone in your organization is fully committed to providing a unified customer experience. 

Unified customer experience – customer experience in the omnichannel era

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Free to use image sourced from Unsplash ​​​​​​​

There’s no doubt that customers are starting to expect a personalized and unified customer journey as standard. You simply cannot afford for customers to have different and disconnected experiences across different platforms and channels. 

That’s why we put together this guide to providing unified customer experiences, including our four best practices to practically implement connected customer journeys across your whole organization, including training your team and designing a customer-centered plan. Start unifying your customer experiences today!

Jenna Bunnell

About the author

Jenna Bunnell

Jenna Bunnell is the Director for Field and Strategic Events at Dialpad, an AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways. Here is her LinkedIn.

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