Opus Research: The New World Order of Channels That Customers Use

Hollis Chin | March 11, 2015

How are people changing the ways they interact with enterprises? In just a few years, mobile devices and digital channels have made it commonplace for customers to traverse four or five channels in a single journey. A new report from Opus Research shows that to provide the best customer experiences, companies must provide context across those channels.

But where do customers start, and what order of channels do they use?

Opus’s report, “Sequencing the Omnichannel Customer Conversation,” offers insights about the order of channels (referred to as “sequences”) that different customer types prefer.

The report identifies how customers can be segmented into groups that follow predictable sequences among digital channels, online resources, and offline experiences. This not only indicates the ways you should be prepared to accommodate them, it underscores the growing role that big data and data-driven design can play in enabling seamless journeys.

While customer channels have proliferated, the report shows that the first points of interaction continue to be the traditional, “tried and true” channels. Executives believe the top channels where customers initially engage (ranked top 1 or 2) are:

• Corporate website, 67%

• Phone, 59%

• Store location, 44%

The second and additional channels in customer sequences depend on their segments. The report identifies some of the emerging ones that customers follow to create their experiences.

The take-away: Companies need to understand customers’ specific cross-channel journeys and provide context across those channels. Many companies have customer experience strategies to do this. To find out what investments companies are making, read our second blog on the report.

You can learn more by downloading the Opus Research report.