Why And How to Adopt a Multi-Channel Approach?
As customers become more and more interconnected, Multi-Channel engagement is need of the hour. A typical digital customer today owns 3.64 devices (Source: GlobalWebIndex). Today’s empowered customers demand the flexibility to use or switch communication mode while interacting with businesses. Based on research published by mycustomer.com, over 90% of customers expect multichannel experience. It is new normal for a customer to see a car ad on eBay or Craigslist, download pictures and description through MMS/text and then call sales representative to start a conversation.
However, as per an IBM survey reported by The Marketer, nearly 4 in every 10 marketers are failing to adopt an integrated multichannel approach. The report also states that poor and inconsistent customer experiences, caused largely due to lack of cross-channel integration can result in around $83bn in lost sales every year.
Here is some advice on adopting a the multi-channel engagement strategy
- Know your Customer – The first step a business can take towards a multi-channel approach is to understand what the key channels that their customers prefer are. There is a gamut of channels available from voice, email live chat, self-service, Facebook and Twitter. Excelling in all of them might not be possible in one go. Additionally, it will be time-consuming and costly to manage a channel that customers are not inclined to use. Businesses must make sure they know their customer preference before investing in a specific channel.
- Invest in Integrated Customer Engagement Solution – Next generation customer engagement platforms like Braango can help customers save the time and efforts required to deploy an IVR or manage multiple channels separately. Maintaining separate voice, text, email or social media channels can be difficult. Further maintaining these channels across multiple locations, multiple departments, multiple sales reps and multiple devices make it even worse. Investing in a customer engagement solution can help businesses reduce cost and enable growth to maintain more channels simultaneously.
- Deliver Seamless Customer Experience – Internally a business might have separate modes of communication. However, for a customer, they just view them as one single entity. Thus it is of utmost priority that firstly, the information that is shared with customers across multiple channels is consistent and secondly, all channels have visibility into prior conversations with a specific customer for seamless customer experience. An icing on cake will be if the same representative is interacting with the customer across all channels for a specific query or sales conversation.
- Mapping customer journey – Current mindset is to evaluate a lead or conversion based on quantitative matrices like channels used, call minutes, number of calls and time to conversion. However, to differentiate good customer experience with bad or how a sales representative effectively converted a bad lead or vice versa, it is important to map customer journey using quantitative measures. Recording voice and text conversation can be helpful for further training as well as determining performance and areas of improvement for a sales rep.
- Unified Campaigns – Businesses can leverage the multi-channel platform and grow sales by crafting a coordinated campaign across multiple channels. Multi-channel approach gives flexibility to businesses to switch mode based on customer profile and preference. For example, businesses can use text to deliver crisp but subtle marketing promotion to attract a relatively cold lead and use voice for a hot lead. However, businesses should be extra careful to not to overwhelm customers with information overload. Businesses should make sure that content is customized for a specific channel and at the same time, it should be in tandem with other channels to ensure consistent messaging and positioning.
In conclusion, multi-channel approach is the right step towards engaging customers and growing business. And businesses need to follow a systematic approach to devise and deploy a multi-channel engagement strategy to get maximum benefit out of it. A half-baked approach will result in loss of time and efforts with no significant results.