Great article by Perry Simpson in a recent edition of Direct Marketing News entitled "5 Ways to Evolve Your Marketing to Omnichannel."
I wanted to share the five steps and comment on them as well as share several points made in the article:
- According to the Rightnow Customer Experience Impact Report, 89% of customers say they have stiopped doing business with a company after one poor customer experience.
- Omnichannel marketing, and customer service, is the fundamental practice of providing a seamless marketing experience across multiple channels.
- Marketers need to ask themselves, what can we do to simplify the lives of our customers and make them more loyal.
The more you can do to save your customers time and simplify their lives, the more loyalty you will earn.
We all know the frustration of having to repeat our information to different service reps on the same call or reenter data when we are dealing with online forms or chat.
What are you doing to make the lives of your customers and clients easier?
Here are the five steps:
- Think holistically. Think about the entire customer experience. Map it. Identify the gaps in service that exist between the silos of your organization. It's becoming more common for customers to complete a single transaction acrosss multiple channels. If you don't have a 360-degree view of the customer, you will not be able to provide a seamless, simple, transaction.
- Build collaboration. Silos exist in all organizations. It's important to collaborate across silos to identify what a seamless customer experience is and to make the commitment to everyone in the organization having a single view of the customer.
While silos can still exist within the organization, data silos on customers cannot if you are committed to providing a seamless, omnichannel experience.
You have to ensure all of the segments of the organizations can work together and share information for the good of the customer.
- Map the experience. Know how your customers went about becoming your customers. Sales and marketing need to sit in a room together and map the customer's buying journey and then share their findings with a few customers to ensure they haven't missed any steps or made incorrect assumptions about what the customers actually did and what they were thinking at the time.
Do this by having one-on-one interviews with the customer about their buying process. They're more likely to provide personal insights in a one-on-one conversation versus a focus group.
Ultimately, marketers need to define what experience they want their customers to have and then move them through the marketing and sales process in a way that's makes it easy for the customer to buy the product or service you are selling with confidence and trust.
- Explore low-tech solutions. Marketing automation and analytics have made omnichannel marketing more attainable. However, don't forget to engage your customers in a dialog about what works for them and what they consider to be an acceptable, as well as, an exceptional, customer experience.
Providing an exceptional omnichannel customer experience is the best way to turn satisfied customers into "raving fans" that share their experience with friends, family, colleagues as well as all their social media "followers."
- Embrace transparency. Be real, be realiable, be responsive. Companies that provide an inconsistent customer experience acrosss channels confuse their prospects and customers.
Consistency breeds trust. Inconsistency breeds distrust and causes your to lose leads, prospects and customers as evidenced by the opening statistic from Rightnow.
What steps can you, and your firm, take to provide a seamless omnichannel experience for your customers?
The more you are able to do now, the more it will benefit your firm, and differentiate your firm from competitors, now.