It may have taken a considerable effort to map a new customer journey and digital road map; but now, you need to adapt towards creating an omni-channel experience for your customers.
In today’s integrated marketing climate, all your marketing and communications strategy has to work together, seamlessly and consistently, across all channels (phone, online, mobile, social, email, live chat etc…) where customers interact with your brand. And that omni-channel experience is the epitome of your brand.
The constant is your brand ‒ sounding like your brand, acting like your brand, utterly being your brand no matter what the medium. This doesn’t happen by accident. You need a plan.
Moving to Omnichannel
Your omnichannel strategy looks at your brand experience from the customer’s perspective, facilitates the shift from one marketing channel to another, and integrates multiple channels for simultaneous use.
It can take upwards of eight months to a year to design and implement a fully integrated omnichannel strategy – and that’s if you are successful in selling it across your organization. Who has that kind of time in today’s rapidly accelerating world?
Often, businesses map their omnichannel journey and run out of steam. Piecing together the big picture can be overwhelming. Instead, start with small changes that can make a difference now.
Identify the Desired Brand Experience for Your Channel
What would you define as the optimal experience for your customer on each channel, as promised by your brand? Are you providing it? If not, could you do it?
Each digital marketing channel will have a unique set of objectives, typically based on how your customers use that channel when they relate with your brand.
Communications should be adapted to suit the medium. With the exponential growth of digital channels, and new channels being added ad-hoc to your marketing mix (for example, experiential events or sponsorships), your brand personality and voice could be developing split personalities.
It’s not one message fits all. But overall brand consistency is important.
Work with the Digital Infrastructure at Your Disposal
Use your digital roadmap to determine what’s possible with your current infrastructure.
Look at the level of service your customers expect and what you can reasonably achieve for a particular customer touch point (for example, using an online calculator to determine the affordability of a mortgage) or customer interaction with your brand (for example, getting an insurance quote online), or what infrastructure you’d need to upgrade to improve the experience.
Take LIVE CHAT as an example. You’ve defined your onmichannel brand as responsive, but for online help you don’t have the infrastructure and staffing to be instantly responsive. However, you can provide a response within 12 hours. Offering a clear service level commitment to your customers so they know what you’ll deliver and when will enhance your customer journey experience.
Create a Pilot Project
Isolate a channel an opportunity where your business is at risk and where you can get a big upside to the bottom line. Create a pilot project that delivers a new experience that can be communicated through all of your channels in a consistent manner.
As an example, let’s talk telecommunications. When there’s a change to internet service accounts, typically customers call in to complain or to ask questions. This costs the company real dollars just to service existing customers. Instead, the company could send all affected customers a personalized video explaining what the changes are, what impact the changes will have for your customers, and at what cost. This proactive approach was determined from insights and research uncovered during the development of the omnichannel strategy.
A well-timed personalized video summarized the information in a clear, concise and positive way that resulted in a substantial decrease in inbound calls. The company was able to decrease the amount of personnel required to man the phone lines, and allocate the resources elsewhere in the company.
Work Around Obstacles
Sometimes you’ll hit the wall when you’re trying to execute the experience you want with the infrastructure you have. There are ways to work around the obstacles in your channels.
Ultimately, it’s not about instantly transforming your brand into a holistic marketing machine, but about starting small, seeing what has a positive impact on the business, and building on those successes. You will win your customer over one experience at a time.
To be continued…