In this age of digital connectedness, having multiple channels is a fact of life for businesses. As the communication preferences of the market continues to expand on new and evolving platforms, it’s imperative that we understand the fundamental aspect of customer service: interaction – and tailor our marketing strategies accordingly.
Today there are more ways to reach customers than we could have imagined not so long ago. And as the number of channels continue to rise, the need to embrace multichannel marketing will become not only a good idea but a critical one.
Multichannel Marketing in Numbers
According to the 2015 Multichannel Digital Marketing Report, 95% of marketers say that they know how important multichannel is for targeting. This is the same study which also revealed that 72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses through multi-channel.
And it seems like these statistics prove that multi-channel interaction works, as the report from CMO states that 50% of multi-channel marketers say they “usually” or “always” hit their financial targets. This is in line with the Nielsen study which indicates that multichannel shoppers across many FMCG categories have buying rates four to five times that of single-channel shoppers.
When done right, multichannel interactions strengthen the brand – just the way that orchestrating different instruments together produces a much richer musical experience than any single instrument played alone.
Why Is Multichannel Customer Interaction Important?
- The Channel Preference of The Market is Diverse
Different customers are more receptive to communications via different channels. Social networking sites, mobile push notifications, email, text messages, live chat, and telephone calls – determining which channels are preferred by which customer personas is an effective way to boost the response rates of your campaigns.
- To Take Advantage of Different Medium
Different types of messages work better over different channels. For example, live chat work best for customers who are not in a rush or who don’t have a major issue. On the other hand, SMS messages are ideal for short messages that have some urgency associated with them.
Emails are obviously better suited for longer messages and in cases where the visual design plays an important role. Chat apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are best suited to social communications or messages that are designed to go ‘viral’.
- Multichannel Variety Improves Retention of the Message
Our brains are wired to automatically distinguish between information that needs to be noticed and retained versus information that can be discarded immediately. Without this ability, we would be quickly overwhelmed with the amount of information we’re exposed every day.
Because our brains can ignore or reject most marketing messages, advertising must be repeated to effectively get the audience’s attention. Thus, repeating a message through different channels is much more effective than repeating it via a single channel.
Steps to Embrace Multiple Channels in Customer Service and Marketing
- Create and maintain a single view of the customer across all channels.
It is important that you understand how your customers behave across all channels, at each touch point, and that you also understand each customer’s value to your business.
To get that single customer view, consider establishing a central marketing database that combines all customer data in one place regardless of source.
- Create consistent customer experiences across all channels.
Customer experience is a powerful competitive differentiator. And while the quality of the customer experience is important, consistency is equally important. That’s because your customers experience your brand as a whole, whether their interactions with you are online, in a store, over the phone, or a combination of these.
What value is there in a positive online experience if a customer’s in-store experience is negative? If you treat each channel as a distinct entity, you run the risk of turning customers against you if you fail to deliver consistency.
Overall, the use of multiple channels in customer service and marketing is s a strategy bound to yield significant results. With the right tools and know-how, the multichannel interaction can help you create the best customer experiences; adding value to your client’s businesses and to your customer’s loyalty.