Take Control of Multi- & Omnichannel Marketing
Modern customer expectations and Multi- & Omnichannel strategy
The old motto ‘The Customer is King’ applies more today than ever before. The pivot of all company activities is the customer. The ability to offer the right product, at the right time, and by using the right channel, has is of paramount importance for companies. But to make it possible, companies must exploit all of their available sales channels and keep them well under control – all at the same time.
Customers now move dynamically and hyper networked in a digital world. This means that existing customers, as well as possible new customers, use an increasing number of channels to make contact with companies. They expect a seamless transition of widely ranging interactive offers. Almost 50% of customers today are omni-channel shoppers. They demand flexibility, fast service, personalised recommendations, and individual consultation – whenever possible immediately and all at the same time.
In earlier times, the customer obtained information and advice in a shop. But thanks to a mix of social, mobile and traditional technology, today’s omni-channel shopper assimilates knowledge and information from just about everywhere, and at all times. The channel most used for interaction with the customer is the company website, followed by the sales team and the call centre. But other new channels are also being used intensively: Currently, 47% of users prefer to use an online chat function and 22% prefer social media for communication with companies.
The customer researches the channels available, and alone decides when and how to purchase a product; be it from a high-street shop, from a catalogue, using a call centre, in the internet, from an auction platform, or by using an application on a smartphone or tablet PC. The customer expects a consistent and immediately identifiable appearance across all sales channels - and although this represents a major challenge for companies - it also offers enormous potential.
A shop customer having a question for customer service expects that the hotline is informed too. If the call centre cannot answer a a question about an article just ordered on the company website because the customer’s details cannot be found anywhere in the system, this has an immediate negative effect on customer satisfaction. Therefore, it’s absolutely essential that the dealer is prepared and ready on all fronts, and able to optimally merge the different points of interaction where the customer makes contact with the company.
In concrete terms, omni-channel marketing demands that if a company wants to remain competitive, it must be reachable online, particularly by users with smartphones and tablet PCs. No company today can avoid having an omni-channel strategy. Companies with heterogeneous system landscapes and data silos are incapable of satisfying the demands of potential multi-channel customers.
Omni-Channel Marketing: your challenges
To make holistic customer service possible for all sales channels, it is essential to merge all existing, separate databanks used in online and offline business to a single integrated system. Customer information is spread around in CRM and ERP systems, call centres, service hotlines, claims administration, support portals, web shops, Facebook/Twitter accounts, etc. The result? Data silos gradually develop.
Many companies simply have no idea of just how much they actually know about their customers. Data silos mean that their employees have to laboriously seek and collect information. When data in one application is updated, other applications know nothing of the change and continue to work with the outdated dataset. The lack of a uniform platform means that the chance of approaching the correct customer with a suitable offer using the right channel, is just a lucky guess.
Customers can only be targeted individually when all available data (contractual data, usage data, customer statements on social media platforms, etc.) can be fully exploited on a single platform. Social media in particular, provides valuable information about the preferences and needs of existing and potential customers. Therefore, this information must be collected too, and consolidated as a basis for suitable products and offers.
The solution: 360°Customer View
With the “360°Customer View” approach, data silos are eradicated and fragmented data in your systems is a thing of the past. Smart Customer MDM provides you with prompt views of the customer’s complex behaviour across all channels, and enables any necessary adaptations to be made to your strategy. Marketing and sales departments can use trends and potential from different channels to reduce their time-to-market response, develop new target groups, and strategically focus on turnover markets, as well as newly opened markets.
The 360° Customer View enables rapid cross-channel customer identification, and gives you access to every item of relevant information available, wherever it may be in your company. Together with regular contact data (names, addresses, email addresses, etc.), additional comprehensive and fully up-to-date information (preferences, hobbies, interactions to date, administrative procedures, etc.), is available for all company departments and divisions.
Learn more about Multi- and Omnichannel strategy in our next Uniserv Academy Business Seminar in Milan.