The buzz word in the global marketing circle is Omnichannel marketing which in some ways is seen as the epitome of the personalization experience a brand can offer to its customer. But what is omnichannel? Some of us naively believe that omnichannel is majorly centred around a seamless online and offline experience. While this is true, it is not what omnichannel is all about. Omnichannel also focuses on providing seamless brand experience across different online channels. Omnichannel does seem like a tedious and expensive task, but refer here for why you must invest in omnichannel:
Conceptually, omnichannel is the Utopia of brand experience and branding but it is easier said than done. Here are 5 steps to creating an omnichannel marketing strategy:
Through the Eyes of the Customer:
Gone are the days when customers accommodated themselves to the systems and processes of a brand. Today’s customer expects the brand to accommodate according to his/her needs. It thus becomes necessary for marketers to define processes and objectives by looking at their brands from the customer’s perspective. A customer does not care that sales, services, marketing are different parts of the same brand. The customer’s priorities are a good offer, ease of shopping, ease of payment, satisfactory query resolution and timely delivery.
Customer Persona Creation
Customers leave behind a wealth of data in their wake. It is important for a brand to collate all of this data create a single view of the customer. All of a brand’s verticals must view the customer through the same lenses, and interpret the customer data according to their processes. Such a single view of the customer allows every customer interactive vertical to have the same customer details and saves the customer, the trouble of repeating the same information again and again.
An Average Customer Uses 4 Channels Before Buying
The above image shows three scenarios.
a) The customer looks at the product on his laptop, moves on to the app on his phone, researches about the product he/she wants to buy, talks to the customer service executive to clarify doubts, and buys the product.
b) The customer accesses the brand’s app on his/her tablet, moves onto his/her PC, talks to an influencer and buys the product.
c) The customer browses for a product on his PC, moves onto his laptop, looks at the reviews of the product on the brand’s site, speaks to a customer care executive and buys the product.
There could be any number of permutation and combination of this kind of channel switching.
An interesting thing to note is, that we haven’t yet talked about walking into the store. A fourth scenario is that after much online research, the customer may keep the product in the cart of your app, and then choose to physically walk into your shop and buy your product.
Targetted, relevant communication is the key to optimise your omnichannel strategy. Like in the fourth scenario, a real treat for the customer would have been had you sent him a notification that he/she was near your store and they could walk in to look at the product.
If your system had read the customer’s location and sent your shop manager a detailed message on the product the customer had left in the cart, allowing the store manager to talk to the customer and offer him/her support.
Apart from sending targetted content on separate channels, it is also important that the customer is not spammed.
Communication, however, is a two-way process. While it is important to make the customer listen to you, it is also important to listen to the customer. 42% customers, complaining on social media expect a response time of less than 60 minutes. Use analytics to track all social media mentions about your brand, analyse the emotion of the customer and respond appropriately as soon as possible.
A Human Touch:
Despite the fact that 75% millennials prefer to text over call. However, customers also prefer a human touch. As a customer, if you need an urgent query resolution, even you would prefer to call and talk to a person rather than a bot.
Research says if a mail goes unanswered 71% customers would call.
If a social media message goes unanswered 55% customers would call.
This means that as a brand you must train your customer executives and provide them with all the knowledge necessary to solve a customer’s general query.