Before getting to know more about multi channel customer experience, it’s a good idea to look at the reasons behind such a move. Today’s customers are extremely smart, knowledgeable and inquisitive. They do not mind spending lot of time gathering information about products and services, however small or big they might be.
Hence, it is becoming quite tough for companies and the distribution channels to retain existing customers while looking for new customers. Gone are the days when it would have been possible to have a loyal customer vouching for certain products and services for his entire life-span. Today, customers are willing to change brands as they change their clothing.
Why The Need For Multi Channel Customer Experience
Given the above situation and ever changing market dynamics, it is becoming very important for companies to attack the customer from various quarters. This is what multi-channel customer experience is all about. It is allowing the customer the liberty of having a look at various products and services using various channels. Apart from the customary brick and mortar stores, today’s companies understand the need to be aggressively present on the internet.
This is because the modern day customers are very internet savvy and would most certainly look for information about products and services on the internet. Hence, companies are sparing no effort to ensure that the customer is bombarded with various types of products and services on the internet. The mobile phone is also becoming an important tool to target customers with products and services.
Not only are the customers given a choice of channels as far as gathering information of products are concerned, they are also given the liberty of choosing the channel when it comes to buying such products and services. Hence there is no denying the fact that such multi-channel customer experience goes a long way in meeting the customers’ needs and requirements from all points of view. There is little doubt that modern day customer wants convenience and ways and means by which he can save on time.
This is quite obvious because of the tight schedule that he finds himself squeezed in. This concept of reaching out to customers is a relatively new thought but given the response it has been receiving it is quite likely to take off and reach higher levels of success in the none-too-distant future.
Advantages Of Multi Channel Customer Experience
There are certainly a number of advantages in this multi-channel approach. There will be hardly any channel that will be missed and hence interested customers will without any doubt be able to get the information they are looking for provided they are interested in it. Wastage of advertisement and low recall value of such advertisements can be avoided when the customers is hemmed in from all sides.
It certainly becomes much easier for companies to monitor customer movements, preferences, tastes, likes and dislikes through this multi-channel customer experience approach. This will make it easier for companies to plan their advertising thrust, the products and services they should be focusing on, the customer profile whom they should be targeting. This will go a long way in benchmarking Customer Relationship Modules more effectively and it will certainly be more focused.
Benefits To The Customers
There have been enough research findings to corroborate the fact that customers also perceive a lot of benefits through this new found multi channel customer experience approach. It satisfies his need to gather as much information as possible from as many sources as possible. He is able to ask questions and clarify doubts on certain products and services at any given point in time. All this and the fact that he is made the important spoke of the entire operation make him feel special and privileged. He is able to strike the best deal in terms of cost and gets the full value for money.
Challenges And Concerns
While the benefits and advantages to all the stakeholders are beyond doubt there are some challenges and concerns when there is an honest attempt to implement multi-channel customer experience. It would be interesting to have a look at a few such issues. Delivering the right message to the right customer is a big challenge considering the huge number of channels that the customers are exposed to. Sending messages to customers and ensuring that they are delivered is one part. The more important part is to make it interesting and captivating so that he responds to it.
The need to be present in various social networking websites is of paramount importance. Just being merely present in these sites is not enough. There should be constant endeavors and ways and means by which customers get to read about various products and services. There must be a dedicated team of individuals to answer various queries that could be landing through such social networking sites.
Coordinating Various Channels Is A Must
Though there is no doubt that the main purpose of this experience is to enable the customer to have total freedom, as a company the main objective is to find out whether such an exercise is leading to sales at the end of the day. The effectiveness of each and every channel needs to be closely monitored. This will certainly call for close coordination of various channels though they could be totally different in terms of size, location, touch and feel, etc. There must be a dedicated team to gather the data from the various channels and the same must be evaluated and researched. A meaningful report that is continuous in nature must be provided to the marketing heads so that they can take corrective action wherever necessary.
In spite of the pitfalls and hiccups that companies and the distribution channel may face along the way, there is little doubt that this is a model that has come to stay. Yes, there could be corrections happening here and there and such corrections only will accelerate the move towards a perfect model. As technology improves and goes to the next higher level, there is every reason to believe that the need for multi channel customer experience will only become more pronounced than ever before.