Every customer interacts with your company and brand in a unique way. One may pop by your brick-and-mortar store once a month and purchase an item or two on a whim. Another may go directly to the men’s slacks selection on your web site and buy the same style every six months. A third may spend five minutes browsing your social media page daily and purchase occasionally.
Meeting your customer at any and all touchpoints is what omnichannel marketing is all about. Sound amazing? When it’s done right, it certainly is. Here are four best practices to help you get started.
#1. Share Customer Interactions
The key to omnichannel marketing is open access to customer behavior data for each and every employee in your company. While you want to respect customer privacy, you also want each employee who interacts with a customer to have the whole back story, so to speak, which will allow more complete and personalized service.
That means if a customer accesses your web site and spends five minutes browsing the sales and clearance page on Tuesday, the sales clerk sees that behavior when the customer is checking out at the brick-and-mortar store on Thursday. This may give the clerk an opportunity to point out similar sale items in the store and upsell.
If a customer representative addresses an order problem on the phone, that customer is placed in queue with other recently served customers for follow-up. A personalized call a week later from an employee who can see the transcript of the original call can provide specific questions to assess satisfaction.
These shared interactions allow a business and brand to truly focus on the customer experience.
#2. Audit Customer Experiences
The next best practice is to test and audit your customer experience regularly. Assign a team of employees or even those outside your company to shop on your site, interact with your social media presence, respond to email marketing messages, and initiate returns. See what happens when you submit an electronic complaint or browse but never buy. Evaluate how your automated and human omnichannel marketing system works and where you can improve your customer experience.
#3. Gather Customer Feedback
At the same time you’re auditing your processes, be sure to collect real-life customer feedback as often as customers are willing to provide it. Ask for feedback after an order is received to be sure that customers are pleased. In addition, find opportunities to ask for feedback throughout the relationship such as at the conclusion of phone calls, after a problem-resolution chat session, or during the research phase.
Feedback requests can be more personalized with access to previous customer interactions. For example, a follow-up call can be made asking if a customer was happy with the return process or if the answer to a particular question was found.
#4. Refine Customer Segments
Once you’ve collected customer behavior and feedback and audited your customer experience, you’ll have a wealth of information moving forward. Now is the time to refine your customer segmentation and marketing efforts.
For example, you can cross-sell hats or gloves that match a particular style of coat by targeting customers who purchased that coat in the last two weeks. In another campaign, you may reach out to customers who haven’t made a purchase in the last six months to see if you can re-engage with them using a special promotion.
By refining your segments and creating pinpoint marketing efforts, you will reach out to more of your customer base in a personalized, relevant way. This effort will lead to greater loyalty, increased trust, and more sales in the long run.
While these methods may not seem like they’re pushing an omnichannel strategy, the fact is that in order to truly implement an omnichannel experience, you have to start at the foundation.
By building your own company around the customer, you’re making your customer your priority. This aspect is the absolute core of any great omnichannel strategy.