An omni-channel communications strategy equips your business to manage customer contacts through multiple channels at the same time. By making communications consistent, and by giving each channel access to the latest customer information, customers switching between phone, email and online can receive a seamless experience. The first blog in this two-part series looked at what’s meant by omni-channel communications and why it’s so important for your business. In this concluding blog, we explore how to achieve omni-channel communications and the role technology plays.
Effective data management is the cornerstone of an omni-channel communications strategy. It forms the basis of customer insight and supplies the up-to-date information your contact channels need to inform each customer interaction.
A single platform can unlock the considerable power of data. Through it, all available data including customer information held in-house, interactions captured from social media and details on customer communication preferences, can be consolidated into a single customer view.
Once data is being used efficiently to inform customer communications, consistency needs to be applied across all customer touchpoints. This means cutting across departmental silos and considering the impact of all operations on customer communications. Take billing processes, for example. With systems integration and automated bill creation, information held in internal systems may end up in final bills shared with customers. This becomes a problem if, for example internal language, jargon or phrasing leaks through.
Everything customers receive needs to speak the same language, look consistent and tell the same story to convey the company brand. And every vehicle is an opportunity for this. Bill design can allow dedicated space to promote the latest campaign, for instance.
Through a Customer Communications Management (CCM) solution such cohesion can be achieved and automated. It integrates with core systems to:
- Capture and track customer engagement across channels
- Feed customer updates automatically into enterprise systems
- Trigger personalised, relevant follow-up communications
CCM can feed all communications channels including online, print, mobile, social media, email and text, automatically formatting each communication to fit each channel with design optimised for devices.
The result is awin-win – improved customer engagement and cost reduction. The customer’s experience improves because they are more likely to receive an informed, up-to-date response each time they get in touch, they’re able to use a range of communications methods to make contact and the updates they receive from your business will be tailored for relevance.
At the same time, omni-channel communications deliver more effective customer contact handling and this drives efficiency and cost management. Customer service agents record lower average issue resolution time, which is good for customers and agent job satisfaction, resulting in reduced employee turnover.
As more customers take up the option to self-serve through digital channels, the cost of query handling can also reduce dramatically. In its report The Customer Experience Index (2010), Forrester estimated the cost of call centre agent query handling at $6+ per contact, compared to less than ten cents for web self-service.
The provision of additional digital channels of communication also raises the company’s profile among digital-savvy existing and potential customers, opening up opportunities to attract more business. Customers that are able to interact in the way they choose with a business are more likely to buy from it, and repeat buy, resulting in improved conversion rates and sales outcomes.
The benefits of omni-channel communications managed through a CCM solution comes full circle through continuous data improvement. Where data kicked off the cycle, underpinning enriched customer interactions, so the omni-channel experience feeds data back into the machine to provide further customer insights that can be turned to business advantage.
Through an omni-channel communications strategy supporting a full range of customer communications, an enhanced digital presence and consistent, well-informed customer interactions, CCM technology can help your business achieve higher rates of customer engagement and lower costs.
Find out more at www.neopost.co.uk/gmc1
On the 6th of June Neopost’s Marketing Manager, Antony Paul spoke in a webinar, hosted by the Direct Marketing Association on how excellent CX (customer experience) translates into sustainable brand value view the webinar at www.neopost.co.uk/dmacx