Building an Integrated Multi-channel Framework
One of the key benefits of multichannel integration is gaining a holistic view of the customer. This in turn can help marketers make better, more strategic decisions. According to Simge Alpargun, customer strategist and manager at Peppers & Rogers Group’s analytics practice, too many organizations have developed each channel separately and independently, leading to fragmented views of the customer.
As companies develop ways to seamlessly integrate all of their marketing channels, the customer’s relationship and experience should remain at the core of the strategy.
Alpargun believes that, in order to provide consistent, targeted and meaningful customer experiences, companies must work to align and integrate all channels. She suggests three steps for laying the groundwork for doing so:
• Step One: Understand your customers and their preferences. Customers should reside at the center of any multichannel initiative and accordingly should define the requirements of each channel.
• Step Two: Determine the direction and vision of your multichannel organization. This includes deciding the positioning of each channel, the channels’ interconnected relationships, the overarching principles and accompanying managerial processes.
• Step Three: Evaluate the potential of each channel and invest based on past performance. The best approach for a sales-focused channel is to quantify the impact of the investment on acquisition and cross-sell/upsell efforts. With a service-focused channel, the impact on overall customer satisfaction should be analyzed.
When companies take the necessary steps to establish an in-depth multichannel strategy, their customers will feel that they are truly interacting with only one company. This impression will have far-reaching effects on customer loyalty and help to strengthen a company’s standing.