In the age of technology, your clients are everywhere.
They use multiple channels of communication and multiple devices.
Companies are adapting to this changing approach to client relations by creating a "cross channel customer experience." something that will soon be a basic element of customer satisfaction and maintaining a good ROI.
Here are 7 advantages of considering cross-channel approaches when constructing your customer journey.
Why should you consider your clients as cross-channel clients?
Client behavior has developed a lot in the past fifteen years.
Today, customers use multiple communication channels when they interact with a business or buy products and services that they want.
Not only this, but they often pass seamlessly back and forth between channels and devices during the purchasing process. This means that all of our customers have now become "cross-channel."
As a growing business, you need to be constantly looking for ways to adapt to your customers changing buying habits and behaviors.
Because your clients are now cross-channel, you need to be offering them a cross-channel experience if you want to evolve with them.
Cross channel marketing is a necessary evolution of communication, and it has become a key component of perfecting your customers buyer journey.
Putting a communication strategy in place shouldn't be a burden and it should constrict communication. Instead, it should keep all possible means of communication open so that you don't miss a single customer.
Communicating with your customers in a cross-channel strategy has a lot of concrete advantages for your company's development. Here are some examples.
#1 Make the buyer journey more enjoyable by catering it to your client's habits
The buyer journey refers to every interaction that the client has with the business throughout the entire sales funnel.
The buyer journey relies on multiple different channels throughout: for example, the website is needed for the customer to browse products, the brick and mortar store when the customer goes to pick up his product that he ordered online, email in order to stay in contact with customer service, and social media to visit the store's page and leave comments about the product and brand.
In order to speed along the buying decision (especially the actual act of buying the product) you need to be sure to offer them as flexible of a buyer journey as possible.
One thing there cannot be is a lack of communication or an interruption when the client switches from one channel to the next.
When it is successfully integrated into your sales and marketing strategy, cross-channel communication allows you to seriously improve your customer's buying experience, because putting a cross-channel strategy in place assures that you are bringing the customer experience into the digital age.
#2 Make Customer Service more effective
Making your company cross-channel friendly allows you to interact with your customers on multiple channels at a time (internet, phone, text, email) and to choose which channel to use depending on what message you're sending or depending on what your customers prefer..
Cross channel communication is the best way to quickly improve the relationship that you have with your customers.
A good customer relationship generates customer satisfaction, which is what every company needs in order to avoid churn and improve customer retention.
Discover how to easily increase your growth with customer satisfaction.
#3 Get New Customers Faster
Offering multiple channels of communication allows you to have more visibility in your target market.
A typical example of how this works is of a company that establishes an e-commerce store in order to reach an internet audience.
Basically, the more channels of communication you offer, the more visibility you have, and the more prospects you appeal to, ultimately resulting in more customers.
#4 Improve your company's brand image
Offering your clients a more fluid and convenient buyer journey will result in a better customer experience, and this ends up generating higher levels of customer satisfaction.
Satisfied customers have a positive impact on your company's brand image, because they are far more likely to recommend your product to their friends and families.
Not sure how satisfied your customers are?
Sending out a Net Promoter Score survey is a reliable way to find out.
#5 Get a unique view of your customers
A multi-channel approach was abandoned in part because it was believed to have the tendency to produce a dispersion of client data.
On the contrary, the cross-channel approach to client relations allows you to collect all of the information that you have about your clients from the different channels on one common interface.
In other words, you can use the information you collect from different channels to create a comprehensive and complete view of who your customer is.
In this way, putting a cross-channel strategy in place tends to come along with putting a unique CRM system in place as well. A CRM system that is catered to the data you are able to collect will give you a complete image of your customers, which will then allow you to personalize your sales and marketing exchanges even more.
#6 Increase your sales opportunities
Opening your company up to cross-channel communication also allows you to increase your sales opportunities.
For example, if a client can't find the product that they are looking for at the store, instead of turning to one of your competitors, he or she could instead be interested in ordering it online and having it delivered to their home.
This is one of the many ways that having cross-channel sales and marketing features allows your company to limit the risk of abandoned purchases and losing customers..
It's no accident that multiple studies show that cross-channel customers spend more on average than single channel customers.
#7 Get to know your customers better
By multiplying how many channels of communication your company uses, your cross-channel strategy will allow you to connect with your customers more easily.
Instead of sending a survey by email, you could also stick it on your website (as a pop-up), put it on your mobile app, or present it in your store with a QR code.
Smart survey solutions such as MyFeelBack allow a cross-channel presentation of your survey.
Case Study: How Apple Uses Cross-Channel Marketing
To show how useful cross-channel approach to marketing can be, consider the case of Apple.
Many of us have at least one apple product, and so we know how accessible Apple is.
When you have a question or concern, your options for contacting Apple are essentially endless.
You can make an appointment at the "Genius bar" to go to your nearest apple store directly.
You can also email in your concern at the posted email address.
If you'd rather chat with someone online, they have a chat service available. Apple support is even on Twitter.
Lastly, unlike most big companies, they still have a telephone number readily available for support over the phone if you are old school and want to just give them a call.
This strategy of presenting multiple channels of communication helps Apple users to feel supported, and therefore increases customer loyalty and reduces churn of returning customers.
Read more on how Apple increased its performance using customer feedback.
In the long run, implementing a cross-channel customer service and marketing/sales strategy is worth the investment and will increase your ROI.
You'll have to commit to making the necessary adaptations, but cross-channel marketing is the way of the future and will provide endless opportunities to your company.