Myths, truths and how to for an omnichannel strategy – Omnichannel consists of managing the customer experience with your brand in an integrated manner through all available communication channels. It is the evolution of multichannel since the company-user relationship is treated as a whole, regardless of the route used.
This experience must also be continuous throughout the client’s entire life. In this way, it seeks to collect information about it to know it and offer it a tailor-made service.
The omnichannel has become one of the main panaceas of our days. There is a belief that no company can succeed or be remarkable enough if it does not apply it, while there is a tendency to think that it is enough to implement it to improve results. But what is true and legend in all this?
Learn from the greats: The case of Apple on Twitter
Have you ever wondered why Apple only recently decided to open an official Twitter account? It will not have been for lack of resources or knowledge of the digital environment.
While its competitors had millions of followers on this social network, the tech giant waited until March 2016 to create @AppleSupport. And yet, its technical support has been the highest rated by users for years (as reported by Consumer Reports ). A service that until then was based on a telephone and a customer service chat.
According to what analyst Brian Sozzi told CNBC, Apple did not launch Twitter before because it did not provide real added value: the Cupertino company created a premium experience in which the microblogging network could not contribute anything.
On the contrary, it could cause him harm. The apple firm is characterized by controlling all its communications. But an environment in which anyone, with more or less reason or knowledge, can freely leave his ideas and opinions was out of that control and, therefore, could be harmful to him.
In summary, it is true that omnichannel improves the satisfaction and loyalty of your users, but only when you have been able to adapt your company’s strategy, the procedures of each department and the technology you use.
Therefore, before directing your business in that direction, you should ask yourself if it is worth it and if you have the necessary resources to do it well. And, of course, do not disdain other alternatives, such as specialization by channels.
Observe your competition and listen to your audience
The first decision you have to make is which channels you will open. Currently, you can opt for physical stores, eCommerce, mobile payment, beacons, web, social networks, contact centres, smartphones, etc. When choosing one or the other, you have to ask yourself two questions:
- Does it fit your business model?
- Does it match the expectations of your customers?
To answer these questions, you need to do a preliminary study of the environment in which you move:
- Look at your competition: What channels are the most used? For what purpose do they use each one? What benefits are you providing them? How much do they cost?
- Study your target: What media are your favourites? What do you use each one for? What are they looking for when contacting you? What kind of relationship would they like to have with your brand?
Identify your needs and assess costs.
Once you have analyzed your environment, look at what your company is like: What are your communication needs? What channels cover them best? What benefits do you want to get? And also, what means can you launch and maintain effectively?
Keep in mind that omnichannel approaches come with different costs:
- Strategic: They must be assumed from the highest level of the company since they determine the company’s relationship with its clients.
- Operational: The different procedures must allow all the information collected from customers to be handled comprehensively and globally by each department.
- Humans: It’s useless to open channels if there’s no one on the other side. Leaving communication channels unattended is the biggest mistake that companies can make when deploying an omnichannel strategy. For this reason, it is necessary to invest in personnel and, in addition, train them so that they respond to users in the same way regardless of the medium used.
- Infrastructure: They are the lowest since today there are very affordable technologies to make possible interconnect between companies and consumers. The challenge here is to achieve centralized control of all channels, for which it is essential to have a system that allows you to store and access the information you collect from your customers.
Remember, at DataCentric, we not only have the knowledge and experience necessary to extract valuable insights from the data of your clients and the sector. We also have expert advisory teams that help you define and adapt your data models and business to an actual omnichannel strategy.
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