Just a few years ago, there were just a few ways to make a purchase: walk into a brick and mortar store, send in a mail order from a catalog, or make a phone call. Those purchasing processes have become increasingly overshadowed (though still relevant) as more and more sales generation channels enter into the marketplace. Before customers make a purchase, they have likely scouted out the company’s website, checked out product details, scanned through any available social media, read online reviews, and maybe even went to the physical store for a first-hand look. To make sure your business is providing a comprehensive, personalized customer experience on all fronts, you should consider the tenants behind an omni-channel marketing strategy
Wait – a what?
A term many small businesses struggle with, omni-channel marketing is different than a multi-channel approach.
What is Multi-Channel Marketing?
According to Granify, If you’ve got a solid social strategy, a high converting website, and a great mobile experience, you’ve got a multi-channel experience. But if they aren’t working together, in coordination, it’s not an omni-channel customer experience.
How Does Omni-Channel Marketing Work?
Aspect, a workforce customer solutions provider, sums it up well: “Customers now expect to receive service from your organization on the channel of their choice, which might be voice, email, SMS/text, web, mobile or social media. Companies are beginning to provide service on all of these channels – but too often, those channels may exist in silos. This multi-channel service can be taken to the next level with an omni-channel solution that integrates channels to provide a consistent customer experience.”
Maybe not the perfect fit for every business (like for those who focus more on lead generation rather than e-commerce), the end goal of omni-channel marketing is applicable to every business, no matter how sales are funneled. Every customer touchpoint should be consistent.
A Consistent Customer Experience is Key
Website experience, social media interaction, mobile applications, and in-person storefront visits should communicate consistency – and build customer trust as a byproduct. Marketing shouldn’t be a smoke and mirrors gimmick, but a true reflection of your business’s offerings and services. Your voice should speak to your customer base no matter what platform they are on – the switch should be seamless.
Real life example from one of our clients – Gallagher Uniform
Located in Battle Creek, MI, Gallagher Uniform has been family owned and operated for over 120 years. Since the beginning, they have always been focused on the customer, improving communication and accessibility to their uniform services. As technology has changed, they have too, adapting their marketing strategy and business model to better serve their customer base. Does that mean they have changed who they are at the core? Absolutely not. Instead, they have used technology to enhance their persona and capitalize on their traditional strength – customer engagement.
Their omni-channel approach includes consistent customer touchpoints through multiple channels, always maintaining the same experience and response.
Let’s say you need you work shirt repaired, you can do this by:
- Leaving a paper repair request on the service board at the Gallagher drop off area at work.
- Talking to your Route Service Representative directly so they can flag the garment for repair
- Calling the customer service team to schedule the repair
- Downloading their Mobile App called G-Trak Mobile. Using this you’re able to track the status of your uniforms, submit repair and replacement request and track the delivery schedule down to the minute.
No matter what channel you choose to use, the experience and attention to customer service is the same. All the uniforms also have the ability to be tracked online using their id numbers. So once a change is requested virtually, that is immediately updated in the system. It’s seamless. Their channels aren’t silos, they flow together to create a cohesive user experience.
Make it easy for your customers to choose you and feel good about it. Omni-channel marketing is one way to make sure that no matter what platform your customers are using, they remain your #1 priority.
Interested in continuing the conversation or considering an update for yourself? Contact us today, or leave a comment below.