Do you allow Customers to use whatever channel they wish to communicate with you, or do you restrict them to one or two channels? The answer to this question can show how Customer centric your company is. Whether Customers are on the phone with your call center, chatting with your digital team online or talking face-to-face with an employee in a brick and mortar location, your channels need to present a united front to your Customers, providing them with the Customer Experience you designed.
This post is the fifth in a series of nine posts that uses our Naïve to Natural customer-centricity assessment. Today we are looking at Channels, one of the nine parts of your current experience that contributes to Customer centricity of your organization.
How Can You Tell How Customer Centric Your Marketing Channel Strategy is?
Here are some important questions to consider when defining your Marketing strategy and defining what channels you will allow your Customers to use.:
- How is your organization oriented: around the Customer or your product? How well is the organization matrixed across departments that pull together for Customer-facing interactions? If you find that your company is oriented on the product or the functions of the various departments, you need to address the orientation first to get the channels in sync.
- Is each channel a separate entity, or are they integrated? Companies that understand channel integration–or the Omni-channels–have a seamless presentation to the Customer. Those that don’t often have one channel they use and that’s it. Or they might have several channels that interact with Customers, but they are separate and many times conflicting.
- What channels are available to Customers and how are they selected?Companies that lack a Customer focus often only have one channel they dictate the Customer uses. Some more Customer focussed organizations have more than one but emphasize a particular channel that is best for the company. The most Customer Centric companies give their Customers a choice, often looking to the Customer to find new channels to offer.
- Who owns the Customer Experience at your organization? Companies that have a Customer-centric culture do not require any one person to own the organization, it is as they say, part and parcel of the experience. Companies that are not there yet often have a Customer Experience executive on staff that coordinates the effort. The least Customer-focused companies either don’t have any one person who owns it, leaving each department to determine their way of doing things or let Customer Experience happen by chance.
- How do you use Social Media to enhance the experience? Social media is a great channel for enhancing the Customer Experience. The most Customer-centric companies know this and use it to its full advantage. But companies that don’t present a unified front to Customers either use social media as a one-way communication or don’t use it at all.
Presenting a consistent experience to your Customers across channels requires planning and coordination. If everyone at your organization is sending the same, agreed upon and defined message, there is no way Customers can get the wrong one. Of course, we all know that a big part of that is having agreement on the message. Once you do that, however, it is critical that you present that message through every interaction.
How do you keep integration between your channels? I would be interested to hear your insight in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in the following blogs:
- Are you Deliberate With Your Customer Strategy or Just Taking a Chance?
- How to Make or Break Your Customer Experience
- Putting the Power of Your People to Work
To learn more about Beyond Philosophy’s Naïve to Natural Model, please register for our Naïve to Natural Certification beginning February 2, 2015.
Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author offour best-selling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter @ColinShaw_CX