Customer Experience

Creating a consistent multi-channel customer experience

Ryan Bonnici
Industry Expert

Ryan Bonnici is the Marketing Director (APAC) for HubSpot

Ryan Bonnici
Industry Expert

Ryan Bonnici is the Marketing Director (APAC) for HubSpot

Multi-channel customer experience sounds like something big companies worry about. But with social media, websites and marketing collateral, small businesses need to present a united front.

If you’re even a casual reader of the business blogosphere, you’ve probably heard more than once about this great big shift in how consumers buy - and how as an Australian business marketer you need to have a multi-channel interactions strategy.

Due to the pressure on businesses to grow at a lightning pace, every business has thrown their share of hard earned cash at cross-channel customer interaction platforms (email marketing, social marketing, inside sales, competition, mobile apps - you name it, it’s been tried).

However, businesses are quickly realising that they’re having issues in measuring their return on marketing investment (ROMI), as well as struggling to ensure each part of their sales and marketing process is seamless. A recent report from Signal shows only eight per cent of Aussie marketers interviewed are satisfied with cross-channel customer interaction.

So how can SMBs review the ROMI of their sales and marketing channels and ensure consistency?

Businesswoman using tablet device in workplace

Put people first

It all starts with the consumer: they have enormous choices facing them every day, between hundreds of emails, TV channels, numerous screens and devices, and millions of websites and individual pieces of content to consume.

Yet many businesses put a great deal of focus on consistency in external messages (brochures, emails etc.), while forgetting to first ensure consistency and transparency across their internal marketing platforms so staff are informed.

Once your staff are informed, it’s important to ensure five things to ensure consistency across all platforms:

1. You have buyer personas

Having a clearly defined buyer persona or personas that cover specifics about your ideal buyer is a necessity. This information helps you decide on which channels to focus your efforts - and it aligns the sales department’s understanding of where each prospective customer is in their buyers journey. This has a dramatic impact on the customer’s experience.

2. You’re creating consumer-first content

Australian businesses need to ensure they’re always providing value. They can do so by sharing relevant, consumer-first content that helps their audience, instead of pushing me-first marketing messages. This useful philosophy - which is very inbound (vs outbound) in its approach - must be apparent in every tactic deployed. Talk to your customers, not at them.

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3. All channels are working together

It’s not enough to just set up and use Twitter, Facebook, email, your website and a blog, if they don’t work in harmony to attract and convert business. The same consumer moves across all of these places quickly, so your customers need to be getting the same messages and levels of service across all platforms.

4. Sales and marketing align

Data is the best way to unify sales and marketing - and the best way to generate data between both teams is to integrate your sales and marketing software. By integrating your marketing platform with your customer management system, you can see your customers go from being visitors to brand advocates.

It allows sales teams to track the online behaviours of their leads to make what would have been a cold call into a warm call, and marketing can get a better understanding of where their best leads come from. This ensures customers have a consistent experience when being contacted by both parties.

5. You can measure everything

With multiple channels in play, you’ll also need to carefully measure the results of the multi-channel approach. Using analytics will inform you as to which channels are effective and which channels influence other channels. By doing so, you can identify those channels which are not converting as they should (they’re the ones that are likely to be inconsistent with your brand).

In the end, your goal in this consumer-first world is to step beyond just being present on multiple channels and start connecting them all together into one, thriving, inbound marketing and sales funnel. 

Key takeouts

  1. Have you set up buyer personas? If so, how are they performing? If not, do it. It’s a beneficial exercise.
  2. Audit your content. Are you putting out consumer-first content?
  3. Are your channels working together? If not, start cross-promoting them to ensure consistent and seamless touchpoints
  4. Are sales and marketing aligned? If not, create a sales and marketing SLA
  5. How is each channel performing? If some channels are performing better than others, re-allocate time and budget to your top-performers
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