By- Praveen Paulose, MD & CEO of Celusion Technologies.
Maintaining a brand presence across multiple channels like Branch, Telesales, Web, Mobile App, SMS, WhatsApp and Social Media while offering a seamless, positive and personalized customer experience is the essence of omnichannel marketing strategy. A bad customer experience can cause your customer to switch to another service provider so the focus should be on offering the customer a consistently positive experience across channels.
Factors to consider when building a new Omnichannel Strategy
The mere use of multiple channels to push your products or services cannot be considered omnichannel marketing if they operate independently of one another and do not speak to each other. The essence of omnichannel marketing is to allow customers to move from one channel to another seamlessly while completing the transaction if he/she so desires. It is entirely up to the customer if they choose to check out the product features on the mobile app or social media while completing the actual transaction in the bank branch. A successful omnichannel strategy is one that allows customers the flexibility to explore multiple channels and use one or a combination of a few to tailor their own experience.
Ease of Use
In a time-strapped environment, customers want convenience as the first priority. The customer experience needs to be smooth and user-friendly. Ease of use needs to be the topmost priority to create a positive customer experience.
Consistent Positive Experience
When you are building a brand presence across channels, it is important to provide a consistent experience across all channels. Having a good experience on one channel and an unsatisfactory one on the other can damage the brand image. It is essential that the brand focuses on building a positive experience on each channel.
Relevance to Customer
Today’s customers are very demanding and discerning. They need tailored user experiences that take into account their need, history, preferences, user behaviour and context. Basically they need a high degree of relevance to their requirement before they explore an option.
Raising Customer Awareness
The power of information can never be underestimated. Brands that focus on empowering customers by informing them about their products and services and helping them make informed decisions succeed in the long run. They manage to build loyal customer bases and generate higher Return on Investment.
Successful brands stay ahead of the curve by adapting themselves quickly to a changing business landscape. They need to adopt data analytics that provides them real time information about changing customer behaviour. This will help them to make necessary changes immediately when the changing dynamics demand it or an opportunity presents itself.
How Do You Implement a Good Omnichannel Marketing Strategy?
Create a Superlative Customer Experience
Brands should focus on studying customer behaviour across channels to figure out what delights them. They should use these inputs to tailor an excellent customer experience that is uniform across all channels. Whether it is the mobile app or telesales or a physical visit to the branch, the quality of the customer experience should be excellent.
Better Understanding of Customer Behaviour
Data provides excellent insights into customer behaviour and should be the base for building customer strategy. Social listening gives your valuable sound bytes about customer behaviour and this provides the basis for future marketing strategy. The online behaviour of customers on various channels gives information about their tastes and preferences which can be the building blocks for new /add-on products and services.
Build Segment-wise Strategies
It is best to segregate the users into segments based on their behaviour and consumption patterns and design a tailored experience for each segment of customers.
Messaging is a powerful medium of communication
While messaging is a strong medium of communication, it is critical to send the right message to the right audience at the right time to have maximum impact. The impact of a message depends on reaching the correct target audience at a time when it will have maximum effect. A wrong message or bad timing can have negative effects on prospective customers and has to be avoided at all costs.
Use the Most Suitable Marketing Automation Tools
It is best to compare the marketing automation tools available and use the one best suited for the entity. Data analytics tools will give real-time information about the performance of different channels and this information can be used to design the next level strategy. Marketing automation tools could include email marketing, follow up/reminder email, survey or feedback email, Anniversary/ birthday wishes, Product updates etc. These can be sent automatically without human intervention and will help in lead conversion and customer retention.
Adopt a Customer-Centric Approach
Exceeding customer expectations is the only sure shot solution for success of any approach. Every business needs to keep the customer needs at the centre and train their employees to build a customer-centric mindset. Unless every employee is focused on customer delight, it is difficult to offer a consistent experience across channels.
An Omnichannel strategy is different from a multi-channel approach as it focuses on proving a seamless experience across channels and customers can choose two or more channels to complete their transaction. An omnichannel approach focuses on delivering a consistent message to customers across all channels. All channels speak to each other and a completely transparent approach is followed in an omnichannel strategy. The goal is to provide consistent communication to the customers and provide a seamless experience.
Devising the right omnichannel strategy is the best option for brands in the Banking and Financial Services industry as the world adjusts to a new normal post the COVID pandemic. It is imperative that brands understand the power of the omnichannel strategy and work towards building channel synergies.
As the financial sector continues to move towards a digital customer experience, it would do well to keep in mind that the human touch forms an integral part of the omnichannel strategy. A truly well-oiled and successful omnichannel strategy needs to combine digital and human channels for maximum effectiveness. As the world hurtles toward a new normal and a fast-evolving business landscape, businesses would do well to approach an agile approach to changes and be ready to adapt whenever the situation demands it.