James Stokes (corporate team leader UK and Ireland, Infobip) explains how to communicate the reasons for omnichannel investing and why you need to do it as soon as possible.
You probably know how crucial it is to offer your customers personalized, informed and transparent interactions. But the c-suite may not be as knowledgeable, and since they hold the purse strings, it’s up to you as the marketer to convince them that the expense is worth it.
It can sometimes seem like an uphill battle, but it can be reassuring to know that you are not alone. According to CMO Club64% of marketers say lack of resources and investment are their biggest barriers to successfully implementing omnichannel marketing.
So let’s take a look at how to get the support you need to drive better customer engagement that impacts the bottom line.
Not just why, but why now?
Getting leadership on board is like any other sales pitch. You need to know your audience and talk about their motivations.
It can be tempting to start with the benefits of an omnichannel approach, but it’s more compelling to start by exposing the dangers of leaving things as they are. Otherwise, it’s easy for the c-suite to deprioritize you against the long list of other business threats they have to deal with. Your pitch should communicate not just why they should invest, but why now.
So what are the imminent dangers of being blocked on the omnichannel?
1.) Fall behind the competition
Companies that have an omnichannel communications strategy in place have significantly higher customer retention rates than those that don’t. UNICEFfor example, reduced donor churn by more than 33% by implementing a unified omnichannel solution.
We all know that it is much more expensive to continue to win new customers than to retain existing customers. Losing customers because you lag on omnichannel means earning less customer lifetime revenue than your competition and spending more than them on customer acquisition. Essentially, the more your organization drags its feet in adopting omnichannel, the further your competitors will get ahead.
2.) Become useless to the customer
Our interaction habits have changed drastically over the past 20 years and most of us use multiple communication channels daily without really thinking about it. Today’s customers are no longer pleasantly surprised by omnichannel – they expect it.
If they can’t get a seamless omnichannel experience from your organization, they’ll find it elsewhere. And when it comes to customer service, people want to interact with companies over the communication channels they prefer. Choice is key to satisfying the modern consumer.
3.) Siled channels can be as expensive as having none at all
You may have already tried to communicate with customers on the channels that work for them, but you are not getting the results you hoped for. This is usually because these channels are not consistently managed and supported by uniform data. If channels such as email, text and voice are operated in silos, without a centralized view of the customer and their interaction history, communication will be disjointed and frustrating. Adding more channels into this mix only adds to the fragmentation.
You need to explain to the c-suite that installing an insufficiently informed and connected omnichannel system can be as costly as having none at all. On the other hand, investing in a cloud communication platform can allow you to implement a holistic customer experience strategy that spans your entire organization and customer journey.
Skip to Opportunity
Once you’ve established the urgency to go omnichannel, it’s time to move on to the many benefits of a seamless, centralized multichannel approach. Here are some of them:
When you get a good omnichannel foundation, you gain incredible ability to manage growth. You are suddenly able to handle an unlimited number of interactions. You end up with a virtuous circle of effects: the more efficient, lightning-fast, secure and successful interactions you can manage, the more satisfied customers you will have, the more you can grow, the more information you will collect, the more the more you can improve your service – and so on.
Spend more, more often
Give your audience wider access to a variety of channels and you’ll build a closer relationship, which will encourage customers to part with their money more often. Omnichannel shoppers tend to spend more frequently and spend more money per purchase than single-channel shoppers. The more channels they can use, the more they will spend.
Singularity, speed and fluidity
With an effective omnichannel approach, you can truly unify your customer communications, ensuring that every interaction is part of a seamless experience that transcends the channel.
By using a cloud contact center solution, for example, your human agents really become just another channel that works with all the others. If an automated interaction doesn’t go well, the conversation can be easily transferred to a human agent who has the full interaction history. Omnichannel done right means customers can easily switch between channels, confident that their needs will always be met.
Relevance and personalization
Unified data is at the heart of omnichannel communications, with visibility becoming a superpower for your businesses. By breaking down data silos and bringing together everything you know about customers from a variety of sources, you can give communications context and make them relevant and engaging.
make the case
Now that you have your omnichannel implementation case ready, it’s time to pitch your pitch to the right internal stakeholder. Identify the leader of the executive suite you are most likely to get on board with and remember to tailor your pitch to their organizational goals. Has your CMO recently talked about customer retention strategy? Are they newly appointed and looking for quick, demonstrable wins? Has your CIO recently complained about a lack of customer knowledge?
The good news is that an omnichannel strategy can be the answer to a number of your organizational challenges, so finding an angle that will get people excited shouldn’t be too difficult.
You can learn more about the rationale for your omnichannel strategy from the infobip website.