I recently went to Cross Canal Day, a conference in Paris dedicated to digital marketing. Today, I would like to discuss the presentation I gave there about the importance of cross channel in the customer experience.
Since I started working in digital almost 20 years ago, one of the main challenges has been to offer the right content at the right time, and to the right person. For a long time, this was more a vision than a reality, but the technological progress made during the last 4 to 5 years now allows us to build a unified customer experience, regardless of the contact point on the customer journey.
Understanding the Customer Remains the Number 1 Challenge
Today, customer journeys are naturally cross channel. Let’s take the example of a customer of an Internet service provider who has a problem with his connection. The customer will probably start by calling customer service, and will receive an email inviting him to complete a satisfaction survey, and then possibly go in store if the problem isn’t solved completely.
It is essential to keep in mind that a brand does not sell to devices, but to people. Since each user owns 6.1 connected devices on average, the challenge is to build a good relationship with a seamless vision and to aggregate all customer data centrally in order to offer a personalised and relevant experience.
At the moment, many brands are still far from this point. Consider, for example, a fashion brand that sends VIP offers by email, but when the customer arrives in store, he realises these deals are actually accessible to all, and therefore definitely not VIP.
Three Priority Use Cases for Cross Channel
Experience shows that three use cases should be prioritised when thinking cross channel:
- Cross-channel campaign management. This is about customising, automating, and delivering cross-channel campaigns, which involves building a unified vision with all the data but also being able to push the data according to the moment. Clearly, this is the first skill that must be integrated.
- Email. Often seen as the poor relation of communication, email marketing can be powerful in cross channel when it is used at the right time. The challenge here is identifying the best moments to target (after visiting the store, upon abandoning a basket, and so on).
- Managing the customer journey. This is about understanding a prospect, turning him into brand ambassador through engaging experiences throughout the customer journey. We still come back to this idea of unified vision, by breaking silos for data … and organisations.
In conclusion, it is important to keep three points in mind:
- Cross channel must be a real company choice, a conscious decision to break silos.
- It is essential not to try to do everything at once, but instead to start with a use case and expand.
- All this has been made possible by technology, which good use must be made of.
What about you, what is your experience in cross channel? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments. You can also go further by attending the Cross-Channel Forum, on the 7th of July in Paris!