Customer data and content are both crucial, as is machine learning to deliver that content at scale, at the right time and place. But how do you do that across multiple channels, in such a way that each channel supports the others throughout the entire customer journey?
When top executives in the financial services industry (FSI) were asked which digital areas were their top priorities for 2017, customer journey management came in second, at 31 percent; while targeting and personalisation came in first, at 33 percent. And among execs who are prioritising customer journey management, a full 78 percent of FSI say their number-one emphasis is on optimising consistent customer experiences across multiple channels and touchpoints.
This cross-channel consistency is particularly crucial in FSI, where customers often move freely from channels such as web, mobile, and tablets, to channels like email, SMS, and push notifications. Providing a truly immersive, personalised FSI customer experience requires that we orchestrate our messages across all these channels, whenever and wherever it’s appropriate.
And this isn’t just about digital banking, either. Cross-channel optimisation is also about ensuring consistent messaging in traditional channels like call centres and brick-and-mortar bank branches.
Coordination of these technologies and content management systems poses significant challenges. But once you’ve followed the steps laid out in the previous blogs of this series, you’ve already got your data centralised (or have at least have found workarounds for your legacy systems) and have created workflows that are giving you the right content velocity. With those pieces in place, cross-channel optimisation is a fairly straightforward issue to address. Here’s how.
The first step in achieving this consistency is delivery. You want to be able to deliver exceptional, fluid experiences on any channel, device, or application your customer is using. Part of this fluidity comes back to the content velocity we discussed in part 2 of this series—but it’s not only about creating personally relevant, engaging experiences. It’s equally about delivering those experiences consistently, across all channels, when and where they should be seen.
A coordinated delivery system is all about providing immersive experiences to your customers. That means delivering content in each customer’s native language, making it as interactive as possible, and integrating it seamlessly with the overall user experience on whatever device or touchpoint that customer is engaging with at the moment. And with the right digital asset management and delivery capability, you can handle all these workflows on the same platform.
The next step is to personalise each experience, not only around the device, but around the individual customer who’s interacting with it. That means automatically changing the offer based on what you know about that customer, on a one-to-one basis. This is where the data from part 1 of this series comes into play: it’s time to aggregate customer traits from all your touchpoints, and use those 360-degree profiles to drive stronger engagement and conversion.
You can achieve this stronger engagement by orchestrating your campaigns across multiple channels—earned, paid, and owned—and retargeting campaigns on the fly, in order to keep users engaged on every touchpoint. It’s also about connecting online and in-branch experiences, so that instead of just communicating with the customer on one device, you can (for example) send them a personalised push notification as soon as they step into a branch, while simultaneously greeting them with a related offer on the in-branch touchscreen.
The ability to coordinate personalised experiences across channels provides several forms of measurable business value. Putting the right content in front of the right customer, from a central unified platform, gives you a much more engaged customer, as well as the ability to innovate and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Your unified view of the customer, meanwhile, gives you the power to deliver content-rich campaigns, increasing conversion and retention rates and boosting customer loyalty, all while improving your productivity by lowering operating costs and decreasing time to publish content.
AXA Bank recently adopted a coordinated cross-channel platform to manage all its marketing emails and mobile SMS communications. The bank developed a consistent and cohesive omnichannel communication workflow, leveraging transactional messaging to both up-sell and cross-sell. It moved away from a “spray and pray” approach to deliver much more targeted interactions with customers. As a result, AXA saw email open rates increase from 60 to 80 percent, and conversion rates go up by 5 to 10 percent, within 14 months.
By using customer data and machine learning to coordinate personalised messaging across all channels, you’ll give your customers a fully immersive, contextually relevant experience. Once you’ve got the workflows in place to deliver immersive experiences, it’s time to contextually optimise those experiences with the power of machine learning, as described in part 3 of this series. Each interaction on every channel should bring in data, which you can feed into your machine learning algorithms to drive real-time insights that’ll help optimise your user experience even further.
That’s what we’ll be talking about in the fifth and final blog of this series: measuring and reporting conversion in a truly connected way, and using those insights to continually optimise your tactics. See you there!