Not all businesses are poised for success simply because they’ve implemented a multichannel marketing strategy. For instance, without any insight into customer demographics or preferences, an organization might add a service channel that may become severely underutilized, costing the company financially and perhaps even confusing customers if they are unfamiliar with the tool. For example, consider a customer base that is 65+ being introduced to a new video chat service.

As such, companies’ multichannel service strategies should first and foremost be customer-centric—that is, intuitively designed to meet their customers’ service needs and preferences. As such, it would be wise to take an incremental approach to expanding your number of service channels as opposed to taking an omni-channel approach, in which an organization makes every different type of service channel available to consumers right off the bat.

In other words, it is usually more practical to begin with just one channel for mastering rather than several. In doing so, you can track metrics and monitor key performance indicators on this one service channel to garner actionable insights about customer responsiveness and overall performance. When you are ready, continue on with another channel.

Here are two preliminary steps to follow when getting your customer-centric, multi-channel marketing plan up and running:

  • Use business intelligence technology: There’s no better way to lose profit than by implementing too many service channels that won’t be utilized by the consumer.  Business intelligence technology, like customer profiles, can make choosing which channel to start with much simpler for businesses by recording and analyzing customer’s behaviors and buying habits. This way, businesses can strategically choose the best channel options—whether it’s digital or direct mail depending on the demographic.
  • Keep quality of customer care top of mind: Don’t abandon your business’s quality of customer care by spreading your workforce too thin. For instance, if you’re planning on using the same staff to monitor online support as contact center support, you must ensure they are equipped to do so. Customers are more likely to retreat from your business if your mobile application produces unfavorable results such as lag time and unanswered customer inquiries.

There are plenty of consumer giants that provide customer care options across multiple disparate service –channels; however, if your business wants to reap ROI and top-notch reviews its better start small and work your way up the ladder. At the end of the day, it’s wiser to master one channel at a time rather than jump head first into multiple different channels and, for any given reason, be forced to abandon them.

Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several University boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry, including the ATA’s highest honor, the prestigious Fulcrum Award.