Exploring the Multichannel Marketing Ecosystem

As of late, the preferred method of customer service isn’t necessarily through the telephone. Consider the consumer habits of millennials—a generation highly reliant on Internet and mobile-based communications. In fact, a survey from the customer service tech analysis company Software Advice revealed that 56 percent of respondents aged 18-34 prefer communicating via live chat rather than phone.

These generational insights mean businesses should explore the benefits of multichannel marketing services. Nevertheless, opening up business across multiple channels does not mean immediate bolstered profit. It takes time and nurturing to provide best-in-class customer service over several platforms.

A recent report from Forrester suggests that today’s consumer takes “many paths as they solve problems, activating business capabilities in unpredictable ways.” As such, it is important that when activating these different paths, businesses are able to harmoniously maintain the volume of new inquires generated from additional channels along with those that are already set in place.

In order to provide effective multichannel customer service you must ask the same questions as you would in telecom services. Is this service reliable? Are consumers engaged? Will the chosen channel reap the expected ROI for my business?

You can guarantee the answers to the above three questions are ‘yes’ by ensuring your multichannel marketing solutions includes these three important components:

Integration: The integration of a new customer service channel should be seamless if it’s going to be effective. Solutions such as rapid response routing allow for such flawless implementation. When a customer’s information is entered through an online service, an automated phone call is prompted. While the customer is entering information a representative is already working to further handle the specific details of the process, order or move. As a result, two customer service channels are married in order to produce an even stronger customer support system.

Personalization: Consumers seek immediate engagement with Communicators as soon as the phone is picked up. In other words, the last thing they want is to be put on hold. In the same sense, when a customer sends an email a response is anticipated; it won’t benefit your brand to provide an email address with poor responsiveness.  Build your brand loyalty while assuring customers that an email service, for example, really works by providing real results. Aggregate the customer’s specific information and include this in your emails. Make your customers aware of your business’s attentiveness through personalized response.

Time Sensitivity: What truly gives a company a competitive advantage in the customer service industry is timeliness.  It’s a real brand differentiator when a company not only follows up, but follows through in a timely manner. If your brand is going to offer a live chat or email solution, make sure you have the workforce to support these channels. If a customer sends a message to a live chat service only to be left hanging, the likelihood of that customer’s return is slim to none. Combat poor customer retention by offering up speedy responses.

Multichannel marketing services are a great idea for any business’s customer service support. Options in addition to the telephone make way for increased customer engagement. Just remember: extra channels require extra attention in order to succeed.

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, formerly known as the ATA. 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.

Excellent Customer Service Isn’t Luck, It’s Strategy

If you’re hoping your customer service tactics land your organization in a pot of gold this St. Patrick’s Day you’ll need more support than a four leaf clover. Companies that provide unmatched quality of customer service attribute it to something more than luck—but rather, a well executed and consistent strategy. Hiring agents with the right disposition to most appropriately suit your customer base, as well as implementing a multichannel marketing service to stimulate a greater consumer outreach, for example, are integral steps in attaining the coveted prize at the end of the rainbow.

Allow us to further explore these two elements necessary to start a successful customer service plan:

Well-Suited and Trained Employees

You can hire candidates that appear suitable on paper and hope for the best, or you can actively seek candidates who inherently possess empathy, self-motivation and confidence. It’s important, prior to the training process, to assemble a team of agents who already demonstrate social and communicative skills needed to fit the role. In order to maximize the results of an already power-packed team of agents, you’ll need to implement an in-depth training process. Match agents to the clients most suited to their personality and provide client-based training for the optimum level of preparedness before the agent ever starts hitting the phone lines.

Marketing Strategy

Enhance your marketing campaign by implementing it across multiple channels. Reach out to more customers and speak to new audiences by incorporating, for example, digital services into your strategy. Providing your customers with more opportunities to engage with your brand over their preferred communication platforms will only further demonstrate your company’s attentiveness to their service needs and preferences and purchasing behaviors. Perhaps your brand is trying to reach out to more millennials—try launching a new email and text messaging marketing program. This way, your brand message becomes more mobile and less stifled as communication is possible through more than one platform.

It’s time to do more than rely on good luck to improve your customer service strategy. It takes expert employees and multichannel marketing services to reap the reward.

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 American Teleservices Association (ATA). 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.

Hollywood Studios Struggle to Find Marketing Sweet Spot

Often times, when major motion pictures are declared successes or flops in the media, the measurement used is simply how much money the film brought in at the box office versus how much it cost the studio to make. But according to an article from “The Hollywood Reporter” rising marketing costs are causing these studios major headaches.

The story states that global marketing costs for major motion pictures are skyrocketing, having reached approximately $200 million on average for summer blockbusters. That number represents a 33 percent increase since 2007, when the marketing spend for these big-budget films was around $150 million.

“Marketing is the single most discussed and debated issue in Hollywood,” said CBS Films chief Terry Press in the article.

The piece covers several factors contributing to rapidly growing marketing expenses, including the rising price of television advertising and the struggle studios experience in trying to budget spending in the U.S., where box office numbers are declining. But another reason given is the slow adjustment the industry is making in embracing multichannel marketing solutions and digital advertising.

A recent joint survey commissioned by Nielsen and Twitter found that 87 percent of Twitter users were influenced in their most recent movie choice by the social media site and that that 62 percent of moviegoers used the Internet or mobile apps to learn about films. Nonetheless, studios rarely spend more than $10 million on digital marketing.

“We have to be more inventive about how we reach consumers,” said Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. marketing chief in the Hollywood Reporter piece. “Moviegoers are very savvy. You have to figure out new ways of appealing to them. We are seeing significant changes in the way we spend across all platforms. It’s a patchwork quilt. It never gets boring.”

So what lessons can businesses take from Hollywood’s struggles? The most important takeaway is that marketing is rapidly evolving to include more channels, and if your company isn’t committed to keeping up, it risks spending inefficiently and forfeiting potential profits.

That is not to suggest that multichannel marketing is easy. If major Hollywood studios are struggling to make the best use of their marketing dollars, many SMBs are likely to run into similar problems, albeit on a smaller scale. And that is why a multichannel marketing partner like InfoCision is so valuable.

We’ve watched the marketing landscape evolve over 30 years and understand the current trends. We can help you allocate your resources in a way that makes sense for your particular company, helping you grow your customer base and revenue along the way. InfoCision offers solutions for your social media accounts, website, telemarketing, direct mail and more. We can also provide business intelligence that helps you personalize your marketing and more effectively target your consumers and prospects.

So if your company is struggling with its marketing spending or is simply a little unsure of the direction its headed, consider reaching out to InfoCision for a helping hand. It’s not too late for your organization to get its own Hollywood ending.