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.

Rapid Response Routing – Customer Service for the NOW Generation

In the evolving world of direct interactive marketing, we are faced with great challenges and opportunities brought on by innovative digital communication technologies.  The combination of the internet and mobile devices has created a world where we have all become accustomed to having every bit of information we need right at the tip of our fingers.  And when – for some reason – we are unable to find the information we need right away, it is actually a bit unsettling.

So why is it that when making a request for information online, consumers wait on average 48-72 hours for a response?  This may have been appropriate ten, or even five years ago.  But today, we are committing a marketing sin if we allow a customer or potential customer to wait any length of time for information about our products and services.  The technology is out there that allows us to be able to reach out to those customers immediately – drastically improving customer service and maximizing our potential to make a sale, because we have contacted the consumer when their interest in the product or service is at its peak.

Technological innovation enables us to satisfy the NOW generation

At InfoCision, we have invested Rapid Response Routingin a proprietary service for our clients called Rapid Response Routing (R3), which increases response time by creating a continuous flow for the request, eliminating the time-consuming process of manually pulling customer information. So when a consumer on your website clicks to request more information, their contact information is sent directly to InfoCision’s system, which pings the self-reported  data  against our national consumer database to append additional demographic, psychographic and transactional information. If it’s part of the campaign strategy, the data can be scored to produce a customized offer. The information is sent to the most qualified InfoCision Communicator who calls them – and all within a minute or two of the consumer making the online request. The results have been tremendous – but don’t just take my word for it…

A recent case study on R3 shows how impressive the results have been for one of our valued clients.  Prior to InfoCision handling the program, the client’s average callback time for internet requests was several hours or longer. After Rapid Response Routing (R3) was implemented, 90 percent of online requests were responded to in less than 3 minutes – with an average callback time of 2.75 minutes. This surpassed the client’s goal of having 80 percent of their customers called back in 3-5 minutes. In addition to the remarkably fast average response time, R3 also increased efficiencies and sales by creating a positive customer experience that allowed for upsell and cross sell opportunities. These additional sales helped to reduce the cost per unit by 26 percent.

Click here to view a webinar on Rapid Response Routing (R3).

This is just one example of a service we’ve created to satisfy today’s NOW generation across vertical segments, including education, financial and other commercial markets. Companies that want to thrive into the future must find ways to reach their customers and potential customers in a fast and meaningful way.  I’d be interested to hear from any readers how you are finding ways to get people the information they need NOW.

Satisfying the Customer Service Needs of the NOW Generation

People want things NOW!  I know I’m guilty of this myself.

With close to 79% of Americans online according to Internet World Stats, the need to engage customers and potential customers immediately is more important than ever, especially with the incredible growth of mobile devices and tablets.

The other day I was on various websites checking out different vacation packages. A couple of the sites gave you the option of submitting a request for additional information, which I did…If I would have gotten a phone call while I was on their site, the odds of me booking with them would have certainly increased!

InfoCision recently hosted a webinar on a service we offer that will do just what I needed when I was on those vacation sites – we can call people within seconds of them submitting their contact information online.

And because the customer’s needs are being met immediately, they feel positive about the interaction and are more open to hearing about and signing up for additional services and products. For one of our clients this has led to a 26 percent decrease in their cost per unit.

The Customer Service Message

At InfoCision, we strive to create the very best experience for our clients’ customers and our R3 service allows us to do just that. In researching for the webinar I ran across some interesting information I’d like to share with you. Did you know that within the first hour of someone submitting their information online, the odds of contacting them decreases by over 10 times? But, if you call them within five minutes the odds of getting a hold of them increases 100 times!

There’s more great info like this in the webinar so if you have about 45 minutes to check it out here. And please, feel free to stop back here and let me know what you think.