Pop quiz: name the top five social networks your customers use to form opinions about things to buy. If you could come up with more than two, you’re doing better than most businesses. Most people are starting to move into several social networks. Facebook and Twitter are still old standbys, but LinkedIn is nipping at their heels. For anyone under 30, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, and the plethora of other microplatforms are rapidly supplanting them.
This makes maintaining channel continuity an even larger priority, according to CRM expert and analyst Ray Wang, who champions consistent customer experiences regardless of channel.
Do you know where your customers are?
Every day tweeting
Do you tweet every day and expect your customers to see it? Great for you. “Customers don’t care what channel you’re in—just the channel that they’re in,” Wang quips. What matters is what channel customers are using—and more precisely, what channel customers are using when they want to interact with your brand.
“Channel handoff is very important,” Wang explains. “Whether you’re calling on the phone, returning something to the store, or you’re looking for information on the web—none of that should make a difference. Customers want the ability to traverse all of these channels and have the same level of experience.”
What’s your plan? What do you mean you don’t have one?
Ensuring this level of continuity requires careful planning. For marketing and sales communications, understanding which channels your customers want to use to receive your messages ensures you’re not just shouting into an abyss. There’s no point posting on Tumblr if most of your customers prefer Twitter. Likewise, putting CRM, sales, and support systems in place that ensure a phone call, email, or web experience are all consistent maintains that continuity.
Are you experienced?
The entire process ratchets up to continuity of experience, Wang says. “Brands are competing for time and attention—not against other brands.” And the brands that can craft experiences that deliver on their promises will continue to thrive in the age of digital communications.
To find out more about how your company can create channel continuity and experiences that delight customers, listen to Ray Wang’s free 60-minute webinar, The Future of Marketing.