This podcast episode is all about the many ways a consumer can contact you in the digital age and how having brand consistency across all these communication channels can impact your profitability.
Training your staff on how to create valuable customer experiences with all of the means of communication a customer may use to reach out to you these days is more important than ever. The multiple point of contact option for consumers even has a marketing buzzword and that word is omni-channel.
If you are an omni-channel organization, you are a company that is using an approach to communication that seeks to provide the customer with a variety of ways to make contact with you, regardless of the reason for that contact.
Think of it as meeting the consumer “where they live”. Let’s face it, we are working with a multi-generational marketplace, with each generation having its preference for the way they reach out. Millennials text and instant message, Boomers use the phone and email, and the Traditionalists prefer to “walk in” to your store or business to make contact. You need to have a plan and be prepared to communicate with and serve today’s consumers regardless of their preferences.
Before the digital revolution, employees needed to know how to manage the customer experience by phone and in-person. Employee training usually consisted of telephone etiquette skills and on-site selling and customer service skills. But today, my company, Market Viewpoint, is evaluating a variety of communication portals for our clients to be sure that the customer feels that they are getting the attention they need and deserve no matter how they choose to connect with you.
Portals of entry to a business have multiplied and with this expansion, so has the need to not only manage the brand consistency across these communication channels, but the experience the customer ultimately has as well. It’s no easy task and that is why mystery shopping and training are so critical.
Some of the ways customers have to make contact with you are:
- The contact page or contact form on your website
- Text messaging
- Social media posts
- Instant messaging
- Online live chats
- Phone (company land lines and cell phones)
- Voice mail
- In-person visits
I highly recommend a thorough review of these channels to check for complete and accurate company contact information, data on how soon a consumer can expect a response from you, accurate messaging, and perhaps a list of other options for consumer contact, if their need is more immediate.
Brand consistency across communication channels is critical. Having a plan and clearly communicating it to your employees through the training process is necessary in today’s complicated environment.
A resource for you to use to check the communication experiences your customers are having with you is to mystery shop on a regular basis.
Stay ahead of the curve, correct communication issues before they get out of hand, and be sure that you put a communication plan in place that will signal to your customers that they are an important part of your organization.