Crafting a Connected Omnichannel Experience
An omnichannel experience, where all of the touchpoints that come into contact with a customer are consistent and connected, is the baseline of what brands need to deliver in order to retain customers and gain new ones in 2022. And yet, often brands still get this part wrong. My family and I recently installed a new home security system that my husband signed up for. He downloaded the app and set up all of the alarms and cameras around the house, and I also downloaded the app on my end so that I can turn the system on and off (mostly so that I can turn it off in the middle of the night to get a glass of water!) Prior to all of this, my husband and I were researching home security systems on google. So now we’ve taken the plunge, bought and installed the system, and I have the registered app, but I’m still receiving emails from this same company to purchase their home security system. It honestly brings my comfort level in this system and the service we pay for in addition every month down quite a few notches. If you’re not paying attention to the fact that I’m further down the funnel, what else are you not paying attention to when it comes to the security of my home?
So we know as a brand we need to get this right, and to pay close attention to the triggers within the system that are telling us what moment that matters our customer is at within the buying funnel, and respond appropriately. An example of a brand that’s doing this right is the Neurohacker collective. About a year ago I started a subscription of their Qualia herbal supplement, but then we moved our location, and I forgot to update my address. The supplements went to our old rental house, so I called up their customer service and told them I couldn’t easily access the bottle that had been sent. No problem, the customer service person said on the phone, we’ll send you another bottle to your new address no charge, and update your address on the spot. I received the new bottle and they even threw in a trial bottle of an additional product for free! This has converted me to a loyal fan who also will recommend their product far and wide.
A Roadmap to get to the Next Level
Starting with well researched personas, we are able to develop personalized messaging, cadence, channel, and appropriate engagement for our customers. We begin with lightweight personas using any customer research that we have to date and in a collaborative workshop with stakeholders, develop our initial personas, typically no more than 6 to 8. We then move to developing our content strategy at a high level, then dive deep into message mapping to ensure that we create granular messages that are germane to the channel, persona, and moment that matters for that persona. As soon as possible we test these messages in a lean, agile manner in market, then optimize and launch in market across channels.
All along the way, ensuring that we are consistent with our overarching brand identity is key. We never want the customer experience to feel like it’s coming from disparate, disconnected voices. Take the time to develop each persona’s distinct tone of voice and then translate that to the nuanced message based on where they’re coming from in the experience. Pay attention to their communication preferences and allow them to receive messaging the way that is most comfortable for the customer, which may mean text only, voice, video, and beyond the standard email communication.
Developing an Empathetic, Personalized Experience
Sometimes our customers are going through tough times, and especially in this pandemic era, we want to be cognizant of what our customers are dealing with in their personal lives. I had signed up for a service to support a musical artist that I love who has put out countless albums years ago, and it was a great CX as I would receive goodies such as subscription-only songs and free tickets to her local shows. But after a few years with this subscription, I had an errant charge on my credit card and had to contact my credit card company to deactivate that card and issue another one. I had completely forgot that the artist subscription was attached to that credit card until she personally reached out to me via email to say how thankful she was for supporting me for so many years and that she completely understood if due to my financial circumstances changing I was unable to continue and that I should take care of myself first. I’ll note that it wasn’t quite my circumstance, but it was such a warm email that this artist’s heart really came through. She cared more about me as a person that the monthly subscription which of course made a continued fan and supporter for life.
On the other hand, don’t be afraid to add a little delight into touchpoints with your customers when it’s warranted. You can be a little cheeky and have some fun, like the text I received from Two Blind Brothers with a *GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING* which was really a plug for their cute graphic tees. It was very much in their “having fun with a purpose” brand identity, and makes me feel good about buying clothes where 100% of the profits support research to develop a cure for blindness. Growing up, my grandfather was blind so this is a cause near and dear to my heart, but instead of highlighting how hard this is for anyone experiencing blindness day to day the brand has taken a lighthearted approach to a serious condition that really works. They’re not skirting the enormity of the task ahead to cure blindness, and they provide data on the great work they’re doing (30,678 hours of clinical studies through Foundation Fighting Blindness), but they’re also creating a delightful experience with their brand at the same time.
I’d love to hear more about how you’ve added the principles of Customer Experience to your omnichannel plans for success, so feel free to drop me a line!