A successful customer strategy will lead to increased sales by offering customers what they want in the way they want it. It is important to invest in getting your customer strategy right from the start rather than jumping into new or existing channels without considering how they fit into the overall customer strategy.
Customer Strategy to Channel Strategy
A customer strategy is a plan for creating or improving the customer experience you provide and considers your customers needs, and how you can best meet them. This then filters down to other sub-strategies that deliver your strategy.
In support of a customer strategy, a channel strategy is required. This translates the needs identified in the customer strategy into each channel the organization uses, including digital channels such as mobile, social media, web and off-line channels like shops and contact centres.
Sitting alongside the channel strategy is the IT strategy which provides the tools (such as Customer Experience Management software) and platforms to support the channel strategy.
Consider your Channels
Each channel can then be considered individually. Successful businesses also implement a cost saving channel shift strategy that encourages customers to move to a cheaper online self service model away from more expensive off-line service models.
Let’s look at the mobile channel. The mobile web should be used to improve customer experience. By adopting a customer centric approach and delivering a task orientated mobile website, customers can interact with the business in the way they want. This will help drive channel shift and improve the customer experience.
As an example of how to plan each channel’s strategy here are the steps needed for a mobile strategy:
- Develop a customer focused channel shift strategy
- Identify mobile top tasks that customers want to perform
- Develop a fully transactional and efficient mobile website
- Integrate back-office systems
- Improve the customer journey and experience
- Use analytics to continually improve
Get the Processes Right
Finally, processes are required to run across all channels that enable the organization to effectively and efficiently deliver customer requests. Each channel may need a different process, but the over all customer experience should be consistent.
To summarize, it is important to ensure an over arching strategy is in place to deliver value to customers up-front and then rolling this out to the channel strategy and finally each individual channel.
Editor's Note: Rob is a regular contributor to CMSWire focused on the Customer Experience. Check out his recent related article: Channel Shift: Opportunities for Mobile Business.