The importance of multi-channel customer engagement

I read an interesting article by Sara Kowal of ePrize entitled Consumers Are Like Teenagers: Why Multi-Channel Engagement is Key, this morning that got me thinking about customer relationships.

In the post, Kowal explains that customers want to engage and interact with companies on their own terms. Much like teenagers interacting with their parents, customers decide when and how to communicate. They decide when the time is right and they select the channel of communication.

The most important ‘take away’ from this post is: to stay competitive in the delivery of products and services, organizations must provide multi-channels of engagement. They must make it as easy and convenient for customers to dialogue with key individuals within the organization, while promoting interaction and discussion with online customer communities.

Multi-channel customer engagement: Key factors

Kowal presents two key ways—availability and interaction—to successfully reach customers at various touch points and where they ultimately live. These suggestions are congruent with the vision around OneDesk’s multi-channel social engagement strategy.

1. “Be available. Anywhere. Any time.” This is the hallmark of multi-channel customer engagement. Much like the teenager, the customer decides when and how to connect. This really means that you must have a process set up on your front end innovation that allows your customers to communicate with you through various channels. This includes the social web (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.), company feedback portals, online help desk services and more traditional channels, such as email or phone.

2. “Ask questions.” A conversation involves a process of two-way communication and interaction between individuals. The dialogue created through multi-channel engagement serves to enrich the product and service development process. More than just gathering data about customer needs, ‘asking questions’ means taking that extra step to clarify and elaborate upon the details of customer feedback, questions and support requests, and then use that information to create customer-driven innovative products and services.

Discover how OneDesk helps you create a multi-channel customer engagement strategy:

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