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Expanding your services with omni-channel customer engagement

There’s no quick-fix, one-size-fits-all solution to growing your brand recognition. It’s a journey that takes time and due diligence, building your company’s stature, developing successful sales strategies attuned to your markets and business model, and – perhaps most importantly – capturing the right customers, your customers, and keeping them.

Customer engagement is the tricky part, and it’s the component that has only become harder for many companies in recent years. As users become more connected, exposed to product information and aware of their buying options than ever before, it becomes more difficult for companies to break through and make an impression, much less retain their attention and trust.

This was especially highlighted in a survey from the Reputation Institute last year, which found that social media – despite providing an intuitive tool for customers to communicate with and become more knowledgeable about potential businesses to buy from – had actually undercut their trust in brands. In fact, only 15 percent of those polled said they actually trusted companies on the basis of their advertising. That’s a whopping 85 percent of potential customers who have lost faith in the notion of brands.

But you can reverse this, regaining that trust and building brand loyalty, through effective omni-channel customer engagement. Note the qualifier here: omni-channel, not multi-channel. At first glance, they may appear similar, but the end result is quite different.

Omni-Channel vs Multi-Channel

Think about the variety of channels you have to reach your customers with (and vice versa): websites, social media, mobile apps, phone lines, QR codes and even the tried-and-true face-to-face meeting. In a single-channel system, you engage with your customers in just one of these means – a hardly relevant strategy anymore that ignores all those customers who may prefer other channels.

In a multi-channel strategy, you do exactly that, utilising all of these tools to communicate with customers, inform them, resolve potential issues or promote new products. While this is certainly better at capturing customers, it also has the effect of placing them into channel-based silos – in other words, you look at your customer base as social media customers, mobile app customers, Web customers, phone customers, QR code customers and so forth. Additionally, by providing multiple points of contact for your customer, you could end up having them think of your company in terms of channels rather than as a single brand.

An omni-channel strategy, though, solves that conundrum, allowing both the company and the customer to communicate and engage with one another however they wish, while at the same time making it clear that all of these different channels flow together through a single brand. This strategy enables businesses and customers to interact through multiple channels, or switch from one channel to another, based on personal preferences or time and location restraints.

Creating a unified view of your brand

By merging these disparate channels under one unified strategy – the inbound and the outbound, the digital and the physical – you create a customer experience that gives both your target audience a singular view of your brand, and your company a singular view of the customer. This helps to build back that trust in branding while providing your business a strategic way for leveraging customer patterns and behaviors into more coordinated and actionable strategies.

For a firsthand demonstration of a digital omni-channel strategy in action that better engages with customers, check out our interactive EngageOne video service.