Omnichannel is a buzzword that marketers and CXOs use often. As a brand, what it means is that you need to be wherever the consumer is, online and offline.
For large retail chains, omnichannel customer engagement has proven to be a successful strategy where consumers can shop online and pick up their purchases at the nearest store or have it delivered to their doorstep, or the other way around - shop in store and have it delivered.
But for other areas like real estate, financial services and educational institutions, this omnichannel strategy is more focused on engaging in a conversation with buyers, regardless of the channel
Making marketing automation conversational.
A presentation made by Gupshup CEO Beerud Sheth at the recent Brand Bharat Summit included case studies explaining the benefits of making marketing automation conversational. We’re sharing them here to highlight how important omnichannel customer engagement has become in the new normal.
For example, a bank that sends millions of transactional messages to its customers every month can generate new business by converting those one-way SMS messages into a two-way conversation to offer additional products to their existing customers who don’t come to bank branches any more.
Similarly, interactive two-way messaging reduced loan processing time from 2 days to 3 minutes for CreditWise Capital.
When a house owner posts a property available for rent, they often neglect adding property photos, or just add 1-2 photos. The real estate portal then sends out an email urging the owner to add more pictures, on the basis that it will get more views and a better response with 4-8 photos of the property.
No response or a delay in response to this email means potential tenants who are a good match for this property may go elsewhere.
No Broker solved this challenge and reduced their lead time of property activation from 21 hours to less than an hour after realizing that 80% of their owners prefer Whatsapp over email for sharing property photos.
With 121 languages and 270 mother tongues, educational institutions and their teachers that want to target students pan-India have to overcome language barriers. Edtech Khan Academy has creatively deployed Whatsapp bots to engage millions of students in their own regional language, resulting in better learning outcomes.
These omnichannel engagement case studies clearly show the potential for better customer engagement when you add Whatsapp, SMS and other social channels to the conversation with your customer.
But when you try to implement manual omnichannel engagement at scale, it gets hard to throw all the resources needed to continue conversations with all your existing and potential customers across channels
If someone responds by email, how long does it take for someone in your team to see it and respond? Do you have dedicated resources to engage customers on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, and Whatsapp instantly, when they send you a query? How long is a customer put on hold when they try to reach someone in Sales on the phone?
In order to automate and sync all these processes into a single conversation, you have to implement the following omnichannel customer engagement steps.
1. Lead capture from all digital channels.
Most organizations are still treating digital (and especially social) leads as second-class prospects to be engaged after the priority walk-in and phone leads. Lucep’s own survey last year showed that over 55% of digital leads are being ignored. Digital was one of the channels in omnichannel, but it is now much more.
Walk-ins are spoken to instantly by your store staff. The New Normal, with life in the shadow of Covid waves and lockdowns, now requires digital and offline leads to be treated as the same. Leads must be captured instantly in real-time across all your digital channels and moved to the CRM in the same way as a physical walk-in customer at the store.
Experience the power of Lucep’s omnichannel lead capture APIs.
Enter your details for live demo:
2. Omnichannel CRM integration.
Your CRM is the real hub of any omnichannel customer engagement process.
In order for every new touchpoint to continue as the next step in the buyer journey, the latest and updated CRM data about each deal has to be made available to the staff member who engages or responds.
As soon as a lead comes in from any channel, it should instantly be piped into your CRM to move it forward quickly through the next stage - which could be lead scoring or qualification, and then distribution. Scheduled tasks can be set as reminders or launched as automation across your digital channels, and the next task is added based on the result of the engagement.
In short, your website forms, landing pages, social media ad campaign forms, email responses and other Engagements must be integrated directly with your CRM.
3. Lead distribution and response.
Now that you have the leads coming into the CRM sorted out, the next step is to automate distribution of leads out of the CRM to your sales force. How does the buyer want to be contacted?
Whether a phone call, social media or Whatsapp message, the channel preferred by the buyer is the one that should be followed for lead response.
The CRM has to distribute the lead, on the preferred channel, to the salesperson (or automation) that has to respond.
A Lucep case study shows how the lead conversion ratio increased from 10.3% to 30.7% when the lead response time for a network of automotive dealerships was reduced from over 60 hours to less than 6 minutes. Download the full case study here.
4. Follow-up tasks.
This is where the true power of your omnichannel customer engagement platform should kick in. There is no sales without continuous engagement, and salespeople will give up after a couple of attempts or will forget to follow-up.
Schedule automated follow-ups using the same messaging as a sequence across channels. Send out an SMS, email and Whatsapp message to the customer at regular intervals.
See our list of bulk SMS marketing providers for the region you are in, to get started with this multi-channel marketing approach.
5. Omnichannel support and feedback.
The last part of the omnichannel puzzle is customer support and feedback surveys. How does the customer prefer to engage with your business?
People don’t want to send one-way transactional emails, Whatsapp or SMS messages and then wait for customer service. The best channel for customer service is your store or the phone, and their digital equivalents - your website or an app.
But once they have reached out to you on the phone, web or an app, or in person, you can then follow-up with omnichannel customer support. Send an email and SMS, Whatsapp with support ticket and tracking information, which also provides them with a link to see the same on the web or the app.
So the conversation continues across channels, no matter which channel they or your staff choose at any point in time, for tracking and responding to the service issue.
The same process can be followed for collecting customer feedback and testimonials also.