It’s no secret — cross-channel is the future of marketing. Today’s customers expect to engage companies through multiple channels and devices, and brands that aren’t able to keep up are getting left behind by competitors who can.
Building a functioning cross-channel marketing strategy takes time, resources, and buy-in from your entire marketing team. But to get the most value from a cross-channel strategy, you need to keep a finger firmly on the pulse of customer experience.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through cross-channel customer experience and provide some actionable advice on what you can do to improve yours.
What Is the Cross-Channel Customer Experience?
The cross-channel customer experience is the way your customers interact with and experience your brand across multiple channels — from in-store to e-commerce and SMS to email.
Trying to drive sales solely on the merits of your products is like shouting in the wind — you’re going to struggle to rise above the noise and get your voice heard. So, to get ahead with cross-channel customer experience, brands need to switch their focus from just driving sales to creating engaging brand experiences for their customers, regardless of where customers choose to interact with your brand.
By optimizing your cross-channel customer experience, you won’t just increase brand and product exposure, you’ll also increase engagement, win the trust of your audience, and drive more sales.
How to Build a Successful Cross-Channel Customer Experience
When building a cross-channel customer experience, consistency is the name of the game. No matter where they choose to interact with you, and regardless of the device they use, your customers need to be met with an experience that looks, sounds, and feels like your retail or e-commerce brand.
Building a consistent cross-channel customer experience can take time, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard. Here are a few key tips to help your brand get it right first time.
Show up consistently
Consistency is the difference between an impactful cross-channel customer experience and one that fails to gain traction. If you want to succeed with your cross-channel marketing efforts, you need to consistently deliver the right content to the right person at the right time.
Being consistent across multiple channels involves designing your approach both visually and culturally. Your social media posts should have the same look and voice as your website, blog, and offline marketing efforts.
Any direct communication with customers, from social media messages to email and interactions with customer support, also needs to provide the same experience as your brand. After all, your online presence is arguably one of the most effective ways to create, establish, and build the connections you need to succeed.
Personalize the Journey
Online personalization is no longer an added bonus for businesses. If you want to stand out from your competition and deliver upon your customers’ expectations, it’s downright essential. Personalization means tailoring the customer experience by using your first-party customer data and market research to deliver relevant, meaningful engagements that reflect your customers’ individual interests and affinities.
By building out your first-party data, you’ll start to gain a unique understanding of your customers’ wants and needs, which you can use to power impactful marketing that delivers the personalization that your customers demand.
Personalizing the journey of your cross-channel customers isn’t a race, so expect it to evolve with time. Test regularly, avoid data silos, and soon you’ll build an experience that meets and exceeds customer expectations.
Create Brand Guidelines
Successful online businesses understand what their brand represents, who the brand speaks to, and why their customers engage with them. Creating brand guidelines can help spell that out and solidify your brand’s plan for attracting new customers, increasing engagement, and winning loyal, repeat business.
They also help any customer-facing staff stay up to date on your brand, approach, voice, and other elements that are so crucial to creating that seamless cross-channel customer experience.
Establishing and maintaining cross-channel brand consistency – or failing to – will make or break your online business. As a result, creating brand guidelines that can be shared with your broader team is well worth your time.
Create a Customer Journey Map
Creating a customer journey map will tell you about audience’s every move as they grow closer to your online business. Understanding what channels they use – or don’t – will help you refine which channels you use to build your brand. Which pages of your website see the most traffic, which social media platform gets the most consistent interaction with your business?
The answers to these questions inform every single one of the points above. You can refine your channels, communicate consistently and more personably, and create brand guidelines that both make sense for your brand and resonate with your customers.
Improve Your Cross-Channel Customer Experience With Emarsys
Creating a successful cross-channel customer experience, like any element of cross-channel marketing, can be a challenge. How do you know where to start in choosing which channels to use and which not to? How can an online business find out where their ideal customers spend their time online?
These and other questions can leave a lot of businesses reluctant towards the idea of fully committing to cross-channel marketing. But Emarsys is here to help.
Our Customer Engagement platform gives you real-time data across every channel you use–personalizing and mapping your cross-channel customer journey with our AI and predictive analytics. ‘