How to build a compelling business case for omnichannel
You’re probably well aware of how crucial it is to deliver personalized, informed, seamless interactions to your customers. But the C-suite might not be quite as well informed and, as they hold the purse strings, it’s up to you to convince them the expenditure is worth it.
This can seem like an uphill battle at times, but perhaps it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone. The majority of marketers say a lack of resources and investment are their biggest barrier to successfully implementing omnichannel marketing.
So let’s take a look at how to secure the backing you need to drive better customer engagement that impacts the bottom line.
Not just why, but why now?
Getting leadership on board is like any other sales pitch. You need to know your audience and speak to their motivations.
It might be tempting to begin with the benefits of an omnichannel approach, but it’s more compelling to start by laying out the dangers of leaving things as they are. Otherwise it’s easy for the C-suite to deprioritize you against the long list of other business threats they need to deal with. Your pitch needs to communicate not just why to invest, but why now.
What are the imminent dangers of stalling on omnichannel?
1. Falling behind the competition
Companies that have an omnichannel communication strategy in place have significantly higher customer retention rates than those that don’t. Unicef, for instance, reduced donor churn over 33% by implementing a unified, omnichannel solution.
We all know it’s far more expensive to keep winning new customers than it is to retain existing ones. Losing customers because you’re lagging behind on omnichannel means earning less lifelong customer revenue than your competitors, and spending more on customer acquisition than they do. In essence, the longer your organization drags its heels in taking up omnichannel, the further ahead your competition will get.
2. Becoming irrelevant to the customer
Our interaction habits have changed drastically over the last 20 years and most of us use multiple communications channels every day without really thinking about it. Today’s customers are no longer pleasantly surprised by omnichannel – they expect it.
If they can’t get a seamless omnichannel experience from your organization, they’ll find it elsewhere. And when it comes to customer service, people want to interact with businesses on the communication channels they prefer. Choice is essential to satisfying the modern consumer.
3. Omnichannel done poorly is no good
It may be you’ve already tried communicating with customers on the channels that suit them, but aren’t getting the results you were hoping for. This is usually because these channels aren’t managed cohesively and underpinned by uniform data. If channels such as email, SMS and voice are operated in siloes, with no centralized view of the customer and their interaction history, communication will be disjointed and frustrating. Adding more channels into this mix simply adds to the fragmentation.
You need to explain to the C-suite that installing an insufficiently informed and connected omnichannel system can be as costly as not having one at all. On the other hand, investing in a cloud communications platform can allow you to implement a holistic customer experience strategy that reaches across your organization and your customer journey.
Move onto the opportunity
Once you’ve established the urgency of going omnichannel, it’s time to move onto the many benefits of a seamless, centralized multi-channel approach. Here are just a few of them:
When you get an omnichannel foundation right, you gain an incredible ability to handle growth. You’re suddenly able to deal with any number of interactions. You end up with a virtuous circle of effects – the more efficient, lightning-fast, secure, successful interactions you can handle, the more satisfied customers you’ll have, the more you can grow, the more insights you’ll gather, the more you’ll be able to improve your service – and so on.
More spend, more often
Give your audience more access across a variety of channels, and you’ll form a closer relationship – which leads to customers parting with their money more often. Omnichannel shoppers tend to spend more frequently, and they spend more money per purchase than those who shop using a single channel. The more channels they can use, the more they will spend.
Singularity, speed, and seamlessness
With an effective omnichannel approach you can truly unify your customer communications, making sure every interaction is part of a seamless experience that transcends channels. By using a cloud contact center solution, for instance, your human agents effectively become just another channel that works alongside all the others. If an automated interaction isn’t going well, the conversation can be moved easily to a human agent that has the entire interaction history to hand. Omnichannel done well means customers can switch seamlessly between channels, confident their needs will always be met.
Relevance and personalization
Unified data is at the heart of omnichannel communications, with insight becoming a superpower for your businesses. By breaking down data silos and bringing together everything you know about customers from a variety of sources, you can give context to communications and make them relevant and engaging.
Making the case
With your case for omnichannel implementation ready to go, it’s time to pitch to the right internal stakeholder. Identify the C-suite leader you’re most likely to secure buy-in from, and remember to tailor your presentation to their organizational aims. Has your CMO been talking about customer retention strategy recently? Are they newly appointed and looking to make some quick, demonstrable wins? Has your CIO complained about a lack of customer insight lately?
The great news is an omnichannel strategy can be the answer to a number of your organizational challenges, so finding an angle that will get the C-suite excited shouldn’t be too challenging.