Although multichannel is critical for businesses, it is still ignored by many. A customer is always a customer wherever they buy. They come in contact with the company through various channels (stores, call center, website, etc.) and end up buying through one of them. The combination of the use of all these channels that leads to the final purchase (conversion), is called multichannel. Banks are one of the best examples of the advantage of being present in an integrated manner in several channels. The branch network is still critical for opening accounts and selling services, however, online banking, the Internet, and however, online banking, ATMs, and call centers have brought a higher quality of service and of service and significant cost reduction.
At the same time, many companies still neglect their presence on the Internet because they think that their business does not pass through there. You often hear “our customers don’t buy online”. Yet the Internet is critical to the sales of the vast majority of businesses, whether companies, whether online or not. In a recent study, done by our company (www.litsebusiness.com), 63% of users of a well-known retailer’s website stated that after searching for the product in the online store, they ended up making the final purchase directly in the store. Let’s look at two cases: (1) the customer comes to the company’s site and does not know it. When seeing an unprofessional site most users will doubt its credibility; (2) the user is already a regular customer in physical stores and goes to the store looking for a product but can’t find it or the product description and photos are of poor quality. The result of these two bad experiences on the site is that the customer goes to the competition, which is less than 5 seconds away.
But beware, because a good multichannel experience is difficult to achieve for several reasons: (1) difficulty in identifying the customer across all channels and integrating the information. In order to personalize customers and create a smooth experience, the company must have a record of all contacts with the customer. For example, after searching for a trip to New York on a travel agency’s website, when calling the call center, the operator knows what the customer searched for online and does not repeat information. Banks and airlines do a good job given the need for the customer to identify himself. Other companies try to overcome this difficulty with loyalty cards and CRM (customer relationship management) programs. (2) Poorly aligned objectives between the different channels. Why doesn’t BMW sell cars online? Because it would take sales away from the car dealers it depends on. As long as the dealers have no benefits, they will not allow it. One solution would be to give a percentage of the sale to the dealers and allow them to use the website as a way to get customers at a reduced cost.
For customers the company is a single entity and they do not differentiate the channel, so companies will have to adapt to create the most fluid experience possible.