When we watch TV, we often browse the internet, shop on smartphones or tweet our friends. In fact, a recent report by analyst firm Nielsen claims that 70% of people watching TV are reading about something else at the same time on a second screen.
This shift in content consumption offers a huge opportunity for brands and service providers to engage with consumers across multiple channels. However, it also opens up the question of exactly how to keep the user experience consistent, and how to stretch your ability to understand customer views across an ever-increasing array of channels.
The rise of mobile
We’re all aware the high street is going through a period of drastic change, with consumers increasingly shopping via smartphones and tablets for increased convenience. Google reported that 90% of all media interactions today are screen based, reflecting the digital shift, which triggers more spontaneous browsing and shopping behaviours. As more advertising and brand messaging is reaching the screen-hopping customer, brands need to be able to respond quickly to provide the best customer service possible, to ensure a consistent and fluid shopping experience. Your business processes need to be synchronised with changing customer behaviours, and through the right application of technology, you should be able to monitor, track and respond to queries as they arise, plus track rising trends and preferences.
Understanding your audience
To streamline processes, you have to take a customer centric approach. In addition to multi-screen shopping behaviour changes, customers are also choosing to contact organisations via multiple channels. Organisations should listen to the voice of their customers across these multiple channels (phone, web, chat, email, to name a few), act on the insights they uncover, and personalise the customer experience. We conducted research which showed that today’s consumers prioritise service levels over price and want to be understood and feel valued by service and retail providers. This rule of thumb applies across all channels and devices customers use to engage.
Getting to grips with technology
Using data driven analytics to understand customers will help marketers effectively target their campaigns and yield higher sales, especially if this is via the customers’ preferred channels. For example, if a customer specifies they would prefer to receive offers or promotions via phone or email, then delivering against this preference will help to improve the customer experience and increase loyalty.
All businesses rely on regular custom and to encourage this, providing excellent service is paramount. Both front and back office staff should be well equipped to process orders to service level agreements and handle queries. Having the right technology in place can provide visibility into (broken) processes and help streamline them. Flexibility is key when it comes to the design of the company’s customer service systems. Companies should have visibility into customer information, notes, interactions, call logs and feedback – across all the channels the customer chooses to use. This will make it easier to understand issues as they arise and respond in good time – in a way that shows the company is a joint-up, customer centric organisation.
Riding the social media wave
In a digital age where consumers can access information from multiple devices, naturally the use of social media platforms has increased. This needs to be front of mind for marketers as consumers have quick and easy access to air their views on Facebook and Twitter for example, while on the move. In response, increasingly brands have a dedicated digitally focused customer service team to monitor and engage with customers on these platforms.
With this increased frequency of use, brands must be agile enough to communicate effectively with consumers in real-time. An additional Nielsen report claims that 39% of customers use their tablets to research products they saw on TV – meaning an aligned, and quick to react sales and customer service team will help increase sales figures. Following up transactions with surveys to capture customer feedback in real time would give a better understanding of your business performance.
The multi-screen phenomenon and the increased variety of avenues opened up to consumers to communicate with service providers, from any location, has dramatically changed consumer behaviour. But at the same time this poses a huge challenge and opportunity for marketers to get to grips with. Those that embrace this shift will be leading this small screen revolution. With 90% of all our media interactions now being screen based (IMRG), this has never been so important. So get organised, understand your customers, restructure your back office, prioritise good customer service and the multichannel experience and watch your business grow.