When it comes to bridging the gap between your business and its prospective customers, the personal approach is key. Finding out what makes your customers tick can have untold benefits, such as being able to connect with them in the right place at the right time, with offers and deals that are highly targeted and likely to be acted upon. Not only that, but personalisation allows you to eventually predict what your customers are going to want before they tell you, enabling you to offer an incredibly streamlined and irresistible service. However, this personalisation does not come without a cost. In order for your brand to connect with customers when they are primed and ready to buy, you need to take an omnichannel approach. When you consider that 55% of all customer queries come through social media alone, it is easy to see how crucial it is to have coverage across the likes of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. What is more, customers who are engaged on their channel of choice are more likely to do business with you and may increase their spending by as much as 40%.

 

So, is your business ready to take an omnichannel approach?

Around 84% of businesses think they could take an omnichannel approach quite easily, but are they considering the cost? More than half of those businesses would try and gain coverage across channels manually, at a huge cost to the business in terms of human resource and time.  A more sensible approach to the omnichannel dilemma may be to use a combination of systems and tools to achieve the coverage your customers need. This may involve utilising automation tools or platforms that let you review all of your social media activity at a glance. You may decide to have a designated social media operator in your business, or give your entire team the autonomy to post and engage customers. This kind of social media presence can make or break a brand in 2017, so it is certainly worth your time to weigh up all the options. However, merely having presence is not enough. You need to consider who your customers are and how they might like to be engaged. If your brand receives a tweet from a customer complaining about one of your products, and you respond via email or send them a letter in the post asking them to call you up or check your website, they are not going to be impressed. We are living in an ‘always on’ world where customers expect their issues to be resolved as they arise, and if they send your business a tweet you can be sure they are expecting a reply.

 

By harnessing the power of a multichannel approach, you can bring your customers closer to your brand. It is one thing to market on Facebook or push sponsored ads on Twitter, but if you show that your brand actively engages with customers on these platforms, consumers are far more likely to pay attention and look upon your business favourably.  Put simply, it is about service. Whereas customers used to look for the best price or the latest offers, in 2017 things are different. Over 61% of consumers rank customer service as ‘very important’ in their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand. Where better to exercise brilliant customer service than on the channels your customers themselves are already using?

 

This extends beyond social media to types of devices, browsers, applications and more. If you target a channel, target it well and to the best of your ability in order to maximise engagement with consumers. That means that a mobile experience ought to be uniquely mobile, and a desktop experience should make use of the larger screen and added real estate. Whether we are looking at social media channels, online advertising or direct brand interaction, it all comes down to enhancing the consumer experience and interacting with them seamlessly on the channels where they feel most at home. One of the ways your business could achieve this is by using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Microsoft Dynamics 365.  Not only does Dynamics help you to improve your service by making it easier to organise and access customer information, it can also enhance the customer experience with tailored loyalty programs and real time updates. In other words, it is a one of a kind tool that can help your team offer the personalised retail experience your customers are looking for.

K3 CRM are official Microsoft Gold Partners. We pride ourselves on delivering seamless rollouts of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for retail businesses throughout the UK. From initial setup and staff training, to maintenance and full ERP integration, we cover all the bases.