In today’s digital landscape, companies must embrace multi-channel marketing in order to stay relevant. With customers increasingly using new communication channels like social media and live chat, there’s a new demand and expectation that customers should be able to reach businesses at any time, from anywhere. Live chat, in particular, is a powerful sales tool that you can incorporate into your marketing approach.
What is multi-channel marketing?
Since customers want to be in control of their own product discovery experience, it’s important that you provide them with choice. Multi-channel marketing is a strategy that aims to give customers choice, through providing a number of buying platforms. It’s based on the idea that customers are more likely to make purchases through their favourite channel, therefore a company should offer a range of offline and online purchasing options. Your multi-channel marketing strategy can include channels such as your company’s website, social media, email and live chat, as well as your physical retail outlets, phone orders and catalogues.
Why your business should use multi-channel marketing
Reaching more customers over more channels leads to increased sales for you business. Giving customers the choice of where and how they purchase from your business also shows them that you’re are interested in meeting their needs, helping to build customer loyalty. However, there are more benefits to multi-channel marketing beyond maximising sales.
Multi-channel marketing provides your business with a plethora of information through tracking channel use, conversion rates and receiving customer feedback. This large amount of data allows you to fix any problems that arise quickly, and make decisions about product development.
How to incorporate multi-channel marketing
The most important thing to consider in multi-channel marketing is to ensure that all the different channels are consistent and work together. It must be easy for customers to move from channel to channel until they reach their favourite one, without having to restart the process. It’s also important to ensure consistency.
If you are running a campaign, make sure that the campaign is the same across all channels so that customers do not become confused. Finally, consider who your target audience is. You must know who you’re addressing and make small adjustments to the marketing message in order to speak to that particular audience.
Multi-channel customer service
You can’t have multi-channel marketing without multi-channel customer service. When selling across several different channels, you must be prepared to answer customer service questions on those channels. Because of this, there should always be a help option on each of your different channels. Customer service options include email, phone, social media, and live chat.
What is live chat?
Live chat is an important sales tool that contributes to the overall customer experience when purchasing products or services online. It involves giving your customers the option to chat to sales representatives while visiting your website. A study from Forrester reveals that 44% of online customers say that live chat is one of the most important features a website can offer. Customers are more likely to give repeat business to companies that resolve their issues quickly via live chat.
Why should you include live chat in your multi-channel strategy?
Many companies don’t include live chat as part of their marketing strategy, and because of this, are missing out on potential sales and customer retention. For many customers – from impulse buyers to reserved purchasers – having a live sales representative guiding them through the sales process, is a significant help.
There are many benefits of live chat; it allows consumers to ask questions about products and services they are interested in, in real time, it provides a platform for loyal customers to communicate their concerns, and it helps customers make quick buying decisions. It’s also faster than customer service provided via telephone and email as one sales representative can engage in multiple conversations at a time, therefore it requires less manpower.
How to get started
It’s quite simple to include live chat into your multi-channel marketing services. All it requires is putting together a marketing team with good communication skills, grammar and typing ability to operate the live chat. A live chat can be set up on your website, providing assistance to customers purchasing via the site.
One can also be set up on your company’s social media to answer any questions customers may have when visiting your social media page. And in fitting with your multi-channel marketing strategy, it’s important to allow the live chat to move between channels. This may be through allowing customers to request a call back via phone or Skype, or discuss issues over Facebook messenger or SMS. Ultimately, it’s important that your team are aware of how to adjust their communicative style to meet the platform. For example, on Twitter there’s a 140 character limit.
A new channel of communication
Multi-channel marketing is here to stay so if you’re company isn’t already on board, it’s time to start. Live chat, in particular, is an important feature of multi-channel marketing that’s easy to set up and crucial to the satisfaction of your customers, no matter their choice of platform. By implementing live chat into your multi-channel strategy, you’re opening a new channel of communication with potential customers, helping lead to increase sales and customer retention.
Contact Blue Star DIRECT today to discover we our solutions can assist with improving your multi-channel marketing strategy.