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So many channels, so little time! Multichannel customer engagement means offering up the right content, in the right places, to the right people and at the right time. But is it worth the hassle of figuring that out?
As American Cancer Society CIO Jay Ferro recently told SearchCIO, "hit everybody where they are" is one of his organization's goals -- a stance echoed by other CIOs. But how important is multichannel engagement? Is it necessary within your organization? In this #CIOChat recap, participants and site editors discuss the broader applications and effectiveness of a multichannel strategy.
How big a deal is multichannel for CIOs? Is it mainly a concern at retail companies, or are there broader applications?
The benefits of multichannel engagement might be most evident at retail companies, where the ability to connect with current and potential customers about promotions, sales, feedback and customer service is a prized commodity. But retail's far from the only industry that can reap the benefits of a multichannel strategy, according to our Twitter followers:
A1. Multi-channel *should* be a priority all most CIO's. Customers expect easy + consistent access to companies. #CIOChat— Mark Lorion (@mark_lorion) November 19, 2014
A1 Broader -- financial services is another example that comes to mind. #ciochat— Nicole Laskowski (@TT_Nicole) November 19, 2014
As SearchCIO Executive Editor Linda Tucci notes, IT leaders should pay special attention to their multichannel strategy due to the sheer volume of technology that's integral to improving customer engagement:
A1 - CIO's should care re multi-channel not b/c it involves tech, but b/c their mission should be to support business + customers. #CIOChat— Mark Lorion (@mark_lorion) November 19, 2014
A1. Much broader, Multichannel engagement is the new way to work...you have to approach all of your people using it #CIOchat— Brian Katz (@bmkatz) November 19, 2014
Given the increasingly short attention span of many customers, #CIOChat-ters touched upon the shifting role of the phone and voice in multichannel engagement:
In a world of short attention spans, multichannel engagement is a way to break through the noise #CIOchat— Brian Katz (@bmkatz) November 19, 2014
One CIOChat-ter remarked on the challenge of making multichannel engagement work within an organization given customers' increased expectations for synchronicity, and in a time when multichannel technology is becoming so ingrained in the enterprise:
All customers now expect seamless sync across channels. It really sticks out when it doesn't work. If you offer it, make it work. #CIOChat— Mark Lorion (@mark_lorion) November 19, 2014
#CIOChat A-1 Gartner's Peter Burris predicts that over the next 5 years, "an enormous amount of" new tech will be geared to multichannel.— Linda Tucci (@LTucci) November 19, 2014
A recent study found that more than 50% of insurance purchasers would switch technology providers if doing so enabled better online customer engagement. #CIOChat participants agreed that insurance companies can significantly benefit from improved engagement as part of their newfound push to master the channels:
"@RachelatTT: CIOChat" -> to get direct intellienge from the customer & market without the broker & digitization is a must for longevity— maxmetrics (@maxmetrics) November 19, 2014
@TT_Nicole What tech? Sentiment, influence, & network analysis; computational linguistics & text data mining 4 structure; +usage monitoring— maxmetrics (@maxmetrics) November 20, 2014
The chief digital officer (CDO), an executive enlisted to help organizations transform business processes to accommodate digital sectors, plays an important role in the creation of a multichannel strategy, bridging the gap between chief marketing officers (CMOs) and CIOs, according to participants:
Do you think there are other applications for multichannel? How are you using the channels to benefit your business? Sound off in the comments section below.
For more on multichannel engagement, check out what CIOs are saying about reaching the right customers in the right places. Then, head over to SearchCRM for tips on how to tailor your multichannel strategy to the customers. Finally, hear one retailer's multichannel success story over on ComputerWeekly.com.