Today, both design and communication have to be built up in one and the same way – so that functionality is the same in all channels.
Customers must recognize you and get the same experience in all areas. At the same time, all the company’s systems need to be able to interact with each other in real time.
“It also means that the range of services, functions and products must be the same – regardless of whether the customer is using an app or a website, or visiting a physical store.”
In his work as Key Account Manager, Hans Astermark often encounters companies facing comprehensive organizational challenges.
“They have to look at customer communication in a whole new way. It’s not unusual for a company to have one department that’s stronger than the others in this area. It could be the marketing department, the IT department or the sales organization.”
In many cases, it results in companies trying to tackle the challenges too narrowly, without looking at the big picture.
“In this situation, I always recommend running a workshop where the customer gathers all departments that have a stake in the solution to define areas of responsibility and the respective challenges they’re facing,” says Hans Astermark.
“This is where I can help by identifying solutions that weren’t visible previously.”
Identify the customer journey
The next step is to turn the attention to the outside and review all the contacts customers have with the company.
“Both internal and external understanding are required to sort out these challenges and adopt full-scale omnichannel communication. Customer Journey Mapping is a key step,” explains Hans Astermark.
He emphasizes the importance of having all processes and flows in place before starting to communicate broadly with customers.
“If you’ve done your homework properly you can, for example, use PostNord Strålfors’ scalable platform for distribution and dialogue alike. This allows our customers to do everything they want to – and even things they haven’t yet identified.”
Both internal and external understanding are required to sort out these challenges and adopt full-scale omnichannel communication.
The recipient has the power
At the same time as there are many channels to choose between for customer communication, recipients are increasingly demanding to choose for themselves how, when and where they want to receive different messages.
A majority even expect to be asked for their preferences.
“This means that companies and authorities that adapt to the recipient’s wishes and adopt an omnichannel mindset have great potential both to increase customer satisfaction and to reinforce their brand. It can actually prove decisive in whether or not the company retains the customer,” says Hans Astermark.
There is no single communication channel that is right for all messages to all people in all situations. Communicating in multiple channels with partially differentiated content is a sure way to boost loyalty. Some information has to be readily available, irrespective of where the recipient happens to be, while other information has to be easy to save.
Are you digital enough?
Opponent, explorer or perhaps pure innovator? Test how far you have come in your digital journey.
You fight tooth and nail against digital projects, and almost all your customer communication is physical. A few customers request digital deliveries, so you let them have them through e-Invoices.
You are testing digital solutions and feel comfortable communicating with your customers in this way. Unfortunately, you haven't noted the same enthusiasm among your customers. This is probably because you are lacking a strategy and goals for your digital presence.
You have a purpose and a goal for your digital presence and your customer communication, but you still haven't achieved the progress you aimed for. The main reason for this could be poor internal synchronization between the different departments, or because you need to invest time and/or resources in your business system.
The purposeful one
All your initiatives are synchronized and updated in line with the latest technology. Your customers enjoy fully functional communication solutions in an omnichannel setup. You have everything in place, but don't dare test the latest innovations until you know they're worth it.
You're always first to bring in all the new, creative communication solutions. And, of course, your customers have access to state-of-the-art systems. You always have the right focus, but the solutions sometimes appear a little too early, which makes it hard for you to reap the full benefits.