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Multichannel in a complex world

Perkins, N. and Clark, M., (2012) Multichannel in a complex world. Report. Henley Centre for Customer Management

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The proliferation of devices and channels has brought new challenges to just about every organisation in delivering consistently good customer experiences and effectively joining up service provision with marketing activity, data and content. A good multichannel strategy and execution is increasingly becoming essential to marketers and customer experience professionals from every sector. This report seeks to identify the key issues, challenges and opportunities that surround multichannel and provide some best practice insight and principles on the elements that are key to multichannel success. As part of the research for this report, we spoke to six experienced customer experience and marketing practitioners from large organisations across different sectors. In Multichannel Marketing: Metrics and Methods for On and Offline Success, Akin Arikan (2008) said: ‘Because customers are multichannel beings and demand relevant, consistent experiences across all channels, businesses need to adopt a multichannel mind-set when listening to their customers.’ It was clear from the companies interviewed for this report that it remains challenging for many organisations to maintain consistency across so many customer touchpoints. Not only that, but the ability to balance consistency with the capability to fully exploit the unique attributes of each channel remains an aspiration for many. The proliferation of devices and digital channels has added complexity to customer journeys, making issues around the joining up of customer experience and the attribution of value of key importance to many. Whilst senior leaders within the organisations spoken to seem to be bought in to multichannel, this buy-in was not always replicated across the rest of the organisation and did not always translate into a cohesive multichannel strategy. A number of companies were undertaking work around customer journey mapping and customer segmentation, using a variety of passive and actively collected data in order to identify specific areas of poor customer experience and create action plans for improvement. Others were undertaking projects using sophisticated tracking and tagging technologies to develop an understanding of the value and role of specific channels and to provide better intelligence to the business on attribution that might be used to inform future investment decisions. A consistent barrier to improving customer experience is the ability to join up many different legacy systems and data in order to provide a single customer view and form the basis for delivery of a more consistent and cohesive multichannel approach. Whilst there remain significant challenges around multichannel, there are some useful technologies allowing businesses to develop better insight into customer motivation and activity. Nonetheless, delivery of seamless multichannel experience remains a work-inprogress for many.

Item Type:Report (Report)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:82299
Publisher:Henley Centre for Customer Management


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