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Manging the multichannel customer experience

Wilson, H. and Clark, M., (2007) Manging the multichannel customer experience. Report. Henley Centre for Customer Management

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This report studies best practice in crafting and profiting from the multichannel customer experience, through in-depth study of major multichannel projects at First Direct, IBM, BT Global Services and General Motors Europe. Findings were also informed by interviews with boutique hotel chain Eton Collection; DVLA; UK Trade and Investment; a high street retailer; and a financial services company. Rather than thinking of each customer as belonging to a particular channel, there are many benefits to be gained in terms of both cost and customer experience by treating different transactions differently. BT Global Services has replaced 400 field sales staff by desk-based account managers who deal with simpler sales, considerably reducing the cost of sale. IBM diverts any sale of less than £50,000 to the teleweb channel. We describe the coverage map tool which helps to think this through. There is much cost to be saved in diverting customers to lower-cost channels, but only if we carry the customer with us. That tends to mean creating win-wins through channel combinations – making appropriate use of low-cost channels, but making personal contact available at points in the customer journey where it is needed. First Direct has boosted profits considerably by diverting 80% of transactions online – without harming satisfaction. Channel chain diagrams and the channel choice chart can help to get the balance right. Indirect channels – agents, distributors, retailers – can also be brought into the multichannel customer journey. But this means bringing indirect channels into the data loop - sharing customer data with them to provide an integrated experience. BT has rolled out its CRM system to major distributors. General Motors works with dealers to provide an integrated customer dialogue, resulting in 17,000 incremental car sales in a pilot project. Most organisations have inherited channel silos in which each channel is a profit or cost centre. But this does not reflect the reality of customer journeys which cross multiple channels. Structure and rewards need to reflect the multichannel customer journey. One approach is to attach a financial value to a lead generated in one channel but fulfilled in another – we saw this working successfully in a high-street retailer. Another approach is to organise around customers. BT Global Services has account directors responsible for revenue and sales and marketing costs irrespective of channel.

Item Type:Report (Report)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:83734
Publisher:Henley Centre for Customer Management


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